Speaking at a meeting with the members of the executive committee of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce&Industry here yesterday, Mr Mercks said the dynamic and export-oriented economy of Gujarat, diamond city of Surat and the fast developing petro-chemical centre of Jamnagar provide ample scope for increasing bilateral trade.
He said the Belgian Prime Minister would be visiting India in November during which an important seminar will be held in Mumbai to increase bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
He invited the Chamber to participate in the seminar and explore the opportunities to increase trade between Belgium and Gujarat with the members of the trade delegation accompanying the Prime Minister.
He promised to pass on the request to the Belgian Prime Minster to pay a brief visit to Ahmedabad.
Mr Merckx was all praise for Gujarat's unique handicrafts, culture, nature and wild life and said there was good scope to attract tourists from Belgium.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chamber's president Pankajbhai Patel said in the new strategy of international trade, increased emphasis has been laid on state level efforts towards increasing, diversifying and augmenting exports.
Gujarat, with its initiative in port privatisation, provides exciting opportunities for investment in its 41 minor and intermediate ports, he added.
Mr Patel said over the years, Gujarat has become chemical zone of the country.
''We are fast moving towards becoming petro chemicals and hydrocarbon hub of India. At present, Gujarat contributes about 40 per cent in the export of chemicals and pharma products and 21 per cent in the total export of India. This background provides ample scope for further enhancing and deepening bilateral trade between Gujarat and Belgium,'' Mr Patel said.
The Chamber's senior vice president Paru Jaykrishna hoped that following the visit of the Consul General to the Chamber export of diamonds and other products from Gujarat will go up and opportunities will increase for more meetings at different level.
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