Minister Reynders in India and Bhutan

date: 05 August 2012

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has arrived in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. During a two-day visit, he will meet with the King and the highest officials of the country. He will also appoint the first Belgian honorary consul following the commencement of diplomatic relationships between our countries.
Prior to his arrival in Bhutan, Didier Reynders stopped in India for a working visit. There, he met with the Minister in charge of Commerce and Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma, the Railway Minister, Mukul Roy, and former Minister Karan Singh, Indian General Commissioner for the 2013 edition of Europalia.

The meeting with Karan Singh, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, presented the opportunity to discuss the preparations for Europalia and to reach agreement regarding the appointment without delay of the Indian curator for the organisation of the main exhibition at Bozar.

Together with Minister Sharma, Didier Reynders discussed the economic bilateral relations and the specific sectors on which special joint actions would be focused: port and railway infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, hospital design and management, and sustainable urban development encompassing water and waste management, energy and mobility. Minister Reynders is planning to make a new visit to India in the spring of next year, during which these aspects will be the central focus.

As regards the transport sector, Didier Reynders signed a memorandum of understanding in New Delhi on 2 August, as a result of which the companies Eurostation and Euro Immo Star (National Railway Company of Belgium - NMBS/SNCB) will be able to develop master plans for various stations in India in cooperation with the Indian railway authorities.

On 3 August, the Minister addressed a broad audience regarding the future of the euro. The address, which took place in the Hyatt hotel in Delhi, was organised by the professional associations FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), European Business Group and BLBA (Belgian-Luxembourg Business Association).

Didier Reynders then met with Managing Director Luc Tack in order to open the new Indian office of the company Picanol, headquartered in Ypres/Ieper. Picanol is a world leader in the manufacture of looms.

Upon his return to Delhi on 8 August, Minister Reynders will meet with his Indian counterpart S.M Krishna, Minister of External Affairs.