India, Belgium review trade ties, explore new areas of cooperation

India and Belgium  on Tuesday reviewed their economic relationship in order to give a boost to their bilateral ties and set ambitious objectives. Brussels showed its interest to diverify trade relations and explore new sectors of cooperation during the 16th session of India-Belgium Luxembourg BLEU ) joint economic commission (JEC) at the Belgium embassy here. 


 Among the 28 EU member-states, Belgium has the third largest trade with India with a total trade value worth euro 12.8 billion in 2018. The trade comprised diamonds, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, foodstuff and machinery. The trade volume reflect the close economic partnership between the two countries. About 170 Belgian companies are based in India, whereas around 80 Indian companies have set up a plant or office in Belgium. 


For Belgium, the 16th session was conducted with the participation of representatives of its three regions that are committed to the support of international economic development. The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (Awex) fulfils that role for Wallonia, Flanders Investment & Trade for Flanders and for the Brussels-Capital Region, a statement from the embassy said. 


As a logistics and transport expert, Belgium works along with Luxembourg to ensure a smooth and swift trade access to Europe for Indian businesses through the Antwerp port, which is the second largest port in Europe and functions as “the Gateway to Europe”. India is among the ten most important partners of the Port of Antwerp.