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Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
Belgium In Focus
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Belgium In Focus

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  • 1. Acknowledgements and Disclaimer Belgium in Focus is a special publication of the Embassy of Belgium in India. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors -whom we hereby wish to thank for their participation- and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Embassy of Belgium or the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The magazine was produced with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, and is not for sale. It should be used for private circulation only.
  • 2. Courtesy of Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA Photo: Made in Belgium Contents Ambassador’s Desk 4 Belgium- the gateway to Europe 5 Belgium and India: A history of close ties 7 Interview with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Karel De Gucht 11 Business Interview with Chairman (BICC&I), Mr. Philippe Vlerick and President (FEB), Mr. Thomas Leysen 14 Insight into Belgium as leading investment destination 16 Belgium and India to work together on port development projects 18 Interview with CEO, Rosy Blue, Mr. Dilip Mehta 20 Belgium and India, two complementary and growing biopharma clusters 22 Janssen Pharmaceutica to help facelift Indian heritage 24 Belgium- A quality education destination for Indian students 27 Leuven- A hub for Indian students in Belgium 28 Jazz legends of Belgium 29 Belgium’s popular museum of musical instruments 30 A peek into largest museum of photography in Europe 31 Come and visit Belgium 32 Belgian beer, a rich legacy 34 Useful business contact information 35 Cover Pic: Atomium, a monument built for Expo ‘58, the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Designed by André Waterkeyn, it is 102-metres (335 ft) tall, with nine steel spheres connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Photo courtesy - fatboyke
  • 3. Ambassador’s Desk Photo: Embassy of Belgium H.E. Mr. Jean M. Deboutte Ambassador of Belgium to India Dear Reader, It’s a great pleasure to launch this new magazine on Belgium and on the steadily enlarging and intensifying relations between Belgium and India. We witness daily contacts and interests of Indian students and tourists, business people and artists, scientists and decision makers. Many of them are pleasantly surprised discovering a small and highly diversified country in the heart of Europe. This magazine will show them some aspects of Belgium they are familiar with but also some lesser known facets. The open mindedness of the Indian people fuels their eagerness to know more about the outside world. They will find in this magazine a wide range of topics offering them a first taste of what Belgium is like. I am convinced that this will wet their appetite for more. Especially in today’s difficult economic and social environment, it is necessary not to react in an inward looking way but to broaden the horizons and to work together in finding answers to our common challenges. This magazine intends to offer some practical ideas on new ways of co-operation. The importance, weight and relevance of India, in all aspects of life and development of the global society are recognised by all. Obviously, India is on a path to even increase its present stature. It is a privilege for Belgium to work closely together with this new Power. While not aiming at offering a complete picture, this magazine will show some of the most promising fields of co-operation. I sincerely hope this will encourage you, dear reader, to get into contact with the representatives of Belgium in India. We are here to co-operate with you. Thank you very much for your interest and for your valuable time. Belgium in Focus
  • 4. Belgium | Belgium, the Gateway to Europe Belgium is a small, highly developed and densely populated country at the cross-roads of Europe them better. They put a high value on privacy and have a clear aversion towards moralizing, towards telling other people how they should or should not behave, and they take “live and let live” as the basis for their philosophy. Courtesy of Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA Most Productive Workers Belgian workers are the most productive in the world. This productivity is due to a generally high Royal Palace of Belgium level of education resulting in highly skilled labour, Belgium is one of the founding and trade, which is facilitated extended automatisation, shift work members of the European by Belgium’s central position in that minimizes idle time, and low Community, and its capital, Western Europe, and the presence absenteeism. Although employees Brussels, also plays host to of many land and waterways. have relatively much vacation and the majority of European Nowadays, Belgium may be one free time, and can easily take time off institutions, NATO and many of the smallest countries in Europe, for illness without risking to lose their other international organizations but its economic impact greatly jobs, few working days are actually and lobbies of all kinds. exceeds its size. For instance lost. This is also due to the excellent Belgium has, since the Middle the country is one of the leading system of low cost medicine and the Ages, always been one of the countries in exports per capita in tradition of solving industrial conflicts richest and most developed the world. by negotiations. regions in the world. Just look at the historic churches, town halls, Quality of Life Thanks to the open market, the good and pieces of art, in cities such What all Belgians have in common distribution channels and the strong as Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Liege is a love for the “good life”, which consumer requirements, one can find and Antwerp to get an idea of the they find in their excellent food the most diverse and high quality wealth during the mediaeval and and drink, comfortable housing, goods in the shops at relatively Renaissance periods. During the reliable medical and social low prices. The high production half century before World War I, services, and highly developed and consumption standards have Belgium was the fourth economic communications infrastructure. led to the publicity slogan ‘’This is power in the world. If you take into Belgians tend to be happy, warm Belgian” being used as a quality account that the other industrial and friendly once you get to know label, especially in the domains powers had a 5 to 10 times larger population, the achievement The country is one of the leading countries in is impressive. This wealth was due to industrial production exports per capita in the world Belgium in Focus
  • 5. | Belgium Heart of Europe This tradition of openness continues today. Belgium is still a hub for international contacts. More than 1,000 public and private international organisations have set up headquarters or have a permanent secretariat in Belgium. Belgium in an international context Belgium, whose prosperity is largely dependent on external trade, has always played an active part in various forms of international cooperation. Since the creation of the Belgo-Luxembourg Photo: Karen Eliot Economic Union (BLEU) in 1921, Belgium has been involved in every initiative to set up international cooperation projects. As a Benelux member, Belgium was one of the precursors of European unification. The Berlaymont is a symbol of the European The three Benelux countries had decided back in presence in Brussels 1944 that trade between their countries should be free from import duties and that a common Geographically, Belgium is centrally located in Europe. customs tariff should be applied to trade with third Belgium has traditionally been an especially open countries. This customs union, which came into force country and was one of the original driving forces on 1 January 1948, promoted trade between the three behind European unification. As the headquarters Benelux countries. of the European Commission, the Council and many institutions linked to the EU, Brussels is most certainly In 1951, the Benelux countries together with France, entitled to call itself the capital of Europe. the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). In 1957, Belgium is situated at the heart of Europe. This is a the ‘Six’ set up the European Economic Community basic observation but the importance of its central (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community geographical location between the most important (Euratom). In 1965, these three organisations joined countries in Western Europe needs to be highlighted. together to form the European Communities. Following At the risk of seeming paradoxical, Belgium was in a a number of enlargements, Belgium is no longer one way already playing a `European’ role even before it of six member states but rather one of 27 members became “Belgian”. Just look at the past roles of Bruges of the European Union. and Antwerp in international trade, Leuven’s role as a university town and the part Liège played during the industrial revolution. Source : Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgium of food, drink and housing. More The facilities available in and have helped make the Belgian unexpectedly, Belgians, such as the around Brussels, have already market one of the toughest and “Antwerp Six” group, have made convinced a large number of most competitive in the world. inroads in top ten fashion design, a multinational companies to base To prosper in this demanding domain which was almost exclusively their European headquarters here, environment requires a high level under the control of French, Italian alongside the many European of resourcefulness, creativity and and Japanese designers. institutions. Hotels, international craftsmanship for which Belgian and national banks, efficient companies have become known Open to the World telecommunication services, the world over. A crossroads of several cultures, conference facilities, trade fairs, Belgium is a land of hospitality, Belgium has the advantage of a ... all are in plentiful supply and fully open to the world. We central location within Europe and tuned to the demanding and warmly welcome you. a extraordinarily well-developed rapidly evolving needs of local infrastructure. The communications and international business. network is offering rapid and efficient Belgium’s open trading policies Source: Made in Belgium transports by air, sea, road and rail. and efficient communications Belgium in Focus
  • 6. Belgium – India | Belgium and India: A History of Close Ties A detailed look at more than 60 years of diplomatic ties between Belgium and India Diplomatic relations between The Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of India were established more than 60 years ago and have remained friendly ever since. But the relations between our two nations go an even longer way back: the history of our relationship starts in Bengal, Photo: Press Information Bureau, India in 1723, with the mooring of the first ship of the Ostend Company at Banquibazar. The Belgians received the concession of Banquibazar as well as a settlement at Cassimbazar from the Nawab of Murshidabad and many other ships of the Company followed from 1725 to 1730. The President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil and the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh welcoming Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen A History in Cultural Paola at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on November 04, 2008 Exchanges A few decades later, the arrival of settlers would also bring back This cultural relationship might be Antwerp-native artist Balthazar huge and sumptuous Belgian anchored in a past common history Solvyns in Calcutta marked the cut-glass or crystal chandeliers but it also focuses on current and first of a series of cultural high and mirrors. These pieces can future collaborations like such points in the history of Indo- still be admired alongside works initiatives as the BOZAR/India Belgian relations. One can find of the great Flemish masters in Festival, held in Brussels in 2006, Solvyn’s paintings in high places, such places as the palaces of one of the largest Indian cultural such as the Indian Prime Minister’s Gwalior and Mysore for instance, events ever organised abroad, and Residence. the Marble Palace in Calcutta or inaugurated by the honourable museums across the country. Lace Sonia Gandhi in person. At the end of the 1770s, Belgium also became known in India for from Bruges or Brussels came to Ties between Belgium and its quality glass, iron and steel India through Sister Marie Louise India in the field of Education products. The so-called Belgian de Meester, who taught the art of Aside from culture, India and trunk was very popular: it bore lace and embroidery to the orphans Belgium have also enjoyed the trademark ‘Belgium’, which of Mulagumoodu in Tamil Nadu. historically close ties in the field became a synonym of quality. Today, the orphanages continue of education. The well-known St From their travels in Europe, to produce goods for sale back in Xavier’s College has been run by Maharajahs, merchants and Belgium! Belgian Jesuits for some 140 years Belgium in Focus
  • 7. | Belgium – India selected Brussels as its main hub for Europe and will connect most Indian cities directly to Brussels in the coming years. Belgium is, in its turn, the 13th largest investor in India worldwide (the 8th from the EU): our country’s cumulative investments (FDI) in Photo: Press Information Bureau, India India between 1991 and 2007 represent close to €160 million. Belgium’s Commitment to the Belgo-Indian Relationship In a foreign policy note published in 2006, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared it was eager to commit itself even King Albert II and Queen Paola paying their respects to Mahatma Gandhi more to its relationship with India, and his legacy at Raj Ghat on November 4, 2008 recognizing the growing role the country is playing on both the now. ‘St Xavier’s’ is recognised all With more than €8.6 billion in political and economic level in over India for its high standards of trade in 2007, Belgium, together Asia and in the world. The new learning and the many VIPs and with the UK and Germany, is one policy was put to application the VVIPs among its alumni. of India’s most important trading same year during Prime Minister partners in the EU (who is, in turn, Verhofstadt and Minister of Foreign Today, Belgium and India nourish India’s first trading partner with Affairs De Gucht’s visit to India in these close ties in the field of more than €55 billion in trade in November. During this visit a education through Agreements 2007). Bilateral Agreement on Science and related to scholarship programs Technology as well as a ground- as well as exchange programs Belgium is also a prime destination breaking Agreement on Social between our universities. Every for Indian investors. Companies Security were signed. They were year Belgium is happy to welcome like Suzlon, Crompton Greaves, added to the series of Agreements constantly increasing numbers of the Thapar group, Raymond, already existing between both Indian students: in 2007-08 there Ranbaxy, Matrix Labs, and others countries on such issues as the were more than 420 Indian students have invested more than 1 billion avoidance of double taxation and registered in our top universities, € in Belgium in 2006. In addition, the protection and promotion of making Belgium one of continental Indian carrier Jet Airways has investments. Europe’s most attractive countries for Indian students. A Constantly Growing Trade and Economic Relationship Belgium and Indian companies have also enjoyed a long history together out of which fruitful collaborations have sprung in various fields going from diamond Photo: Press Information Bureau, India trading cutting to infrastructure, energy, ports, machinery, banking finance, chemicals fertilizers, nanotechnology, aerospace and of course chocolate! Countless joint-venture proposals between Belgian and Indian companies have been approved (more than 200 between 1991 and 2004) and bilateral flows between King Albert II in a meeting with Mrs. Sonia the two countries stand very high. Gandhi in New Delhi in November 2008 Belgium in Focus
  • 8. Belgium – India | The November 2008 State Visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen of the Belgians to India H.M. King Albert II and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht’s Photo: Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Chennai official State Visit to India in November 2008 also showed how dedicated Belgium is to fostering its relationship with India. The carefully planned visit took our King across the subcontinent to visit officials, academics and businessmen in New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad but also to Chennai, a city that enjoys close ties with Belgium. The State Visit addressed most of the sectors covered by the Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen Paola at the residence of rich bilateral ties between both Honorary Consul of Belgium in Chennai, Dr. A.C. Muthiah countries. Official Contacts The Official visit started on Indian Community The Business Lunch in Delhi was organised by CII and the Belgian Federation of Enterprises November 4th when the Belgian Sovereigns, accompanied by in Belgium and witnessed the signing of five agreements between Belgian Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs There are about 7,000 persons and Indian companies in various and Trade H.E. Mr. Karel De of Indian origin in Belgium. sectors: IBA and VECC (cyclotron), Gucht and his wife, were welcomed Indian Communities are mainly Janssen Pharmaceutica and the at Rashtrapati Bhawan by H.E. in Antwerp and Brussels. ASI (treatment and restoration of President Pratibha Patil and H.E. heritage monuments), Tractebel There are about 250 families Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Engineering and GAIL India Limited engaged in diamond trade in (supply of pipeline infrastructures), The King and Queen of the Antwerp. Many of the other a Belgian consortium and Indian Belgians as well as the Minister Indians living in Belgium Gas Limited (for the construction then went on to Raj Ghat to pay are professionals employed of Manappad Port) and an MoU their respects. Later that day, His with either multinational between the Free University of Majesty King Albert II, alongside companies or other professional Brussels and IIM Ahmedabad. Minister De Gucht, met with Shri Pranab Mukherjee before leaving organisations. There are seven In Mumbai, H.M. the King hosted to Hyderabad House for a closed Indian associations. The leading a restricted Power Lunch at the doors meeting with Prime Minister ones are Bhartiya Samaj and the Taj Mahal Palace, in presence of Manmohan Singh. In the afternoon, among others H.E. the Minister Antwerp Indian Association. the Sovereigns received a call by of Foreign Affairs, V.K. Kamath Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. (Managing Director CEO of ICICI An Impressive Agenda of Bank), Naresh Goyal (Chairman Jet The day was concluded by a Business Deliverables Airways), M.V. Nair (Chairman formal State Dinner hosted by H.E. The State Visit also had an impressive and Managing Director Union President Pratibha Devisingh Patil business agenda, proportionate to Bank of India), André Bergen at Rashtrapati Bhawan. the size of the Belgian business (CEO KBC Group), Dr. Ajit Shetty In all the cities visited by the Royal delegation that was accompanying (Chairman Board of Directors delegation, official contacts were Their Majesties: no less than 40 Janssen Pharmaceutica) and Dilip made with the state authorities as of the most important CEO’s of Mehta (CEO Rosy Blue). The Taj well and the Sovereigns had the the country had been invited to was also the scene of the signature pleasure of enjoying the hospitality joint the Royal Visit! The business of various Agreements between of the Governors of Maharashtra agenda included some high-level Belgian and Indian companies in and Tamil Nadu as well as the Chief business lunches in Delhi, Mumbai the fields of Banking (Agreement Minister of Andhra Pradesh. and Chennai. between KBC Asset Management Belgium in Focus
  • 9. | Belgium – India and workers at a national level. Both the Sovereigns attended the signing ceremony of a series of Declarations of Intent between the Brothers of Charity and Help Handicapped International as well as the Tata institute of Social Sciences on the topic of mental health. In Chennai, Queen Paola visited the Little Flower Convent for Deaf Dumb, a school recognised for its outstanding work by the Government in Tamil Nadu since 1931. She also made the Photo: Press Information Bureau, India trip to the Holy Family Hansenorium in Fathimanagar (Tiruchirapalli) that provides quality leprosy services to needy patients thanks to financial support from the Damian Foundation. In India, the leprosy case load came down from 160 for every 10000 population in 1986 to less than 1 case for every 10000 population in 1997. While the field programme was H.M. King Albert II planting a tree at the Infosys Campus in taken over by the Government, the Hyderabad on November 8, 2008 institution was recognized as a tertiary referral centre for managing leprosy and Union Bank of India for an asset the Karnataka Academy of Social patients with complications. management joint venture company) and Sciences and Humanities), the Logistics (Contract between the Belgian University of Madras and the (Re)discovering India industrial group Cockerill Maintenance Flemish interuniversity Council, and Ingenierie and Tata Steel for the the Catholic University of Leuven More than a simple political or delivery of a Cold Rolling Mill). and the Society for Electronics business visit, the State Visit of the and Security, and the Indian and Belgian Sovereigns to India was In Chennai, South India Chamber of Belgian Nuclear Societies. also all about discovering India in Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and its immensely diversified cultural the Belgian Federation of Enterprises Encouraging of Common work and philosophical presence and organised a joint Seminar on Port on Social Issues heritage. The King and Queen took it development with the participation upon them to visit sites representing of the Zeebrugge and Antwerp Port During the Royal Visit, Her Majesty the most prominent faiths of the Authorities. the Queen visited numerous Indian subcontinent: from the Birla Mandir organisations that work in the and the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Confirming the Important social field in the various cities that Delhi to the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Academic ties between Belgium were on the agenda. Mylapore, without forgetting the Jain and India Temple on Ridge Road in Mumbai In Delhi, she visited Cansupport, and the Santhome Basilica in Chennai. Their Majesties King Albert II and Queen an Indian organisation that It was surely a most enlightening Paola were also accompanied by a provides information, hope and experience. large academic delegation comprised expert palliative care at no cost of the Rectors (equivalent of the Indian to the homes of cancer patients During this visit Their Majesties and Vice-Chancellors) of the major Belgian and their families living in Delhi the members of the delegation have universities. In this field as well, the State and the NCR, and the Women (re)discovered that, in spite of many Visit was the ideal opportunity to put on and Children Welfare Centre that paradoxes, India is most certainly paper the basis for future collaborations works with victims of exploitation defining itself as an emerging political between, amongst others, the Free and violence. and economic giant. Those who were University of Brussels and Jawaharlal privileged enough to accompany the Nehru University, the Catholic University In Mumbai Her Majesty visited State Visit of our Sovereigns were on of Louvain and the Chennai Mathematical the National Domestic Workers the front row to witness how deep Institute as well as IIT Bombay, the Movement that is active in 23 Belgian’s bilateral ties with India run Ghent University and universities from Indian States and works towards and how this crucial relationship is Karnataka (in view of the building of achieving dignity for domestic work cherished by both sides. Belgium in Focus 10
  • 10. Minister De Gucht | “Royal Visit Signalled a Qualitative Leap in Indo-Belgian Partnership” The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr. Karel De Gucht shares his views on recent bilateral developments between Belgium and India in an interview with Harun Riaz and Shilpy Arora memoranda, involving contracts had, by the networking that took Mr. Minister, the November in the energy industry, cooperation place between our academics 2008 State visit to India by in developing ports, technological and by the political discussions King Albert II and Queen cooperation, a joint venture in we’ve had. Paola took place after a long the banking sector, educational gap of 38 years. What tangible For me as minister of Foreign projects... Too much to mention. gains have been achieved Affairs, exchanging views with by Belgium from the current But a State Visit is about more Indian officials on cooperation visit? than just the immediate, tangible in the Congo, for instance, or on gains. In general, relations trade negotiations in the WTO There’s quite a lot of them. We between India and Belgium have are very important. And in that have signed eight business deals been much strengthened by the respect also, this was a very and no less than 17 academic contacts our business people have satisfying visit. “The energy, the potential and the culture of India are enough to charm anybody” Can you share the thoughts of Their Majesties about India, its people and were they received well? The energy, the potential and the culture of India are enough to charm anybody. I have visited the country before, both as a minister and as a tourist, and every time I’m struck by the friendliness and the vibrancy of it. For us, this was the biggest and the longest State Visit ever, with Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev over 150 people travelling in different delegations - academics, officials, businessmen etc – and the way everything was organised, the warmth and the efficiency of our reception, was splendid. Just The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Mr. Karel De Gucht perfect. 11 Belgium in Focus
  • 11. | Minister De Gucht Despite an old, close and vibrant Belgium-India relationship, no President of India has ever visited Belgium. Why? We very much look forward to welcoming the President of India for a visit to our country. And the President of India can be assured of our best hospitality, as a tribute to the warmth of our smooth relations and as a signal of our eagerness to further develop our cooperation. In India, Brussels is known as European capital, rather than Belgian capital. How much this factor overshadows Belgian-India business growth and tourism potential? Photo: Photo Division Archive Belgians are enthusiastic Europeans and there is no way we would be jealous of Europe or irritated because a portion of the visitors visit Brussels first as the capital of Europe. Their Majesties King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola being received by President of India, Mr. V. V. Giri at Rashtrapati On the contrary, we are proud Bhavan in New Delhi on January 28, 1970 to share Brussels with the European Prince Philippe has visited “It will not take another 38 years for the next India thrice in the last Belgian State Visit to come to India!” decade. How different is the visit by King Albert II in comparison? cultural, social, economic, Union and there is no bad reason These visits have a very different academic, etc… to visit the city. Belgium offers scope. When HRH Prince the best location as a gateway to Philippe visits India, he leads The purpose here was not to focus Europe, with its central position an economic mission of Belgian specifically on a limited number and the presence of European and businessmen who want to explore of sectors, but to maximize the other international institutions. business opportunities in India, general benefits of this State visit The Indian company Jet Airways, and he helps them in doing so by for both the countries. This State for instance, understood this well facilitating high level contacts. visit signalled also a qualitative and has aptly chosen Brussels as a leap towards a global partnership successful hub for its international The visit of HM King Albert II between Belgium and India. was a State visit. It was an all operations linking Europe and So many contacts have been North America with India. encompassing event, whereby initialled in several fields and we all the aspects of the relations expect a permanently increased No, being at the heart of Europe is between India and Belgium have cooperation to result from the a diplomatic and economic bonus been tackled: diplomatic, political, visit. for us, no doubt about it. Belgium in Focus 12
  • 12. Minister De Gucht | and an opportunity. It could be “This was the biggest and the longest State a challenge if we are unable to Visit ever, with over 150 people travelling in adapt ourselves or if we don’t listen to market signals, be it at different delegations” the end of the sales line or at the production level. But it could also be an opportunity for us to seize. Our experience dates back centuries and the position of Antwerp in this sector carries a brand value which we should and will further develop. Why should we not look for Photo: Press Information Bureau, India joint undertakings in this field with Indian traders whereby the win-win solutions would benefit faster and even more to both partners? You came on a Queen Paola and Foreign Minister Mr. De Gucht and his wife visiting the historic Taj Mahal at Agra city in November 2008 second visit to India. You also have a friendly relation with Minister Kamal Nath. Is Despite Belgium’s attractive the Indians have found good there a better understanding of tax benefits to the information opportunities. And we notice India in Brussels, the capital technology sector, major Indian also that those, sometimes of Europe? investment goes into diamond considerable, Indian investments sector. Moreover, some major have been beneficial for the I should say that today, India Indian multinationals have companies involved (Suzlon is much more on Europe’s mind established their European Energy, Hanssen Transmissions, than it was just a few years ago. headquarters in Amsterdam. Crompton Graves, All Cargo The rise in economic power, its Why Netherlands has an Movers, Raymond, Ranbaxy, growing role in regional and world upper hand when it comes to ArcelorMittal, Jet Airways etc.), affairs, the proactive positions attracting Indian business? securing good employment and taken in some of the pressing opening up new markets. world challenges such as climate It is true that, for decades, the change or the trade negotiations, major Indian investments in the very serious approach to the Belgium were mostly directed As Indians are now holding issue of terrorism…, these are all towards the diamond sector. key position in the global factors which help us to keep in There’s nothing wrong with that. diamond business, how do closer touch with India, and to We are proud of the trust and Belgian people look at this factor? Does it affect Belgian- seek synergies. we are happy to know that the Indian investors have benefitted India ties in any way? This visit was symbolic for these well from their ventures. closer relations, and it was Business is a very dynamic activity, in constant evolution very helpful in developing them But there’s more to our and the diamond business is no further. relationship. Today we see a strong diversification of the Indian exception to this rule. As Belgians, Rest assured, it will not take investments in all sectors… we see the growing presence of another 38 years for the next heavy industries, manufacturing, Indians in the global diamond Belgian State visit to come to logistics, services. You name it, business both as a challenge India! 13 Belgium in Focus
  • 13. | Business “More than 60 Belgian Companies Already Doing Business with India” In conversation with Harun Riaz, Mr. Philippe Vlerick, Chairman of the BICCI - the Belgo-Indian Chamber of Commerce Industry and Mr. Thomas Leysen, President of the FEB – the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium - reveal why Belgian expertise is recognised worldwide Photos: FEB/VBO Mr. Philippe Vlerick Mr. Thomas Leysen hub, Avantha Group or Suzlon Industry and the FEB have Mr. Vlerick, Mr. Leysen, what been in projecting Belgium which are active in the energy are your thoughts from the 10- as an investment, trade and sector in Belgium, TCS which day visit to India in November economic partner for the is already operating with more 2008, a State visit by King Indian businesses? than 300 employees in Brussels, Albert II? etc. This is a good basis and we We have organized several We are extremely satisfied! The have underlined these existing business forums and networking Business delegation- 40 Belgian trade and investments relations. session in the four cities we have companies active in the key But we must have the ambition visited - New Delhi, Mumbai, sectors of the Belgian economy – to do better! And we believe that Hyderabad, Chennai - in order has been extremely well received this State Visit has contributed to contribute to further strengthen in India, a very dynamic emerging to reach this strategic objective; the existing trade and investment country. More than 60 Belgian for example, about ten contracts relations between our two very companies, active in the industry between Belgian and Indian dynamic countries. and the services, are already companies or partners have been active in India. And several main signed during the Visit. We have promoted some key Indian companies are already Belgian companies active in active in Belgium, like for example the following sectors: the eco- How successful the Belgo- Jet Airways, which has chosen the technologies, the diamonds, Indian Chamber of Commerce Brussels Airport for its European the bio-pharmaceuticals and Belgium in Focus 1
  • 14. Business | the port activities. Many top members of the FEB (branch characteristics we have in common Belgian companies, active in these organisations) very often organize should help the Belgian and the sectors, are already active in India trade missions to India. In this Indian companies in their business for years and we are strongly regard we already look forward relations. convinced that these partnerships to participating in the broad can be improved. For example, economic mission to India which What’s your current membership several Belgian companies are should be organized in 2010 and strength and what is the level worldwide leaders in the niches which would be headed by the of awareness among members of the eco-technologies (energy Crown Prince. about Belgian economy as well efficiency, renewable energies, as Indian economy? waste management, air and water The BICCI has signed cleaning, etc.) and they could The membership of BICCI became a Memorandum of offer a clear added-value to help very representative during the last Understanding with Southern India to tackle the challenges years and is bringing the BICCI India Chamber of Commerce linked to the climate change or the to one of the most active chambers and Industry (SICCI). Can increase of the energy demand. in Belgium. you elaborate on the new Furthermore, the contracts which agreement? A lot of industries and businesses have been signed during the Visit – in the field of industry, are paying membership and this is This MoU, which has been signed infrastructures, financial services a clear commitment. The presence in Chennai by the FEB on behalf or port activities – illustrate this on the events is another proof. of the BICCI, aims to create high potential. a framework for exchange of But we have also promoted information, hosting of business The amount of Belgian Belgium as THE gateway to delegations, etc. It underlines the investment in India is Europe for Indian investors. mutual ambition to further develop significantly low, compared Belgium is located at the heart of the existing relationships. to EU member countries like Europe and the main institutions Germany, France, Netherlands of the European Union are and Norway. What needs to be How successful or difficult the done to significantly enhance located in Brussels, the second Belgian-India matchmaking largest diplomatic centre in the Belgian presence in India and programme has been to set up vice a versa? world after Washington. The new businesses? Are cultural Belgian economy is a very open differences between Europe As already mentioned, more than economy, benefiting from state of and India a hindrance in 60 Belgian companies are already the art infrastructure and a high business promotion? active in India and on the other quality labour force. Moreover the side the Belgian export to India companies operating in Belgium Although Belgium and India are has increased by 16 per cent last benefit from a very attractive tax very different as far as the scale of year. But this must indeed be regime. And Belgium is very well the countries and of the population increased and further diversified. appreciated by the expats for its are concerned, they do have some Regarding the business climate great quality of live. similarities. Our two countries in India, a lot has already been are organized on a federal basis, done by the Indian authorities which means that the regional to attract FDI or to encourage What are you doing to diversify authorities are in charge of several the foreign companies to extend the trade basket between policies directly linked to the their activities in India. We have Belgium and India, excluding day-to-day of the companies. encouraged the Indian authorities the diamond business, which This means also that, in India to go forward in their economic dominates the bilateral and in Belgium, we are used to reforms and to further cut the trade? successfully manage different red tape (administrative burdens, We try to work on these two regional and cultural identities mostly for the SME’s), develop directions: to extend the activities and languages. This diversity is the infrastructures and facilitate of our companies in and with seen as an added-value for our the access to land ownership and India and to attract more two countries. Finally, our two further open the Indian market for Indian investors in Belgium. The countries are very open to the foreign goods and services. And BICCI welcomes very often world and our companies are of course the Belgian authorities Indian business delegations and used to working every day with must also reinforce their efforts organizes several business forums partners and employees from in order to attract more Indian dedicated to India. And the key different nationalities. These investments. 1 Belgium in Focus
  • 15. | Invest in Belgium Belgium Leading Investment Destination Belgium has a clearly international outlook due to its geographical location, multicultural population and history For centuries, it has been a gateway to your project off the ground. The as their holding location for continental Europe and trading hub, Fiscal Department for Foreign investments in Europe allows retaining the best of Latin, Germanic Investments (at FPS Finance) corporate investors from treaty and Anglo-Saxon cultures. The people provides free, confidential advice. countries to repatriate European of Belgium enjoy a fine reputation for There is an intelligent tax solution profits without paying dividend their high level of productivity, loyalty, for your project. withholding tax and without a openness and multilingual skills. limitation on profits. Belgian tax legislation also Belgium is a federal state consisting provides economic players with The Belgian tax system has also of three regions: Brussels , Flanders a generally applicable advance created attractive conditions for and Wallonia. Each region has a great ‘ruling’ practice, which enables employers, expatriate employees deal of autonomy, making Belgium them to assess fiscal consequences or researchers. RD projects one of the most modern states in of investment decisions in also benefit from tax incentives, the world. The regions’ powers and advance. The ruling is issued such as environmentally friendly responsibilities include trade, the within three months and the ruling investments. economy, employment, industry, decision is legally binding for up agriculture and the environment. They to five years. The nominal tax Business-Friendly each pursue a dynamic economic policy rate for small and medium-sized Government Administrations geared to their own requirements and enterprises (SMEs) with a taxable provide free professional, confidential profit not exceeding €322,500, is If you’re looking to set up shop support to help you make your business of 24.98% and at the lower end in Europe, expand your business plans a success. of the European tax scale. or make Belgium your hub of operations, then you’ve come to Clear Attraction One of the most popular Belgian the right place. Welcome to the fiscal measures is the notional capital of Europe! These policies are bearing fruit. interest deduction. Belgium is Foreign Direct Investment magazine the only European country to The Belgian administrative (a Financial Times publication) recently alleviate the differences in tax authorities are keen to help ranked Flanders and Wallonia among treatment between finance raised you. You will be provided with the top 5 most attractive regions in through venture capital and customised, confidential services. Europe. Among large cities, Brussels finance raised through borrowed We would be delighted to help ranked in the top 10 for infrastructure, capital. It allows companies to you make your plans a success. quality of life and human resources . deduct a notional charge from their tax base that corresponds The Belgian federal and regional This combined regional performance to a specific percentage of their administrations will help you free makes Belgium one of the most ‘adjusted’ equity capital. of charge, providing flexible, non- attractive countries in Europe, offering an environment rich in opportunities, bureaucratic and pro-investor The ‘new domestic dividend support. Most of them have stable economic growth and a strong withholding tax exemption’ is branches nearby, making it easy currency. also likely to become very popular for you to contact them in Belgium among investors. It extends the or in your country. You will see An Intelligent Pro-Business Tax EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive and feel the difference. System between the 27 EU-countries While all commercial companies and Switzerland to all countries Tax Advice resident in Belgium are subject to worldwide that have a double The Federal Public Service corporate income tax, the authorities tax treaty with Belgium, such as Finance has a team of experts can help you find the best fiscal Hong Kong, the United States that provides tax information mechanisms allowing you to get and also India. Using Belgium and support for foreign investors Belgium in Focus 1
  • 16. Invest in Belgium | already established in Belgium. you find the best opportunities for to set up or expand in Flanders, It informs and guides foreign your business in Belgium. the northern region of Belgium and investors on tax matters and one of Europe ‘s most favourable assists them in their dealings with If you’re seeking assistance business locations. In Wallonia, the tax authorities. This includes on other matters (locations, the southern region of Belgium, providing support for the notional incentives, partners, etc.), our foreign investors are welcomed interest deduction and helping to regional authorities will be by the Office for Foreign Investors prepare the ruling file. delighted to provide you with (OFI). professional help. In Brussels, The Federal Public Service the Brussels Enterprise Agency Belgium http://invest.belgium.be/ Economy also organises support (BEA) will provide you with the Brussels for foreign investors, helping support you need to launch your http://www.investinbrussels.com/ them with their procedures and business in the capital of Europe. Wallonia formalities. FPS Economy’s Service Flanders Investment Trade http://www.investinwallonia.be/ Flanders for Foreign Investments will help helps foreign businesses seeking http://www.investinflanders.com/ Support to Foreign Investors Full support is given by the investment offices at federal and regional level. On the federal level the Service for Foreign Investments of the Federal Public Service Economy provides general information, coordinates with the federal and regional authorities and guides you throughout your investment decision process. Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed Energy Service for Foreign Investments City Atrium C rue du Progres 50 Vooruitgangstraat 1210 Brussels Tel: + 32 2 277 7808 • Fax + 32 2 277 53 06 www.investinbelgium.fgov.be Wallonia Export Investment Agency invest.belgium@mineco.fgov.be Namur Office Park, Avenue des dessus de Lives, 6 Ministry of the Brussels Capital Region 5101 NAMUR-LOYERS Foreign Investments Department Tel: +32(0)81/33.28.50 Fax: +32(0)81/33.28.69 Bid du Jardin Botanique 20 Kruidtuinlaan www.investinwallonia.be 1035 Brussels investinwallonia@investinwallonia.be Tel: + 32 2 800 34 61 • Fax: + 32 2 800 38 06 Federal Public Service Finance www.investinbrussels.com Fiscal Opt for Foreign Investments www.brussels.irisnet.be Rue Marie Theresestraat 1, box 4 1000 Brussels invest.eco@mrbc.irisnet.be Tel. + 32 2 579 38 66 Brussels Enterprise Agency (BEA) http://minfin.fgov.be/portail2/en/index.htm Tour Taxis Avenue du Port 86c Havenlaan, Set up a company in just 3 days Box 21 1 1000 Brussels Tel: + 32 2422 00 20 • Fax+ 32 2 422 00 43 It takes just three days to complete all the formalities and get your business up and running. www.bea.irisnet.be Day 1 – the Bank: open a bank account and deposit www.investinbrussels.com the minimum start-up capital info@bea.irisnet.be Day 2 – the Notary: use e-deposit to draw up deed Ministry of the Flanders Region of incorporation and articles of association (you will be Flanders Investment Trade assigned a unique ‘enterprise number’, registered with rue Gaucheretstraat 90, 1030 Brussels the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises and registered with Tel: + 32 2 50488 71 • Fax: + 32 2 504 88 70 the clerk of the Commercial Court, and your documents will be published in the Belgian Official Gazette) www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com Day 3 – the business one-stop shop: your enterprise invest@fitagency.be number is activated. 1 Belgium in Focus
  • 17. | Port Infrastructure Belgium and India to work Together on Port Development Projects Various modernised and greener ports have been built in Belgium that can be used as models for developing docks in India Photo: www.portofantwerp.com Port of Zeebrugge Belgium is one of the pioneering countries to log into Cooperation between companies of both countries in the Indian ports business with innovative plans and the field of port development was one of the central programmes. The Memorandum of Understanding themes of the Belgian State Visit to India as it is (MoU) signed between the port of Chennai and the a field in which both countries have already been port of Zeebrugge of Belgium in November 2008, and working together closely, among other things in the a MoU between a Belgian Consortium of companies specific field of dredging. and Indian Gas Limited for the construction of a port in Manappad during the State Visit of Belgian King Albert Much to Gain II to India clearly indicates that Belgium and Belgian Size and Experience companies are keen to groom the Indian docks. In the field of port development, Belgium and India The MoU between Chennai and Zeebrugge will show very complementary characteristics. also enlarge the scope in various fields of marine On the one hand, one has a country with 12 major transportation, port development and for working ports along its 7.517 km coastline, where some 133.8 together as sister ports, in the case of Chennai million tonnes of cargo were handled in the first and Zeebrugge. It will also enlarge the scope of quarter of 2008 alone. cooperation between the two ports and enable active interaction between the management and personnel On the other hand, one has a much smaller country of the two ports for their mutual benefits. but that has been working for centuries as a major Belgium in Focus 1
  • 18. Port Infrastructure | Photo: www.portofantwerp.com Photo: Koos Fernhout View of the Port of Antwerp Cranes in the Port of Antwerp “ The aim of the MoU is to exchange ideas, technology and other inputs from the Port of Zeebrugge to make the Chennai Port a clean cargo port ” entry port to Europe for goods from across the Opportunities in Dredging world. With several major harbours within 100 km of each other, Belgium has the largest concentration Industry analysts feel dredging could be a major area of seaports handling the highest volume of general of cooperation between Belgium and India in the cargo in the world. sector of port development. As per the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) of India, the country needs a total capital Antwerp, one of Belgium’s major ports, harbours the dredging requirement of almost 298.28 million cubic second biggest chemical cluster in the world after metres in all the major ports. Hence India is leaving Houston (USA) and handles nearly 200 million tonnes no stone unturned to attract overseas companies in of cargo per year thanks to the hundreds of regular this area. shipping lines that connect the Port of Antwerp to some 800 overseas ports. The Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium is already involved in the dredging operations with lock-free access and berthing, is one of the at some of the major ports of South India such as the most modern container ports in Europe. Connected Kochi and Ennore ports. But this MoU has opened to some 400 ports in more than 100 countries, this new vistas and now Belgium can explore possibilities port is known for its handling of cars (more than in the Chennai Port as well. 1.600.000 enter or exit Europe through this port every year). Other important Belgian ports include the Port Infrastructural Development of Ghent (specialised in the handling of bulk cargo), the Port of Liège (2nd biggest European inland port) Setting its sights on becoming ‘the Detroit of Asia’, and the Port of Brussels. the Government of Tamil Nadu state is giving extra emphasis to the infrastructure development of the Chennai Port. Infrastructural development projects Clean Cargo Port carried out by the Belgian companies on the Ennore The aim of the MoU between the ports of Chennai port of Tamil Nadu demonstrated the calibre of and Zeebrugge is to exchange ideas, technology and Belgian private sector. The Chennai Port was therefore other inputs from the Port of Zeebrugge to make the keen to invite Belgian expertise, particularly in Chennai Port a clean cargo port. maritime transportation. Belgian ports have a great deal to offer to their Indian Green Project counterparts in the fields of port development. One of the best examples of the country’s maritime potential With increasing focus on green projects, the MoU also is the successful move of the port of Zeebrugge from emphasizes that the Port of Zeebrugge will exchange handling dirty cargo such as coal and iron ore to the best practices to reduce ecological footprint of containers, cars and clean cargos. logistical activities at the Chennai Port. 1 Belgium in Focus
  • 19. | Diamonds “Diamond Trade Brought Belgium on the Map of India” Diamonds seem to be a pretty solid base to build the Indo-Belgian relationship on, as a number of Indian traders are setting up base in Antwerp. Editor Harun Riaz interviews Mr. Dilip Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of Rosy Blue Group. How will you describe Rosy Blue, a well-known Indian diamond company’s relationship with Belgium? We see Rosy Blue-Antwerp as one of our hubs for global activities. Each of our companies in India, the United States and Belgium, are run by local management. However, a lot of intellectual discussions and strategies come from Antwerp. Rosy Blue-Antwerp was our first operation outside of India. This company managed to build relationships in various parts of the world, with retailers, suppliers, mining companies and so on. Are you planning to celebrate completion of 35 years in Antwerp, Belgium? We have celebrated completion of 30 years. However, given the financial markets conditions, Rosy Blue is Photo: Rosy Blue unlikely to organize any event. I think it’s time to stop partying and get on with business of savings. Belgium has awarded you the honour of attributing Dilip Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Rosy Blue, Antwerp you the title of Baron. What are your thoughts on this award? “I am one of the lucky persons If I talk about the Hindu philosophy, you work without expectations, as Krishna had told Arjun. So, basically you to have received the Baronship do what you think is good work, what you feel happy from His Majesty King Albert with and not feel guilty about, and you rather enjoy doing it. If you make sure that other colleagues in the business II of Belgium” are happy, and if you take it down the neighbours, the village, the town, the city and the country and the world It’s a very humbling feeling. When I was told about it, you live in. If your work makes people happy, then you I was crying. I was asked to go to the Royal Palace. feel good about it. The right hand man of King Albert II informed me that I do it naturally and not to show. And very seldom my His Majesty has bestowed upon me the Baronship, work gets recognized. And I must say that I must be I became emotional. I hoped I could live up to the one of the few lucky guys to have received the Belgian expectation. honour. There are many people who do the same work, but I am one of the lucky persons to have received the How did you choose Belgium as your overseas Baronship from His Majesty King Albert II. business destination, as it seems the Gujarati Belgium in Focus 20
  • 20. Diamonds | business community has preferred to and Belgium, we need to look into its expertise in development go to English speaking countries? other business possibilities. But it of Indian infrastructure? doesn’t mean that we should stop I came to Belgium for the diamond the diamond business. Multiple efforts are being made business. Yes, it is true that historically now, with the trade agreement we had the relationship with Britain in place. Nuclear energy is also rather than the continental Europe, In November 2008, Their one of the areas for business. but over a period of time, that has Majesties King Albert II and As for infrastructure, you need changed and one adapts to the culture Queen Paola came to India on to understand the size of India of Europe. a State visit. Is it only symbolic versus Belgium and the risk visit or will it provide boost to appetite. When I came in I was Indian. Today business and tourism? I would say that I am a European In India, people go for quick fix Indian. One should not underestimate the solutions, while Belgians don’t relationship building process. The take that route. Belgians will give relationship is not built overnight. you a long term solution. The Ghent University launched an The previous Belgian visits to India Platform on 8th of October Infrastructure development in India and the Indian leadership 2008. One of the lively topics of India is a huge task and Belgians visits to Belgium, have all added debate was: are cultural differences can not do everything. Roughly to the Indo-Belgian bilateral between Europe and India a barrier US $ 800 billion is required in ties. for business? next five years. It’s important that we understand each Culturally, it is important to other’s culture. It’s only when people understand each other. What we do, how we do and why we As of today, the total Belgian start to travel that they appreciate investment is US $ 180 million, other people’s culture. You have to do it. which is significantly low. Why understand European culture, do a has India not come onto the little bit of adjustment and then you Belgian investment radar? can do business. You can touch their hearts by getting to know their culture. “Belgians will give you a long term Belgians are wise investors. They At the end of the day, people have to are not rushing into things. My feel comfortable. solution” humble opinion is that India If cultural difference was a hindrance, overmarketed itself at hugged it’s changing very rapidly. The world prices to show overvaluation in is a very small place. People travel the stock market. Focus should be from one place to another very rapidly. It is also very important that on building solid businesses. Stock People adapt to local cultures. academicians accompany the market valuation is derivative. It royal family. There was very can’t be your target and intention. little focus in India on education, Though Belgium-India bilateral Belgians understand it well. some 15 to 20 years back. Now trade is plus 8 billion US $, two- Belgians are long time players. the literacy rate in India is going thirds of it is in diamond and up. Belgium and India have to jewellery sector. Is it good or bad One can study the Belgian understand each other to work in for the other sectors? investment in Africa. It is a good the education area. success story. My feeling is that It is an interesting question. My answer His Majesty, King Albert II will Belgian businesses are not over is that we must not throw away what be able to open doors for people leveraged. They are cash rich and we have in our hands. The diamond in India and in Belgium. This good people to work with. Very business brought Belgium on the map of will generate business not only straight forward and there is no India. On the other side, India came on in education and diamonds but hidden agenda and no games. the map of Belgium. A lot of focus needs in other sectors as well. to be put on business to be done. But I Dilip Mehta is CEO of the Rosy Blue Group. He established Rosy Blue N.V. in 1973, in wish to add that to be dependent on a Antwerp (Belgium) as the first overseas single commodity is a risky thing. As an Indian journalist, office of B. Arunkumar (presently Rosy Blue first thing I have noticed in India). His efforts led to global expansion Many towns in the world, which were Belgium is the developed through greenfield growth and acquisitions, dependent on for example steel mill, infrastructure and good resulting in sales, manufacturing and went down, when the steel mill was management of it. What is financing offices in 15 countries spanning closed. Hence on both sides in India preventing Belgium to offer four continents. 21 Belgium in Focus
  • 21. Developing Synergies in the Biopharma Photo: Janssen Pharmaceutica Due to extensive knowledge of new technologies and considerable Sector experience, Belgium’s Biopharmaceutical sector has carved a formidable presence across the globe The Biopharma industry of Belgium is on a roll. With and vaccines for major world pandemics (HIV/AIDS, the largest number of medicines in development in Tuberculosis, Malaria…) have been developed in the world per capita, Belgium shows exceptional Belgian laboratories. Renowned companies such as results in terms of innovation and industrial GSK Biologicals, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer and development in the field of biopharmaceuticals. UCB have invested tens of billions of Euros over the past few years in the Belgian Biopharma industry. World Leader in Biopharma Belgian laboratories are known worldwide for developing drugs and vaccines for major pandemics such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. A large pool of high quality scientists, world- class research encouraged by substantial tax incentives and development facilities as well as the strong institutional networks are the factors that have helped Belgium to become a booming star in the biopharma world. Photo: www.investinbiopharma.be In absolute figures, Belgium is the world’s second largest exporter of drugs and the seventh largest investor in Research and Development (RD). With the highest concentration of life science employees in the world, the country has become the birthplace of several world-class RD centres for the biopharma industry. Drugs Belgium in Focus 22
  • 22. Biopharmaceutical | Belgium has over 200 small and medium-sized enterprises in the life sciences sector specialising in fundamental and clinical research. The biotechnology sector of Belgium recorded a revenue of about three billion Euros in 2006. And, in the same year Belgian companies accounted for 16 per cent of Europe’s Photo: Janssen Pharmaceutica turnover in biotech and around 10 per cent of RD spending. In its study entitled “Innovation in Pharmaceutical B i o t e c h n o l o g y ” published in 2006, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Lowest tax rate in Europe on revenues from presents Belgium as by far patents makes Belgium one of the most the best performing country on the basis of four indicators attractive investment locations for innovation and industrial development. in biopharmaceuticals”, declares the next few months, Essenscia Multinational biopharma Yves Verschueren, Managing will be touring the world with companies are flocking to Belgium Director of Essenscia, the Belgian representatives of the Belgian not just for the manufacturing and Federation of Chemical Industries Biopharma sector to promote marketing of their product but and Life Sciences. the country’s assets in the field also to conduct clinical trials and to international investors and Now more than ever, foreign researchers. It is in this outsource medical research. biopharmaceutical companies are context that an Indian-Belgian Besides the high class facilities seeking international cooperation Biopharma Forum was organised and qualified manpower, lowest to strengthen research and during the State Visit to India in tax rate in Europe on revenues production in Belgium. “Hence Mumbai on November 6, 2008 in from patents makes Belgium one the importance of emphasising presence of Their Majesties King of the most attractive investment our assets abroad. We need Albert II and Queen Paola and locations for biopharma RD and to convince foreign companies the Belgian Minister of Foreign manufacturing. wishing to invest in Europe to Affairs, Mr. Karel De Gucht. The choose Belgium”, according to Forum focused on “Belgium and Yves Verschueren. This is why, in India, two complementary and International cooperation and September 2008, Essenscia and growing biopharma clusters”. complementarities with India the Belgian Minister for Enterprise Some of the speakers present “Thanks to a number of pioneers, and Simplification, Vincent Van at the event included Thomas a world reputation in RD and a Quickenborne, launched the Leysen, President of the Federation series of positive measures taken campaign “Belgium the place to of Belgian Enterprises, Yves by the Belgian authorities, Belgium be for biopharmaceutical RD Verschueren, CEO of Essenscia, unites all the assets needed (…) to and manufacturing” at the GSK Dr. Ajit Shetty, Chairman of present itself at international level Biologicals research centre in Janssen Pharmaceutica and Roch as a land that welcomes investment Rixensart, next to Brussels. Over Doliveux, CEO of UCB. For more information on the Belgian laboratories are known worldwide Biopharmaceutical sector in for developing drugs and vaccines for Belgium, we encourage you to major pandemics such as malaria, check out the following website: www.investinbiopharma.be tuberculosis and AIDS 23 Belgium in Focus
  • 23. Krishna temple at Hampi The famous chariot in Vitthala Temple in Hampi Photo: The famous Tourist Destinations Photo: Wikipedia Belgian Firm to Help Facelift Indian Heritage A Belgian company, Janssen Pharmaceutica has taken up the task of restoring the lost grandeur of Hampi and Tipu Sultan’s Palace in Karnataka, India By Shilpy Arora Hampi, a cultural village in Karnataka and Tipu Sultan’s Palace in Bangalore have been taken up for maintenance by a Belgian company, Janssen Pharmaceutica. The MoU was singed between the company and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 2005 to join forces to conduct research on the treatment of biodegradation in the architectural grandeurs. Janssen Pharmaceutica is one of the most innovative companies and its products are used all over the world in both human and animal health and in material protection. The company is known for bringing out about 70 new active substances among which the most known are probably Imodium and Motilium. But Janssen Pharmaceutica also has consistent experience in the fields of restoration and preservation and has already collaborated with various popular world heritage sites such as the world famous Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Army Museum of Xian in China. As per the MoU, Janssen Pharmaceutica has supplied to the ASI the necessary compounds used to remove the fungal decay, mould and termites, free of cost. It has also provided monetary support to the ASI Chemical Branch in Dehradun as well as training to the scientists and chemists at the sites. The finding of the research could be applied to other damaged monuments across the country. Conservation Drive at Hampi Hampi is believed to have been built in the 15th century AD. Once known as the cultural capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, the Hampi complex is constructed in the form of a sprawling campus with compound walls and gateway towers. The most impressive monument on the site is the Vitthala Temple Complex which has 56 musical pillars that resonate when tapped. Even though Hampi was the last capital of the last Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar, it had been in a state of neglect for years. Lichens, bacterial growth and fungi destroyed the magnificent art work and this led to the bio-deterioration of the monuments. Belgium in Focus 2
  • 24. Belgium’s Versatile Chairman of Janssen Pharmaceutica Dr. Ajit Baron Shetty Young and talented Ajit Shetty, a native of Bangalore city in India decided to join Belgian pharmaceutical giant Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1976, after his Ph.D. in Mettallurgy from Cambridge and an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University in US. It’s been 33 long years and he has never looked back since then. In 1999, hard work, dedication and burning desire to succeed led Dr. Shetty to be appointed M anag i n g Di r ec t or o f Janssen Pharmaceutica. He has been chairing the King Albert II conferring the title of Baron on Dr. Ajit Shetty (Photo: Dr. Ajit Shetty) company’s Board of Directors since 2004. Under his leadership, Janssen Pharmaceutica developed into a worldwide research and production centre for Johnson Johnson. Dr. Ajit Shetty was conferred the title of Baron In 2007 by His Majesty King Albert II. The prestigious title was announced for his exceptional merits. Talking to Belgium in Focus Dr. Shetty remarked that Belgium is a great destination for Indian firms for various reasons which are well known: • a well established liberal economy • cosmopolitan culture • headquarters of European institutions • central location • business oriented economic and fiscal climate • multilingual. For these reasons, Indian companies that headquarter themselves in Belgium for European Operations will find their business goals well served. He added, “It has been very easy as an Indian to adjust to living in Belgium. The people are very hospitable and almost everybody speaks English which makes it easy to settle. Given the attractions of Belgium as a country and the warmth of the population to welcoming outsiders makes it easy to adjust to living conditions”. Dr. Shetty is married to Christine Clerinx, a niece of the founder of Janssen Pharmaceutica, the late Paul Janssen, and lives with his family in Vosselaar. Over the last three years, Janssen Pharmaceutica has been providing the necessary equipments and chemicals to ASI for the identification and removal of fungi and algae in the monuments. Tipu Sultan Palace Popularly known as the Bangalore Fort, Tipu Sultan Palace is famous for the Tudor architecture (mostly used in English castles) which is rarely found in India. The beautiful wooden Photo: Bruce Ferjulian palace houses the world famous rockets and missiles that were used by the armies of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Most part of the palace is facing serious decay due to the existence of mould and lichen that have slowly damaged the wooden structure. Moreover the binding material used Temple at Tipu’s Palace in the paintings is a good host for bacterial growth. It has been observed by ASI that spraying of insecticides will cause stains on the paintings and thus it was necessary to find an alternative solution with the collaboration of Janssen Pharmaceutica, a company recognised as a centre of excellence in wood protection. The main aim of these two projects is to carry out a research to identify biodegradation and develop effective treatment products and strategies. The projects are expected to be completed by early 2009. 2 Belgium in Focus
  • 25. | Study in Belgium Photos: Leuven University, Belgium Belgium: Study Destination for Indian Students A comprehensive enquiry done in 2008 into the number of Indian students that are registered in 18 major Belgian universities shows surprising results in more than one aspect. The least one could say is that they were very encouraging with regard to the academic ties that link both our countries. The study revealed that more than 400 Indian students were registered in Belgian universities during the academic year 2007/08. This number is expected to increase in the years to come and was one of the focuses of the recent State Visit to India of H.M. King Albert II, accompanied by an important academic delegation. A majority of the Indian students attracted by Belgian universities are studying in scientific and management branches. One finds Indian students at the Solvay Business School (ULB, Brussels), the University of Antwerp, the Vlerick Management School (Ghent) and the Catholic University of Louvain (French- speaking, UCL, Louvain-la-neuve).... But it would seem that the vast majority of them are registered at the Catholic University of Leuven (Dutch-speaking, KUL, Leuven) and the University of Ghent. Editor Harun Riaz went to Ghent and Leuven to see how the Indian students were living the Belgian student life and collect their thoughts. Belgium in Focus 2
  • 26. Study in Belgium | Quality Education and Infrastructure for Indian Students For most young Indians, Belgium is not the first place that comes to mind when they have ambitions to study abroad. This is unfortunate, because Belgium’s high level of education offers unique career opportunities, while its society is a safe haven. Sarah Claerhout spoke to some Indian students at the Ghent University India Platform launch in October 2008. The U.S., Australia and the U.K. Though Indian students are still biggest growth of any human being”. His are classical destinations for Indian a fairly small group (of the 3000 experience is not only about attending students. But continental Europe’s international students at Ghent in lectures and passing exams, he tells us, eagerness to internationalise is altering 2007 about 80 are Indian), they it is about his development as a human this situation as it aims to become a love Ghent. We spoke to some being. “Ghent has all the ingredients to preferred destination for highly skilled of them… enjoy student life, it has a huge sports Indian students and professionals. centre, and it is a nice place to go out.” In Many EU states have created better According to Amit Kumar, Ghent short, Amit ends this interview, “Ik hou van conditions for attracting and retaining University is a unique destination Gent!!” (I love Ghent in Dutch!). such knowledge migrants. As a result, some of its vibrant Of the 3000 international students at Ghent educational destinations come into the picture today. Belgium is one of University about 80 are Indian those…. With its exceptional quality of life, the accessibility of its institutions Dr. Nagender Rao, a post-doctoral fellow at and a growing sensitivity to cultural for Indian students as in Ghent “all is included”. Amit came here under the Department of Molecular Biotechnology, diversity, the country is an appealing could not agree more. He too enjoys the place to spend one’s formational a bilateral agreement between Flanders and India and is currently sports facilities and the vibrancy of the years. Ghent University—a pluralistic city. His colleagues at Ghent University university which is one of the fastest pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering are “good friends, very cooperative and growing in Europe with over 30,000 at the EnVOC research group with sound knowledge” and they welcome students—holds internationalisation as (Environmental Organic international members. Which does not one of its major ambitions. Its current Chemistry and Technology). mean that the atmosphere in the research rector in particular, Prof. Dr. Paul Van From the very beginning, he felt labs is not challenging and demanding at Cauwenberge has given a new impulse part of this research group: a times! What he finds especially appealing in opening up the University to the rest friendly, highly motivated and about Belgium is the absence of prejudice of the world, not only by presenting result-oriented environment that towards the English language, which one Ghent as an attractive place to live and has greatly enriched his own finds in some other European countries. study, but also by setting up academic research. The university is very platforms to promote international smoothly organized as compared The world and India, according to collaboration. to Indian institutions, and, in the Nagender, should be informed better field of engineering the students about these advantages. He said Belgium One of these is the brand new India should promote itself better and let Platform UGent. This will not only get a first-hand experience of “any phenomena of concern,” which is the international students know about be home to a variety of academic its existence: “advertise more and initiatives involving India, but also not always the case in India. provide better funding opportunities another home for Indian students and Doing research at Ghent and you will develop as an attractive faculty at Ghent University. With its University also gave him destination for Indian students.” expertise on the cultural differences several opportunities for short- and the challenges of communication term research around Europe. The author is a research and teaching assistant at between India and Europe, it will The international atmosphere the Research Centre Comparitive Cultural Sciences function as a meeting point for Indian taught him that “learning from (Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap) of Ghent University, students and young professionals. different cultures results in the Belgium. She can be reached at sarah.claerhout@UGent.be 2 Belgium in Focus
  • 27. | Study in Belgium A Hub for Indian Students in Belgium Take a survey in Indian schools. What are the dominant feelings you see? Studying abroad, off course and the notion has become a blip in the radar of Belgian universities, particularly the University of Leuven, located 20 Km from Brussels. By Bart Hendrickx The number of Indian students studying 100 top universities (including local non-academic population. at the University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven), Oxford, Cambridge, Yale and The country enjoys one of the founded in 1425, has been rising steadily over many others) no one scored better highest standards of living in the the last few years. Earlier, Indian students on these aspects than Leuven did. world as well as first class health focused primarily on the world renowned Another surprise was that, next care, education and social security K.U.Leuven Theology program, but this time to the expert knowledge of the systems. All this is at the disposal has clearly passed. Strong programs, like academics and a wide variety in of the duly registered international Engineering, Bioengineering and Medical top notch research, students very student or researcher. Sciences, have taken their rightful place in much appreciated the English the list of most popular and appreciated language skills of the Leuven Leuven, in Flanders, the Dutch- academic programs. It is clear that a strong professors, even more so than speaking part of Belgium, is for push towards further internationalisation at many UK or US institutions. many a surprise discovery in itself. and the ever increasing offer of quality This very positive testimony It is very safe, friendly and student- English language programs at K.U.Leuven from especially Indian students oriented town with a long and rich and other universities is responsible for is at least partially responsible history, brimming with culture and this recent surge in international students’ for a 90 per cent (pro-) active leisure opportunities. Its unique interest. Where, until a few years ago, recommendation rate for the location at the heart of Europe the only options for Indian and other K.U.Leuven. A score with which means that major European international students for a quality post the University of Leuven again capitals such as Brussels, Paris, graduate education abroad, were expensive programs in the US, UK or Australian institutions, nowadays quality European research institutions like the K.U.Leuven provide a valuable and more economical Photo: Leuven University, Belgium alternative. Universities in Belgium are partially financed by their respective regional/community governments. Hence they can offer superior quality academic programs, also to international students, for a much cheaper prize than their Anglo-Saxon competitors. In addition, the three doctoral schools at K.U.Leuven (Science, Technology and Engineering, Biomedical Sciences and outperforms most, if not all, of London, or Amsterdam are only Humanities), have all their PhD projects its peer institutions in the world a (very) short train ride away. available in English and online, for any wide survey. There are daily direct flights to eligible quality international student to see Brussels International Airport (12 and apply to. All advertised projects come With over 120 different minutes from Leuven) from New with pre-approved financing. nationalities represented in its Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and student body, K.U.Leuven has Recent independent surveys at the University Chennai. become a very multicultural of Leuven show that Indian and other city-campus. The Association of international students appreciate other The author is Director of International Indian Students at Leuven (ISAL) Office, University of Leuven, which was aspects of a Belgian higher education even is one of the most active student founded in 1425. Inspired by the European more than the reasonable cost. It turns organisations in the country. Christian tradition, K.U. Leuven embraces out that they first and foremost value the the values of free inquiry and pursues a safety and living conditions in which they Belgium lies at the cross-roads of policy of non-discrimination. For more can study and do research in Leuven. In cultures in Europe. Hence English details visit: www.kuleuven.be/english the comparative worldwide survey of about is widely spoken, also by the Belgium in Focus 2
  • 28. Jazz | Jazz Legends of Belgium Belgian Jazz talents have been mesmerizing the world over the past 100 years, writes Jempi Samyn, renowned Jazz critic and radio DJ of Belgium Photos: Jempi Samyn Tuba and trombone player Michel Massot On his instrument, Toots Thielemans ranks The young scene : guitarist Quentin Liégeois The young scene : with the best that jazz has ever produced saxophone player Robin Verheyen At the beginning of the 20th century, The amateur of live jazz can Belgium was one of the first three countries choose from a wide range of well in Europe where jazz was played, together functioning jazz clubs in every with France and Great Britain. major Belgian city the whole year through, as well as from a number It is remarkable that such a small country of successful jazz festivals such as that can hardly be found on the world map Ghent Jazz Festival with a couple has been so important to the evolution of top events each year at different of jazz in Europe. The explanation can locations, the yearly Skoda Jazz be found in its perfect location (centre of Festival (formerly Audi Jazz) Europe, by the sea side and close to the in Brussels, Jazz Bruges, Jazz à UK) and in the extreme hospitality of its Photo: http://jefneve.be Liège, The Motives Festival, The inmates. Brussels Jazz Marathon, Dinant Some big names in jazz, such as Mal Jazz Nights, Brosella Folk and Waldron and Steve Lacy, even spent a Jazz, Gaume Jazz Festival and big part of their lives in Belgium. Jazz à Gouvy. Jef Neve was nominated for the ‘young talent’ Since the beginning of jazz, Belgium on the Eurodjango in Luxemburg for 2007 has always given birth to very talented musicians. Stan Brenders, Fud Candrix, Along with Joachim Patenier (1485-1524), the Django Reinhardt, René Thomas, Francy creator of landscape painting; with Antoine Wiertz Boland, Jacques Pelzer, Jack Sels, Toots (1806-1865), the lyrical painter; with a plethora Thielemans, Philip Catherine, Bert Joris, of sculptors, painters, musicians, brass workers Fred Van Hove, Paolo Radoni, Pierre Van and others, Dinant can legitimately pride itself Dormael are some of the best Belgian on having been the birthplace on November talents. 6th 1814 of Antoine-Joseph–aka Adolphe-Sax, a prolific and inspired inventor in the manufacture Furthermore, thanks to the introduction of of musical instruments of which the most renowned jazz music in the Belgian Conservatories is indubitably the saxophone. and related music colleges since 1979, the number of well educated Belgian jazz musicians has dramatically increased, Belgium has always Jempi Samyn began to write about Jazz, first in resulting in a huge list of “names to follow”, such as Kris Defoort, Nic Thys, Jef given birth to very school papers, and later in magazines such as Stage, Jazz’ Halo, Jazzmozaïek, Bass Magazine Neve, Robin Verheyen, Fred Delplancq, talented musicians (NL), Jazz Hot (F), the daily press and for www. Jean-Paul Estiévenart and Quentin jazzreview.com (website in the US). Liégeois, to name just a few. Currently, he is the co-author of “The Finest in or the American continent. Django Belgian Jazz” (WERF 2002). He also presents The small size of the territory, however, Reinhardt moved to France, René two radio shows in Brussels- “Jazz Station” on has always pushed Belgian musicians to Thomas started a second life in FM Brussel and “Jazz my Azz” on Radio Panik. seek their success in larger countries with a Canada and Toots Thielemans He can be reached at: jempi.samyn@gmail.com well known jazz tradition, such as France became U.S. citizen in 1965. 2 Belgium in Focus
  • 29. | Music Museum of Melody The collection of the Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) of Brussels demonstrates that musical instruments are more than just entertainment The Musical Instruments Museum Therefore identical instruments Right after the opening of the (MIM) in Brussels was founded are rarely accepted, and for Musical Instruments Museum, in 1877. The collection of this scientific and financial reasons an atelier for the restoration of museum is divided into two separate the museum strives towards the instruments was founded. Copies collections, both housed in the greatest diversity possible. of existing instruments were Royal Conservatory of Brussels. manufactured and some of the old Thanks to this policy, the MIM instruments were restored to be 92 European and non-European already possessed 3.300 unique played again. The policy however instruments came from a private collection, and 98 Indian instruments is to keep the instruments in had been given to Belgium by the their original form as much Indian King Sourindro Mohun as possible. Manipulation Tagore. is limited to stabilising the instrument in the way it has When the famous instrument builder entered the museum. Victor-Charles Mahillon got to know about the collection of Indian The 1.500 instruments that instruments, he immediately asked can currently be admired the Conservatory for permission to in the museum are exposed classify and manage the collection. by historical and systematic On February 1st 1877, he became themes. Fragments of music the first curator of the Musical of almost every instrument Photo: MIM, Brussels Instruments Museum of the Conservatory, being entrusted with Opening Hours of the MIM 190 instruments. Tuesday to Friday The first purchase of Mahillon 9:30 am to 5:00 pm comprised of 37 instruments made Saturday and Sunday The museum of musical instruments 10.00 am to 5:00 pm by Adolphe Sax. He enlarged is situated in a beautiful building. the collection further and with Ticket sales end 45 minutes The top floor restaurant provides a the help of sponsors and erudite 360° view of Brussels. before closing time. amateurs. Excellent contacts with diplomats abroad brought several pieces in 1924, and formed shown can be listened to in a non-European instruments to the thereby one of the most important headphone. During guided tours museum. collections in the world. Based on and workshops both adults and this collection a first ‘Catalogue’ children can try out a variety Since the instruments are the property was edited: it constituted a of instruments. During concerts of the Belgian government, they can universal system of classification in the concert hall of the MIM, never be sold or given away. for musical instruments. The basic instruments can be discovered The museum values the sound of the principles of this system are still while being played live. instruments more than their esthetical used. Moreover, it is thanks to The museum also houses a appearance. The historical value of the collection of Tagore, who as library and a museum shop. The an instrument and its representative a musicologist was the Director restaurant on the top floor of the value for a given geographic area are of the School for Bengal Music in beautiful Art-Nouveau building the most important criteria to accept Calcutta, that Mahillon was able has an astonishing view upon the an instrument into the collection. to realise this Catalogue. entire city of Brussels. 98 Indian instruments had been given to The Musical Instruments museum organises a series of events, courses and concerts of various the King of the Belgians by the Indian King kinds (traditional, classic, jazz). Sourindro Mohun Tagore For more information visit: www.mim.fgov.be Belgium in Focus 30
  • 30. Photography | Belgium Preserves Photography Par Excellence With a collection of more than 80,000 photographs and three million negatives, the Museum of Photography in Charleroi, Belgium is the largest museum of photography in Europe For lovers of click art, the The Discovery Museum of Photography in Path Charleroi is a must visit site. This playful path in the The museum tells the entire Photo: © Musée de la Photographie pedagogical section history of the rich and dynamic of the museum is world of photography and intended for all people offers glimpses into the field of who are curious to aesthetic research, the struggles learn. Photography, its of humanists and artistic nature, its language, movements along with the its specific features development of photographic are presented in technique. an instructive and A specialized library and a Entrance of the new wing of the Museum amusing way, whether of Photography in Charleroi, Belgium documentation centre are open in a studio from to students and researchers, the 1900s, through and an educational service optical illusions or Photo: © Musée de la Photographie offers a fun and creative manipulations of approach to photography images. Finding out in the Discovery Area and about photography through different forms of in this space can be entertainment. effectively completed by a workshop in the After its renovation, the traditional laboratory Museum of Photography working with silver in Charleroi witnessed an Permanent collections section of the museum salts or the brand-new evolution through the opening digital laboratory. of its new wing in June 2008. The temporary exhibitions Besides these three exhibitions, Currently, the museum Nine exhibitions per year, at the museum is equipped with houses the following the rate of three simultaneous a new projection room with exhibitions exhibitions, go more deeply along retractable rows of seats that the innumerable paths that the offers a schedule of art films and A new hanging of the photographic image has taken. video works. permanent collections After every four months creative, Works that helped in the documentary and historical aspects follow each other to Opening Hours dissemination of the photographic Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 to 18.00 medium and excerpts from avant- sketch out as wide a panorama For groups and guided tours, contact garde films and experimental videos as possible of photography, Amélie Van Liefferinge, at the end of the 1960s are exhibited both Belgian and international, Educational Department, in this section. historical and contemporary. +32 (0) 71/43.58.10 E-mail: service.educatif@museephoto.be For company events, contact Cécile Druart +32 (0) 71/43.58.10 The museum tells the entire history of the rich E-mail: cecile.druart@museephoto.be) and dynamic world of photography For more information: www.museephoto.be 31 Belgium in Focus
  • 31. Floral Carpet Fountains in Brussels Courtesy of Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA Photo: OPT/J-P Remy Come and Visit Belgium Well situated between France, Germany and the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Belgium encompasses all the best that Europe has to offer The gateway and capital of Belgium, Brussels and visiting historic known for its squares, monuments Brussels, compares well with any battle sites like Waterloo, Ypres and magnificent museums. of the world’s most sophisticated and the Battle of the Bulge. Don’t The impressive main square cities. Home to 35 UNESCO be fooled by its size. It may be a (Grand’Place) with the town hall World Heritage Sites, Belgium is small country (making it easy to and surrounding alleyways and famous for great food, and the get around) but it’s big in many old houses is one of the finest in greatest beers; for museums, art ways. the world. and architecture from Roman to Art Nouveau. Belgium offers a Its flagship city Brussels is capital Flanders, the northern part of multitude of experiences from canal of the European Union, which Belgium, hosts a series of beautiful cruising in Bruges and diamond- has attracted a huge expatriate medieval historical cities renowned hunting in Antwerp to dining in population to the city placing across the world. G h e n t ’ s Michelin-starred restaurants in it among the most global cities magnificent cathedral, university, in the world. Brussels is also its medieval castle and bell tower testify to the city’s essential role in medieval Europe. Antwerp is Belgium’s capital of cool and style as the nest of the famous Antwerp Six fashion designers and host town of the acclaimed Antwerp Fashion Museum (ModeNatie). It is also a leading diamond and art centre and the birthplace of the famous Flemish Master Rubens. Nicknamed the “Venice of the North”, Bruges is one of the most visited old towns of Europe, drawing in tourists from all over Photo: Wolfgang Staudt the world. Its magnificent canals provide a setting for unforgettable boat rides and sightseeing, and its world-renowned lace makes for an excellent souvenir to take home. Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact Belgium in Focus 32
  • 32. Antwerp, Beauty lies in the Diamond hands of the beer capital of holder Belgium Courtesy of Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA Courtesy of Belgian Tourist Office NYC/USA Belgium is also well-known for its The city of Namur is set in secrets of the master brewer impressive natural tourism areas: a stunning valley landscape. monks and will enjoy beer and to the North, the Belgian coast Lovers of history and legend will cheese tasting like nowhere else. has a dozen seaside resorts and enjoy touring its citadel and the some 67 km of sandy beaches. To châteaux, abbeys and churches After the obvious richness of its the south, the Ardennes region of the region. cultural heritage, the best aspect with its vast wooded areas cut of Belgium is the great life-style through with rivers, offers winter Mons is home to a wealth of amenities you will find there. sports enthusiasts a chance to architectural heritage (the Belfri, Belgian cities feature numerous do some cross-country skiing the Town Hall, Sainte-Waudru jazz clubs, great concert venues, and summer sports enthusiasts a Church) as well as museums and trendy hotels and restaurants, chance to do try out trekking or its own rich folklore (the Ducasse shops and galleries. It’s a great some adventurous water sports. Festival). country for listening to music, visiting art museums, eating out Wallonia, the southern part of All across Belgium you can visit and just plain wandering. the country, is home to such and discover century old beer beautiful and charming cities as brewing abbeys like Saint-Sixtus People who like their history, Liège, which sits proudly at the (Westvleteren beer), Westmalle, architecture, art with a dash of confluence of two major rivers Orval, Scroumont (Chimay beer), excellent wining and dining will and boasts several historical Maredsous or Notre-Dame de feel quite at home. monuments, including the famous Saint-Rémy (Rochefort beer) where you will be shown the Another appealing aspect that Palace of Prince-Bishops. makes Belgium an even more attractive tourist destination, is its interconnectivity with other main European cities: Paris, London, and Amsterdam are respectively a little more than one, two and three hours away by train, and Brussels airport is linked to all the European capitals by airway. For more information visit: www.visitbelgium.com or http://www.visitflanders.com/ (Flanders) or http://www.opt.be/accueil/en/ index.html (Wallonia) Photo: Wolfgang Staudt There are more castles per square mile in Belgium Did you know? than anywhere With a few other canal-based northern cities, Bruges is often else in the world referred to as “The Venice of the North” 33 Belgium in Focus
  • 33. | Belgian Beer Sip, the Belgian Way Even though India is better known for enjoying whiskey and rum, Belgian Breweries have been striving to promote beer culture in the country As its economy grows, the middle class is hunting for the latest ways to flaunt its affluence and there is nothing better than Belgian Beer. Indian Beer industry however is struggling to compete with international brands. In this scenario, the arrival of the Belgian Beer Companies in India has gratified the obsession of Indian beer lovers. Belgium has always been known as a country of Beer. Beer is not merely a drink in Belgium, but something that Photo: Soul of Beer represents the country’s culture and tradition. Almost all small towns have their own signature beer. The country produces 500 types of beer in almost 115 breweries and many more local Rochefort Brewery micro-breweries. 2008, Stella Artois won eight gold discoveries. Its gold-coloured Right from the thirst-quenching beers medals at the New York Festivals appearance, delicate sparkle and and special beers, to light and strong Innovative Advertising Awards. silky taste appear to associate beers, be they blond, amber-coloured, with the tradition of great Pilsners. • Hoegaarden: The Original On the other hand, Duvel’s refined reddish or brown, fruity, bitter or acid; White Beer: Hoegaarden is the taste with complex aromas hides you will find beers for everyone and original Belgian White (Wheat) an 8.5 per cent alcohol content! for all occasions. Nowhere else in the beer, with a unique and extremely The secret of Duvel’s subtle world you will find a larger choice complex brewing process. The bitterness resides in the hop and of regional, authentic and colourful brand is first fermented and then yeasts used during the brewing beers. is refermented within the bottle. process. The yeasts are cultivated Moreover, Belgians are known for The beer has unique hexagonal from the same source that Albert the most beautiful presentation of chunky tumbler style glass. It is Moortgat brought with him from beer. Beer bottles are sealed with a an ideal accompaniment to Thai Scotland in 1918. metal cap or a cork and are tinted or Chinese dishes, and is an ideal with darker colour to prevent the beer beer for hot summer days. • Trappist Beers: There are from any negative effects from light. only seven trappist breweries in Each beer has its own shape of glass • Leffe: Designed for real beer the world. Only beer brewed at and is served according to the rules lovers, Leffe has established itself an abbey, under the watchful of the art. as a leader for its distinct taste, eye of the Cistercian monastic texture feel and a unique brewing community living there, can Famous Belgian Beers heritage. It is a popular saying rightfully use the strictly controlled “To hold a glass of Leffe is to name of “Trappiste”. There are • Stella Artois: Stella Artois which savour rich history of Belgium”. only seven breweries entitled is the best selling Belgian beer in the The beer has a delicate and light, to use the “Trapise” name, six world and the fifth largest international malty aroma and a subtle, sweet of them are in Belgium (Orval, beer brand is now available in India. finish. Chimay, Rochefort, Westvleteren, Sold in more than 80 countries, Stella Westmalle and Achel) and one in Artois is brewed to perfection using • Duvel, devil in Dutch, is The Netherlands (Koningshoeven). the original Stella Artois yeast and indeed a devilish beer full of Taste a Trappist…we’ll guarantee the celebrated Saaz hops. In April contradictions and surprising you’ll be converted! Belgium in Focus 3
  • 34. Useful Business Contact Information ADDRESSES IN INDIA Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Embassy of Belgium in New Delhi Self-Employed Energy 50-N Shantipath, Service for Foreign Investments Chanakyapuri-110021 New Delhi Atrium C T: +91 11 4242 8000 • F: +91 11 4242 8002 rue du Progres 50 Vooruitgangstraat E: newdelhi@diplobel.fed.be 1210 Brussels www.diplomatie.be/newdelhi T: +32 2 277 7808 • F: +32 2 277 53 06 E: invest.belgium@mineco.fgov.be Flanders Investment and Trade Offices www.investinbelgium.fgov.be T: +91 11 4242 8100 • F: +91 11 4242 8110 E: newdelhi@fitagency.com Federal Public Service Finance www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com Fiscal Opt for Foreign Investments Rue Marie Theresestraat 1, box 4 Wallonia and Brussels Investment and Trade Offices (AWEX) 1000 Brussels T: +91 11 4242 8200 • F: +91 11 4242 8210 T: +32 2 579 3866 E: newdelhi@awex.in E: albert. wolfs@minfin.fed.be www.fiscus.fgov.be Consulate General of Belgium in Mumbai Morena, 11 M.L. Dahanukar Marg Ministry of the Brussels Capital Region (Carmichael Road), Mumbai 400026 Foreign Investments Department T: +91 22 2351 2115, 2351 5186, 2352 1602 Bvd du Jardin Botanique 20 Kruidtuinlaan F: +91 22 23 52 14 20 1035 Brussels E: mumbai@diplobel.fed.be T: +32 2 800 3461 • F: +32 2 800 3806 www.diplomatie.be/mumbai E: invest.eco@mrbc.irisnet.be www.investinbrussels.com FIT Mumbai www.brussels.irisnet.be T: +91 22 235 22 195 F: +91 22 235 20 697 Brussels Enterprise Agency (BEA) E: mumbai@fitagency.com Tour Taxis Avenue du Port 86c Havenlaan, AWEX Mumbai Box 21 1 1000 Brussels T: +91 22 2432 1829 T: +32 2 422 0020 • F: +32 2 422 0043 F: +91 22 2432 2609 E: info@bea.irisnet.be www.bea.irisnet.be FIT and AWEX Bangalore www.investinbrussels.com No. 102, I floor Prestige Posiedon 139, Residency Road, Bangalore - 560 025 Ministry of the Flanders Region T: +91 80 22 22 99 21 Flanders Investment Trade F: +91 80 22 22 99 20 rue Gaucheretstraat 90 E: bangalore@fitagency.com 1030 Brussels T: +32 2 504 8871 • F: +32 2 504 8870 ADDRESSES IN BElGIuM E: invest@fitagency.be www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com http://invest.belgium.be/ Wallonia Export Investment Agency Namur Office Park Belgo Indian Chamber of Commerce Avenue des dessus de Lives, 6 Industry 5101 NAMUR-LOYERS ING Building, 24 avenue Marnix Tel: +32(0)81/33.28.50 Fax: +32(0)81/33.28.69 1000 Brussels www.investinwallonia.be T: +32 2 547 2910 investinwallonia@investinwallonia.be 3 Belgium in Focus
  • 35. For further information, contact: Embassy of Belgium 50-N, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110021 Tel: 4242 8000 Fax: 4242 8002 E-mail: newdelhi@diplobel.fed.be

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