Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois lead a Flemish economic mission to India from April 24 to April 28. It is the largest economic mission ever: no less than 84 participants have explored commercial opportunities in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. In total, 55 Flemish companies and sector federations have registered. Flanders Investment & Trade organized the mission.
India is Flanders’ 7th
trade partner. After the US, India is our 2nd most important non-European customer and our main market in Asia (even 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, with diamonds remaining 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 & chemistry, finance, logistics, automotive and mechanical engineering & equipment. In 2015, 7 Indian companies invested in Flanders, situating the country in the top 10 of major foreign investors in Flanders.
Through seminars and network events Flemish companies and organizations had the opportunity to get in touch with the most prominent economic actors in India. The focus was on clean-tech, food, smart cities, infrastructure and high-tech.
The attention of the project managers will be directed to the Flemish expertise and know-how and there were 7 company visits/projects with an obvious link with Flanders, and Brussels, the European and Flemish capital. Flanders was spotlighted as investment location during seminars and individual meetings with existing and potential investors in Flanders. A political consultation with the local minister-presidents of the federated states of Maharashtra and Karnataka was also on the agenda. “By visiting India, we further tighten the bonds with a trade partner that 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”, said Flemish prime minister Geert Bourgeois. “With this mission, we tried 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. We also hope to have encouraged Indian companies to increase investments in Flanders.”
Any investment in Flanders or Belgium should of course start with a registered office in Brussels and the other services offered by HDS.