Belgian royal couple to visit India

Last Updated 28 October 2017, 08:53 IST

Belgium's royal couple, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, will visit India from November 5 to 11 on an invitation from President Ram Nath Kovind.

The royal couple will be accompanied by six ministers of the Belgian government and a high-powered business delegation comprising CEOs of 86 companies and 13 chiefs of academic institutions, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated.

This is going to be King Philippe's first visit to India after his ascension to the throne in 2013.

"The visit would further strengthen the historically strong ties between the two countries," said Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson.

Belgium was also among the first European countries to establish a diplomatic mission in India after Independence.

India is at present Belgium's second largest export destination and third largest trade partner outside the European Union.

The bilateral trade amounted to $ 13.28 billion in 2016-17. Exports from India to Belgium accounted for $ 5.65 billion, while imports from Belgium accounted for $ 6.62 billion.

Diamond trade overwhelmingly dominates Indo-Belgian commerce. Trade in gems and jewellery constitutes over 75% of the bilateral trade and diamonds make up more than 80% of Belgian exports and more than 40% Belgian imports from India.

Belgian companies' cumulative investment in India is worth over $ 1.01 billion for the period April 2000 - June 2017.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also have meetings with King Philippe.

DH News Service

(Published 28 October 2017, 08:46 IST)

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