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Network mission to Mumbai headed by Secretary of State Pieter De Crem

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The second day of the network mission to Mumbai headed by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem started with an info session for the Belgian companies on doing trade in and with India, organized by the regional export agencies FIT and AWEX. The new direct link from Brussels Airlines to Mumbai was also put in the spotlight, as well as the many strong highlights Belgium has to offer, also to tourists.   

Afterwards, Pieter De Crem officially opened the new buildings of HRD Antwerp-Mumbai, a key player in the diamond industry. This sector continues to dominate trade between Belgium and India, being responsible for about 2/3 of total realized bilateral trade. De Crem seized this opportunity to emphasize this unique bond and to mention some points where further progress can be made.

His full speech can be read here.

In the afternoon, Secretary of State Pieter De Crem had a meeting with the Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, with whom he discussed trade opportunities for Belgian companies, as well as possibilities for Indian companies to invest in Belgium.

Afterwards, De Crem visited the local buildings of Bekaert, which recently expanded significantly. In total, more than 160 companies are present in India, one third of them in the state of Maharashtra. About 80 Indian companies are active in Belgium, either aiming at the Belgian market or using our country’s strategic location as a gateway to the European single market.

The day ended with a networking event organized by Brussels Airlines. In his speech, De Crem did not only mention the strong economic ties between India and Belgium, but also emphasized our joint past that began during the First World War and the strong diplomatic, academic, social, cultural, and of course, economic ties of today that are a result of this.

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