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Largest Flemish economic mission ever set out for India

Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois leads a Flemish economic mission to India from 24 to 28 April. It is the largest economic mission ever: no less than 84 participants will explore commercial opportunities in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. In total, 55 Flemish companies and sector federations have registered.  Flanders Investment & Trade organises the mission.

Why India?

  • India is Flanders’ 7th trade partner. After the US, India is our 2nd most important non-European customer and our main market in Asia (ahead of China). Within the EU, Belgium is India’s 3rd most important trade partner (behind Germany and the UK). In 2015, Flemish exports to India totalled 7.6 billion euros. Flanders accounts for 97% of Belgian exports to India. Diamonds remain the driving force with 80%. However, numerous other products also increasingly find their way to India, such as fruit (+330% in 2015), machines (+18%) and plastics (+16%).
  • India is an important investor in Flanders. A study ‘Indian companies in Belgium’, carried out in 2014 by the Europe India Chamber of Commerce, inventoried 42 Indian investments in Flanders. These Indian companies operate in diverse sectors such as ICT, pharmaceuticals and chemistry, finances, logistics, automotive and mechanical engineering and equipment. In 2015, 7 Indian companies invested in Flanders, situating the country in the top 10 of major foreign investors in Flanders.

What is on the mission’s programme?

  •  Seminars and network events will allow Flemish companies and organisations to get in touch with the most prominent economic actors in India. The focus is on the clean-tech, food, smart cities, infrastructure and high-tech sectors.
  • The attention of the project managers will be directed to the Flemish expertise and know-how.
  • The FIT offices have arranged for more than 150 b2b appointments between Flemish and local companies and organisations.
  • 5 contracts and MoUs will be signed by Flemish companies or organisations.
  • 7 company visits/projects have an obvious link with Flanders.
  • Flanders will be spotlighted as investment location during seminars and individual meetings with existing and potential investors in Flanders.
  • Political consultation with the local minister-presidents of the federated states of Maharashtra and Karnataka is on the agenda.

Quotations

By visiting India, we further tighten the bonds with a trade partner who is gaining importance and offers many opportunities in a variety of sectors. Flemish exports to India amount to no less than 7.6 billion euros. With this mission, we seek to consolidate our diamond exports to India and promote other export sectors such as clean tech, food, infrastructure and high tech. In India, our Flemish innovative and knowledge-driven economy is held in high regard. Also we hope to encourage Indian companies to increase investments in Flanders.

 Geert Bourgeois

Flemish companies, clusters and organisations have the expertise, the know-how and the state-of-the-art products and services to prosper in foreign markets, including the Indian market.  Flanders Investment & Trade will introduce them to the right people during this mission. During these last month’s our FIT offices in Mumbai and Bangalore and our collaborators of the Brussels headquarters have been intensively preparing this largest Flemish economic mission ever. I am looking forward to taking the Flemish participants on a successful mission, in cooperation with the Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois.

Claire Tillekaerts

22 April 2016