GOPIO Belgium Conference  on

“NRI/PIO Business Networking for Trade and Investment and Contribution of Indian Diaspora in Europe




Trade, Investment and Commerce between Europe and India will be discussed in the GOPIO Business Network Conference in Brussels on 4th. October 2004


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The GOPIO Conference on "NRI/PIO Business Network for Trade and Investment" in Brussels (Belgium) on the 4th. October 2004 will ask the Indian Diaspora in Europe to play a pro-active role in India’s economic development. The GOPIO News Bulletin has been reporting about the objective and preparation of the Conference in its last few issues. The Minister for Non-Resident Affairs of the Government of India will be the Chief Guest and Dr. L. M. Singhvi, the Chairman of the Commission on Indian Diaspora will be the Guest of Honor. In addition, several high profile business leaders and academicians are slated to address the Conference. The Conference is being organized in association with the Mission of India and in collaboration with the Indian Embassy. At least eight leading companies of Europe are supporting the Conference.


In recent times there has been a paradigm shift in the way the European Union and other countries of Europe view India. Both EU and India are actors in the multi-polar world and are committed to expand their relationship. Because of its huge potential for trade and investment and its vibrant democracy, India has achieved a place of pride in the European mind and has established Indian heritage in the European economic and political space. The European Union is India’s largest trading partner, the major contributor of development aid and is home to a large and influential Indian Diaspora. Indo-EU trading relations have become stronger in the multilateral trading system under the aegis of the WTO. New emerging economic scenario particularly after the advent of the WTO in 1995 India has started playing a more active role in the global trading system. However, India represents a miniscule proportion of its global trade.


EU-India trade has grown impressively over the years, from € 4.4 billion in 1980 to €28.4 billion in 2003. Trade with the EU represents almost a quarter of Indian's total exports and import. The EU is also India's largest source of foreign direct investment. However, India accounts for just 1.6% of total EU imports of goods and 0.8% of import of services. India attracts only 0.3 % of the EU's world-wide investments. In consideration of the above, GOPIO attaches a very importance to the coming event and expects an impressive participation from the PIO/NRI community living in Europe, from EU based institutions and many multinational corporations. In addition to the several dignitaries from India and other countries, participation of interested business bodies and Chambers of Commerce in EU countries is also envisaged.


The coming event will be the largest gathering of the NRIs/PIOs in recent times and will afford unique opportunity to the Indian Diaspora to network. Further, the Conference will open a new chapter in GOPIO’s efforts in developing strategic relations between NRIs/PIOs and Europe and European Institutions. The Conference will be attended by business leaders, policy makers, economists, manufacturers, Exporters-Importers, Consulting firms and social activists. In addition to the inaugural session, there will be technical sessions to discuss issues such as BPO, raising the profile of the Indian Diaspora, economic contribution of the Indian Community in Europe, if the American Indian experiment could be useful in Europe, launching of the Europe-India Chamber of Commerce, etc.


More than 225 NRI/PIO business and community leaders from 23 countries have already signed up for the Conference. Although the registration is close, the organizers may, in special cases, consider high profile requests from people residing in countries other than Belgium. President of GOPIO Belgium Mr. Sunil Prasad can be contacted on telephone and fax: 0032-2-469 2677 or 0032-2-224 0203, E-mail: or for further detail.