International Affairs



I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and accepting the Letter of Credence from His Majesty Albert II, King of Belgium, accrediting you as the new Ambassador of Belgium to India.

We value our relations with Belgium, which like India is a nation in which several ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups have blended. It is well known that Belgian nationhood is based on the principles of federalism and the guarantee of respect for all persons within its mosaic of diverse cultures. As you have observed, our two nations share similar values of commitment to pluralism, democracy, consensus-building, federalism, the rule of law, freedom of expression, and openness to the outside world. It will be of interest to you to observe during your stay in India, as to how the concept of unity in diversity sustains Indian life.

I am confident that given the similarities in our basic principles, India and Belgium will cooperate to good effect at all levels. The intensive and high level interaction between our two countries in recent years is demonstrative of the value that we both attach to this relationship. We look forward to the further strengthening of these close and cordial ties between our two nations.

Belgium is an important economic partner for India. There is, however, considerable potential for further strengthening this aspect of our relationship. The diamond has been the 'crown-jewel' of our trade. We share your assessment on the need to diversify our commercial relations. The Indian economy has been growing consistently over the years. The growth in the current year is expected to be over 6%. The new Government has recently unveiled an exciting and ambitious agenda for the expansion of India's industrial activities. A number of initiatives are being undertaken in the sectors of energy, transportation, telecommunications and information technology. We recognise that Foreign Direct Investment will play an important role in our efforts to promote rapid economic development. Belgian companies are known the world over for their modern technology and management practices. We would look forward to their greater participation in the Indian economy which would be mutually beneficial.

India has traditionally been open to person-to-person interaction with the peoples of all nations. It is such linkages which form the basis of stable and long-lasting relationships between different countries. We are, therefore, happy to note the enhancement in these contacts between our two peoples. We would be glad to provide further encouragement in this direction.

Excellency, we are observing with great interest ongoing developments in Europe towards greater interaction in the economic and political spheres. The European Union is a major economic partner of ours. We have, in recent years, attempted to provide a political dimension to this relationship as well. We, too, see the promotion of political and economic ties between India and the European Union as complementary to our efforts to the further strengthening of relations between India and Belgium.

I wish you, Excellency, a successful and happy tenure in India. I assure you of the fullest cooperation of my government in the performance of your duties.

Thank you

Jai Hind