Belgian King and queen arrive on week long maiden state visit to India
New Delhi: Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, accompanied by a large business and academic delegation, arrived here on Sunday evening on a week-long state visit to India.
President Ram Nath Kovind will meet the royal couple on Tuesday after bilateral talks between King Phillipe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are being accompanied by six ministers and a high-powered business delegation comprising CEOs of nearly 90 Belgian companies and over a dozen chiefs of academic institutions.
India is Belgium's second largest export destination and third largest trade partner outside the European Union (EU). In 2016-17, bilateral trade, overwhelmingly dominated by diamonds, was at $13.28 billion of which exports from India to Belgium accounted for $5.65 billion while imports from Belgium accounted for $6.62 billion.
King Philippe is the third Belgian monarch to make a state visit to India after earlier such visits in 1970 and 2008.
The importance of the visit can be gauged from the fact that a Belgian King makes only one state visit to a country during the course of his reign.