Policy

Modi to discuss terrorism, trade with Belgian King

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde during their visit to the Taj Mahal on Monday   -  STR

Resuming India-EU FTA talks will also be on the agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be discussing issues related to counter-terrorism and boosting two-way trade with King Philippe of Belgium during his visit here that began on Monday with a trip to the iconic Taj Mahal.

This is King Philippe’s maiden visit to India since his coronation in 2013. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are leading a 90-member delegation for the week-long trip.

After wrapping up their trip in Agra, King Philippe will be meeting Modi on Tuesday for delegation-level meeting.

Anti-terror focus

Both sides are expected to discuss measures aimed at enhanced bilateral and international cooperation to prevent and combat violent extremism and terrorism, including early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and strict compliance with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions designating terrorists and terrorist groups, sources told BusinessLine.

Both India and Belgium adhere to the principle of zero tolerance towards terrorism. During the visit of Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel in March last year post the Brussels bombing, both sides had resolved to work together to drive forward international efforts in forums like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

In the last couple of years, Belgium has come under the shadow of terrorism with a spate of terror incidents in the country. In August this year the Belgian army had shot dead a terror suspect, who attacked three soldiers with a knife.

Trade boost

Apart from this, both sides will also be discussing issues concerning boosting of bilateral trade and investment ties. Belgium is India’s second largest trade partner in goods in the EU and India is Belgium’s second largest export destination outside the European Union, sources said.

Bilateral trade reached $13.28 billion last fiscal with exports worth $5.65 billion from India and imports clocking $6.62 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Resuming talks for the long pending India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement is also going to be discussed. Chief trade negotiators from India and EU are expected to meet this month to kick-start the stalled negotiations, sources added.

Both countries are also planning to take their cooperation in the diamond sector to the next level even as they are engaged in the framework of the Kimberley Process for greater cooperation.

Published on November 06, 2017

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