India, Belgium to seal railway cooperation pact
New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) Belgium, a founder of the 27-nation European Union, is set to seal a pact with India Thursday that seeks to leverage its expertise in developing world class rail networks and stations in the country.
The pact will be signed after Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders meets Railways Minister Mukul Roy.
The highlight of the meeting will be the signing of a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the railway sector, the Belgium embassy said here Wednesday.
The agreement will enable Eurostation NV/Euro Immo Star NV, a subsidiary of the Belgian Railways Group, to cooperate with the India's Ministry of Railways for the development of world class railway stations in India.
Belgium has proven expertise in the railway sector as it was was the first country on the European continent to develop a railway network. The Belgian Railway network is at the the heart of the European passenger, freight and high-speed railway networks.
Reynders, also Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium and Minister of Foreign Trade and of European Affairs, will meet Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Thursday.
The state of the eurozone economy and prospects for intensification of bilateral trade will figure in the discussions.
Reynders will pitch for enhanced business ties with India when he speaks to the Indian business community Friday on the theme "There to stay... The future of the Euro and why it matters for India."
He will inaugurate the Indian headquarters of Belgian company Picanol, a world leading developer and manufacturer of weaving systems.
Belgium, the seat of the European Union, is the 10th biggest trading partner and the second biggest EU trading partner of India, with over $16 billion bilateral trade in 2011.
Cultural diplomacy also figures on the Belgian deputy prime minister's agenda. He will also meet Karan Singh, president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), and discuss the preparations of the cultural festival 'Europalia', which will be launched in Belgium in October 2013 with India as the guest country.
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