The Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce (CCPI) was founded in August 8, 1985 by Dr. Luís Gallego, with great enthusiasm and personal effort.
The following entities and companies were members of the first Board: Dr. Moisés Ayash, El-Al Airlines, Portucel, Albert Oulman & Cia. Lda., Marcelo Benasulin, A. Kolinski Lda., and Produtos Alimentares António e Henrique Serrano S.A.R.L.
One of the first and main goals of the Chamber of Commerce was to obtain the necessary funds to have its own headquarter, as well as to promote the development of economic and trade relations between Portugal and Israel.
The first members of the Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce were brought in by Dr. Moisés Ayash, then the President of the General Assembly, who went to Porto to contact several companies, including banks, and other industrial, textile and alternative energy branches. Through those contacts, he managed to bring the first eleven members to the Chamber of Commerce.
It was decided, right in the first meetings of the Board, that the Chamber would organize conference lunches at Hotel Diplomático, in Lisbon, for members and special invitees: businessmen, politicians, intellectuals, among others.
The first keynote speaker was Dr. Mira Amaral. The second one was Eng.º António Guterres, then Secretary General of the Socialist Party, just a few days before he was elected Prime-Minister. Dr. Joaquim Pina Moura, then Minister of Economy, was also one of the Chamber's keynote speakers. Many members and invitees of the Chamber of Commerce attended these events, filling completely the venue.
The President of the Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Luís Gallego, and the Vice-President, Dr. José Oulman Carp, attended the opening session of the France-Israel House, in Paris, along with the Presidents and representatives of most of the Israel Chambers of Commerce of Europe.
The Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce was also represented in several international events, such as the Meeting of the ECC (European Economic Community)-Israel, in Brussels, and the 3rd General Assembly of the Europe-Israel Chamber of Commerce, in Tel Aviv.
Through its other Vice-President, António Moura Santos, the Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce has always had excellent contacts, both with official institutions and with the Israeli Embassy in Lisbon, which also gave its utmost support in the publication of the Chamber's monthly bulletin.
After many years in which Dr. Luís Gallego was re-elected as President, a new President was elected in 2004: Dr. Vasco Weinberg, who was in charge of the Chamber of Commerce until July 26th 2008, when the current President, Dr. Carlos Teixeira, Managing Director of Teva Pharma Portugal, was elected.
Throughout all the time, the Portugal-Israel Chamber of Commerce has always maintained good contacts and an excellent relationship with Dr. Michael Itzhar, President of the Israel-Portugal Chamber of Commerce, who has always helped and fought for the interests of both Chambers.