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Why India is excited to meet the Belgian King and Queen

India is looking forward to enhancing ties, especially in trade and investment, with the west European nation, with whom USD 13.28 billion worth goods were traded last year.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2017 15:40 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India,Belgium,King Philippe
This handout photograph released by the ministry of external affairs shows Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arriving in New Delhi on Sunday.(AFP)

As King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium landed in New Delhi on Sunday evening with a 90-member delegation, the message — that they mean business — was clear.

India, too, is looking forward to enhancing ties, especially in trade and investment, with the west European nation, with whom USD 13.28 billion worth goods were traded last fiscal.

The royal couple is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday during their seven-day visit to New Delhi, Mumbai and Taj Mahal in Agra.

This is the Belgian King’s first state visit to India after his coronation in 2013, adding to the importance of the tour.

King Philippe’s accompanying 90-member-strong business delegation includes many top CEOs of Belgian companies.

For Belgium, New Delhi is the second largest export destination. India is also Belgium’s third largest trading partner outside the EU.

According to information from the South Block, India imported goods worth USD 6.62 billion from Belgium and exported USD 5.65 billion valued in 2016-17.

The royal couple will travel to Mumbai on a two-day visit. Among his other engagements, King Philippe will attend a conference with businessmen from the diamond industry. He will also attend a conference on new solutions for smart cities.

On Monday, the royal couple will travel to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.

The Belgian king will attend an India-Belgium Business Forum meeting before leaving for Mumbai on Thursday.

The King and the Queen will also visit the memorial of the victims of the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 15:40 IST