Friday, April 11, 2014

Brussels is the place to be to run a business with a European focus

The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) in association with Brussels Invest & Export and SAS Partners Corporate Advisors Private Limited jointly organized business seminar on “Brussels – Gateway of Investments to Europe” today (April 10, 2014) at FAPCCI, Red Hills, Hyderabad.

Sri Bart De Groof, Consul General, Consulate General of Belgium in India at Chennai was the chief guest at the occasion. Sri Srinivas Ayyadevara, President, FAPCCI, Ms. Kathlijn Fruithof, Trade & Investment Attaché, Brussels Invest & Export, Sri Alex T Koshy, Director, SAS Partners Corporate Advisors Pvt Ltd and Sri Shyam Sunder Pasari, Chairman, International Trade Committee, FAPCCI was the other speakers.

Sri Bart De Groof, Consul General, Consulate General of Belgium stated that the Brussels is an attractive investment destination for the world's entrepreneurs; Brussels is home to more than 1,300 foreign companies.

The Brussels economy is dynamic, diversified and highly export-oriented. The labour force is also highly-qualified, skilled and knowledgeable. In addition to the traditional activities, such as transport, construction, food and consumer goods, Brussels also exports high-quality services in innovative sectors. Brussels is a very multicultural city and is an ideal test market for foreign companies wishing to access the European marketplace. Brussels is the place to be to run a business with a European focus, all at a reasonable cost.

Belgium is one of India’s important trading partners in the EU. Trade in gems and jewellery constitutes around 75% of bilateral trade. India’s Information Technology sector is well represented in Belgium. Several Indian companies in the chemicals sector have also established offices/warehousing facilities in Belgium, particularly near the port city of Antwerp. Belgian business interests in India cover dredging, chemicals, engineering goods, banking and finance, electronics and software, fertilizers, and biotechnology.

Belgium is the second largest trading partner of India in the European Union. India is the 6th largest exporter to Belgium and 2nd largest importer of Belgian products. The major items of Indian exports to Belgium are gems & jewellery, chemicals & chemical products, base metals & articles, mineral products, textiles etc. The major items of Indian imports are gems & jewellery, chemicals & chemical products, machinery & mechanical appliances, base metals & articles, plastic products etc.

Belgium has emerged as the 24th largest investor in India and the 10th largest within the EU, but the total FDI in India from Belgium is still relatively small, being less than 0.3% of the total. The cumulative FDI inflows from Belgium into India amounted to US$ 491.87 million from April 2000 to April 2013. In the recent past, Indian investment in Belgium has exceeded investment by Belgian firms in India, mainly by way of acquisition of Belgian firms by Indian companies. Several Indian companies particularly in IT and software sectors have established base in Belgium to cater to the Belgian as well as European markets.

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