After UK, Germany, Belgium says willing to do business with Modi

After UK and Germany, another European nation Belgium today said it was ready to engage with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"We are very willing to interact with him (Modi) at the first given opportunity and would like to take forward our business relations. I would also say that everybody is welcome to Europe," Belgium Consul general to India, Karl Van den Bossche, who is based in Mumbai told reporters here on a question about Modi.

The envoy was in Ahmedabad to open a visa application centre here.

"We are part of the European Union (EU) and the EU has recently adopted a positive and constructive attitude towards CM Narendra Modi. Belgium will also try to reach out to Gujarat, which is important to us as we have Gujaratis residing in Belgium. It is also an important place for trade. We will be gradually scaling up our presence here. However, we will have a balanced view and not forget what happened in the past," Bossche said, adding that a meeting with Modi was not part of his schedule during this visit.

Belgium already has significant trade ties with Gujarat because of two-way diamond trade. "We have around 2,500 Indians living in Belgium of which a significant number are of Gujarati descent. The sizeable diamond industry in Surat is also behind this move. We are also re-positioning Belgium as a 'Gateway to Europe'," the envoy said, justifying the decision to open a visa application centre in the state.

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