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Happy National Day to India !

Tuesday 15th August 2017

India and Belgium share a unique friendship dating back to the First World War, in which more than 9,000 Indian troops made the supreme sacrifice in Flanders Fields. In the following decades, this bond continued to expand and grew out to become the unique economic, diplomatic, academic, cultural, and social partnership that we have today. Indeed, this year, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Belgium.

Today, India is one of the most important non-European trading partners of our country. In 2016, total exports of goods from the EU to India amounted to EUR 38 billion, with a Belgian share of 21%, making us the 2nd largest European exporter of goods to India. The same year, total imports of goods in the EU from India amounted to EUR 39 billion with a Belgian share of 11%, making our country the 3rd largest European importer of goods from India. Globally, this makes India Belgium’s 15th supplier  and 8th customer (2nd largest non-European customer, after the United States).

Bilateral trade relations between India and Belgium are of course very strong. With several missions to India in the past three years, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem has also been working successfully for a further strengthening and deepening of our bilateral trade. Indeed, Belgian companies have unique know-how in many domains that are of great importance to India, and Indian companies use the many strengths of Belgium as a gateway to the European single market. This band was strengthened earlier this year with the launch of a direct air connection between Brussels and Mumbai, India’s economic capital.

Secretary of State Pieter De Crem wishes India an excellent National Day and looks very much forward to further strengthening our bilateral trade relations!

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