Mumbai, Nov 9 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday sought the help of Belgium in setting up a university in the state exclusively pertaining to diamond industry-related courses, officials said.
At a function in Raj Bhavan to honour the visiting Belgium King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Fadnavis said the state government has decided to set up such a university.
Highlighting the major infrastructure projects taken up in the state, he also sought help from Belgium in the state’s infrastructure development and the implementation of the Smart Cities Mission.
Welcoming the royal couple, Governor C.V. Rao said the state was keen on greater cooperation with Belgium in areas of clean energy, infrastructure development, higher education, skill-development and film-making.
In his address, King Philippe said that the diamond trade overwhelmingly dominated Indo-Belgian commerce, accounting for more than 80 per cent of its (Belgian) exports.
He called for further strengthening the economic engagement between India and Belgium by diversifying the trade basket and expanding investment ties.
Later, Rao hosted a lunch for the visiting royal delegation in which his wife Vinodha, Fadnavis, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick and other senior officials were present.
Incidentally, Mumbai, the hub of the Indian diamond industry, besides Gujarat, enjoys strong relations with Belgium’s historical centre of the diamond industry, Antwerp, with many diamond companies based here having their branches, offices or representatives there.
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