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India as world business destination highlighted

India's economic, fiscal incentives and its potential as a business destination was the focus of a seminar in Brussels.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 11:29 IST

India's economic and fiscal incentives and its potential as a world business destination was the focus of a seminar in Brussels.

"In spite of India's many obstacles, foreign countries choose India for its low cost and technical expertise and engineering skills," said Howard Wei, area director for Asia of Agoria, Belgium's multi-sector federation for technology industry.

Wei who is also vice-president of the Belgian-Indian Chamber of Commerce told members of Belgium's business community that Indian companies were rising to the table and acquiring Belgian firms.

Indian firms have already taken over a power and a pharma firm in Belgium, according to INEP agency.

Amar Sinha, minister at the Indian mission in Brussels, speaking at the seminar titled "India - The Right Time to Invest and Source", stressed that Belgium was one of India's major trading partners.

Over 60 per cent of the diamond market in Antwerp - the world rough diamond destination - is concentrated in the hands of Indian-origin families.

"If trends continue, Belgium could be India's number one trading partner, and not just because of the diamonds," said Sinha, adding that the two countries were making leaps and bounds in investing in larger number of smaller scale industries operating in India.

Sinha highlighted India's young population, its high standard of technical and international education and tradition of great entrepreneurship. "In all multinationals world wide, Indians have high level positions of responsibility."

Addressing the competition between India and China, he told seminar participants "India and China should not be in competition but find a natural place in the global picture. We are not into economic Olympics here. Our aim is to get people out of poverty."

Sinha elaborated on the high level EU-India dialogue and stressed that noted industrialist Lakshmi Mittal's takeover bid for Arcelor was a consequence of globalisation.

"This has become an emotive issue here," he said noting that the Indian government has freed space not only for foreigners to come into India but also for Indians to go out.

"Our request to our interlocutors is that every body plays by the rules and the outcome should be in line with competition policies."

Gokul Chaudhri from India's top tax consultancy firm, BMR and Associates in New Delhi, elaborated on India's economic and regulatory backdrop. He said:

"India has never faltered on debt commitments. Our government is balancing growth acceleration and fiscal consolidation."