Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textile, Shri Anand Sharma, led a high level business delegation headed by Naina Lal Kidwai to Antwerp, Belgium on 24-25 June 2012 to address the Global India Business Meeting 2012 organized by Horasis and the Government of Flanders, Belgium. The Minister President of Flanders region, Kris Peeters was also present on the occasion along with the Belgian Defence minister.
Sharma, while delivering his keynote address at the Business meeting, assured investors of the welcoming investment climate in India and shared the steps taken by the Government for liberalizing the foreign investment regime. In particular, he impressed upon the foreign investment in retail sector, where the policy for 100% FDI in single brand retail has already been rolled out and several global majors have already firmed up investment plans.
Minister Sharma visited the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and interacted with the leaders of the diamond industry. Antwerp is the hub of global diamond trade and the trade in diamonds constitutes nearly 60% of the India’s $17 billion trade with Belgium. Minister Sharma urged the Antwerp Bourse to establish an institutional linkage with Bharat Diamond Bourse for building necessary capacities and skill development. He assured the representatives of the diamond industry that the issues relating to procedural tax simplification would be taken up with the Ministry of Finance. He shared the recent policy measures for allowing consignment import of rough diamonds.
On 26JUN12 Minister Sharma held substantive discussions with the EU trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht on the progress of India-EU BTIA negotiations. He also met the Belgian Crown Prince.