India and Belgium Increase Cooperation through MOU on Renewable Energy Sector

EU-India relations date back to 1962 when diplomatic relations were established. The 1994 Cooperation Agreement, which remains the legal framework for EU-India relations, boosted political dialogue as well as economic and sectorial cooperation.   

EU-India relations have evolved through regular Ministerial and expert-level meetings on a range of issues such as security, human rights, trade, economic cooperation, development policy, energy, environment, ICT, research and innovation, as well as high-level Summits.  

The India-European Union (EU) bilateral trade and investment agreement when inked will help European nations, including Belgium, to take advantage of India’s strong economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.  

Belgium is India’s second-largest trade partner in goods in the European Union (EU) and India is Belgium’s second-largest export destination outside the EU.  

In a statement after talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels on Wednesday, Modi suggested that Belgian businesses could make their global supply chains more cost-effective by manufacturing in India. Modi is in Brussels on the first leg of his three-continent tour that will take him to the US and Saudi Arabia.     

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Belgium in Brussels during his visit to Belgium (Image source: Irish Times)   India and Belgium resolved to further enhance cooperation in renewable energy, ports, and information technology among others.   

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel welcomed the progress under the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on renewable energy between the Belgian authorities at the federal and regional levels and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the inaugural meeting of the Joint Working Group on March 14 identifying smart cities, waste to energy, small wind turbines, water purification technologies involving renewable energy and zero-emission buildings as priority areas for joint collaboration.  

They took positive note of the active cooperation in Science and Technology under the inter-governmental agreement between India’s Department of Science and Technology and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office and looked forward to continued cooperation in this regard.   

They welcomed the technical activation of an optical infrared telescope in Devasthal in India, jointly developed by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) of India and the Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) as a concrete demonstration of successful collaboration.   

The two leaders also welcomed the upcoming signature of the finalized Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Biotechnology of India and the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) for cooperation in the field of biotechnology.   

Noting the long-standing cooperation between the two countries in the Ports sector, they welcomed the imminent extension of the agreement between the Government of Flanders and the Ministry of Shipping for another two years, as well as the ongoing collaboration between the Port of Antwerp and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to develop a Joint Training Center under the MoU signed in February 2015.  

They also welcomed the ongoing negotiations to cooperate in the area of Information Communication Technology and Electronics (ICT&E) across a broad spectrum of domains including e-Governance/mobile Governance, cyber security and institutional framework between major research institutions, education and training in ICT and looked forward to an early conclusion of an agreement. (Source: Sify)


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