India, Belgium sign MoU on cooperation in Railway sector
9.8.2012 (UNI) India and Belgium decided to cooperate in the railway sector.
An MoU was signed for the purpose in the presence of visiting Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders, who also holds the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna said India wanted to collaborate with Belgium in newer areas, particularly in infrastructure and energy sector, including port development, renewable energy, both solar and wind power.
Several Indian companies have made substantial investments in Belgium especially in the IT and software sector, and the country had the potential to emerge as a hub for their European operations. There is also enhanced interest in Belgium in the many new opportunities that are available in India.
He said his discussions with Mr Reyders touched the entire gamut of their bilateral relations and also touched on their cooperation in further strengthening the strategic partnership with the European Union.
Besides they also discussed regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
The two countries also reviewed their political relations and agreed to maintain the momentum of high level visits, both in the bilateral as well as in the European Union context.
They took note of the fact that despite global economic slowdown, there was substantial increase in their bilateral trade, which has now crossed the 13 billion Euro mark in 2011.
Belgium has now emerged as the second largest trading partner in goods sector within the European Union.
'I have mentioned the need to diversify the trade basket to make our commercial cooperation more sustainable and reflective of strengths of our two countries,' said Mr Krishna.
He also said there had been increasing interest in Belgium in different aspects of Indian culture and India would look forward to its participation as the partner country in Europalia-2013.
This would be the largest Indian festival in another country in recent times. UNI