The Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Anand Sharma, on Monday asked the Antwerp Diamond Bourse to consider entering into an agreement with Mumbai-based Bharat Diamond Bourse to help train workers in the Indian diamond sector.

Antwerp is major global hub in rough and polished diamond trading.

Mr Sharma, who visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, also assured the representatives from the Indian diamond industry that his Ministry would soon take up with the Finance Ministry the issues relating to procedural tax simplification, so that India can also become a diamond processing and trading hub such as Belgium.

Trade in diamonds accounts for around 60 per cent of India’s $17 billion trade with Belgium. However, both the countries said it was important to have a larger basket of items for trade.

Later, addressing address the Global India Business Meeting - 2012 organised by Horasis and the Government of Flanders, Belgium, Mr Sharma said India’s economic engagement with European Union should include cooperation in 10 broad areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, research, innovation, skill development, nuclear sciences, space science, information technology, agro processing, and pharmaceuticals.

He said the trade and investment between Indian and the EU will increase significantly after the conclusion of the India- EU Free Trade Agreement. EU is currently India’s largest trading partner with a $110 billion worth bilateral trade.

(This article was published on June 26, 2012)
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