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PM Modi, Belgian King Philippe hold talks on strengthening ties

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belgium's King Philippe on Tuesday held talks to strengthen bilateral ties. Ahead of the meeting with Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting dignitary, who arrived here on Sunday on a week-long trip, his first state visit to India following his ascension to the throne in 2013.

Modi and the Belgian king, who is accompanied by six ministers and a high powered business delegation comprising CEOs of 86 Belgian companies, held talks in Hyderabad House.

India is Belgium's second largest export destination and third largest trade partner outside EU, according to official data.

In 2016-17, bilateral trade amounted to USD 13.28 billion. While exports from India to Belgium accounted for USD 5.65 billion, imports from Belgium accounted for USD 6.62 billion.

'Swaraj call on His Majesty The King Philippe of Belgium. Engaging conversation on expanding warm and friendly bilateral relations,' MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. 

The visit will further strengthen the historical strong ties between the two countries, the ministry had said ahead of the visit.

Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathilde, were accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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