- Category: Cross-Sector News
- Created on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 12:03
Exploring business opportunities in India, a delegation of 55 companies and 85 participants from the private sector of the Flanders region of Belgium, visited the cities of Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with h the Minister - President of the Government of Flanders Mr. Geert Bourgeois.
In its efforts to bring European Smart City solutions to India’s Smart Cities, the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), signed an MOU with Agoria which is the largest sectoral federation in Belgium. The federation supports its members, which are active in 10 areas (Information and Communication Technology, Building Technology, Contracting, Materials Technology, Subcontracting, Production Technology & Mechatronics, Transport Systems & Solutions, Energy Systems & Solutions, Environment Systems & Solutions and Aeronautics, Space, Security, Defence Technology), through business development initiatives centred on markets, products and technologies, both nationally and internationally.
(L-R): Joel Fernandes, Senior Advisor – West, EBTC, Mr. Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President, Government of Flanders and Ms. Ingrid Reynaert, Business Group Leader, Smart Cities, Agoria Belgium).
Since 2011, Agoria has built a Belgian smart cities community with stakeholders from the government, local municipalities, city administration, industry, knowledge centres and financial institutions. The “Agoria smart cities project” focuses on 4 key domains: smart mobility, smart digital communication & infrastructure, smart building & living, and smart energy.
The “EBTC EU-India Smart Cities Knowledge and Innovation Programme” focuses on the integration European solutions into one platform, which is positioned and presented to the Indian stakeholders at the conceptual and operational stages of the Indian Smart Cities projects. The program creates a Body of Knowledge (BOK) with resources from technologies and innovative solutions from European companies, frame works, best practices, case studies and standards from European Governments and Municipalities that will be shared with all relevant Indian Smart Cities stakeholders. This MOU will engage Flemish companies in India’s smart cities projects by presenting their smart city solutions to the relevant Indian stakeholders.
“By visiting India, we further tighten the bonds with a trade partner who is gaining importance and offers many opportunities in a variety of sectors. Flemish exports to India amount to no less than €7.6 billion. With this mission, we seek to consolidate our diamond exports to India and promote other export sectors such as clean tech, food, infrastructure and high tech. In India, our Flemish innovative and knowledge-driven economy is held in high regard. Also, we hope to encourage Indian companies to increase investments in Flanders,” Bourgeois said.
India is the seventh biggest destination for Flemish exports, and 97% of Belgian exports to India originate from Flanders. About 80% of the exports comprises of diamonds, followed by chemicals & pharma and machines & electrical equipment, which command about 4% each.
“India and Flanders share a holistic view on innovation, wherein investing in technology is not enough, but people of the country should want to, and be able to, use it. This is an endeavour to leverage the existing ties between India and Flanders to further boost production technologies and client-bases for companies from either countries,” said Pascal Cools, General Manger, Flanders District of Creativity.
The European Business and Technology Centre was incorporated in India in 2010. EBTC has played a vital role in creating viable ecosystems for EU-India cleantech collaboration. EBTC has a pan-India presence and focuses on the 4 key sectors of ICT, energy, environment and transport. Aligning EBTC’s actions with large scale national initiatives of India, such as Clean Ganga, 100 Smart Cities, Make in India, and more, has become paramount for ensuring such collaborations.