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India, Belgium to ink social security pact

The agreement will not only benefit Indians working in Belgium but eventually serve as a prototype for similar deals with other countries.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 19:45 IST

India and Belgium will sign a historic social security agreement during the first official state visit of Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to India next week.

"Indians can now look forward to attractive social security benefits and smooth visa procedures," Verhofstadt told India News in Europe Programme in an interview in Brussels on Friday.

The Belgian premier has a power-packed agenda during his five-day visit to India, commencing November 2.

"The social security agreement will bolster investment of Indian companies in Belgium," he said.

It is the first agreement of its kind that India has signed with another country in social security.

It will not only benefit Indians working in Belgium but eventually serve as a prototype for similar deals with other countries.

Besides social security, Verhofstadt will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Science and Technology as well as an agreement with the Indian Institute of Science.

During his visit, the Belgian Prime Minister will call on President Abdul Kalam, and meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and others.

The two countries share a close economic relationship owing to a formidable Indian business community that dominates 60 per cent of the diamond trade in the Belgian port city of Antwerp. 

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