Four Indian and four Belgian firms have entered into partnerships in technology and aerospace sectors to boost trade and economic ties between the two countries.

The agreements were signed here late Friday during the six-day visit of Belgian Prince Philippe on the invitation of Vice President M. Hamid Ansari from March 22-27.

Philippe, who is leading a 250-member Belgian economic mission representing about 160 firms, is accompanied by Princess Mathilde and Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Steven Vanackere on his fourth visit to India.

“The Indo-Belgian agreements are significant in light of the rapid economic development in India. It indicates the interest and commitment of Belgian companies to work in partnership with its Indian counterparts across diverse sectors to further collaboration, learning and growth,” Vanackere said on the occasion.

BTR Services, Vasco Data Security, KBC ITC signed an agreement with Oracle financial Services to launch a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform offering banking back-office services.

BTR is a Belgian firm in ITC (information and communication technology) services for the banking sector.

Vasco Data Security is also a Belgian firm in the internet security. KBC ITC is the ITC department of the Belgian bank KBC, one of the largest Belgian financial institutions.

As part of the agreement, BTR Services will be in charge of the parameterization of the platform. KBC ICT will host and service the application at its data centre, while Vasco Data Security will implement security to access the platform using Digipass technology and Oracle Financial Services will deliver the Flexcube banking software package.

“The partnership will provide customers a lower production cost and a better allocation of available resources to focus on the core competencies of their business,” a BTR official said.

To foster cooperative programmes in aerospace, security, defence and international disaster relief with air assets, Flag, Skywin, the Belgian aerospace industry representatives, and SIATI (Society of Indian Aerosapce Technologies & Industries) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Similarly, Sabca, a Belgian aerospace firm, and Quest, a leading Indian provider of engineering consultancy services, entered into a partnership to provide surface treatments to the aerospace manufacturing industry.

The Bangalore-based Quest has a joint venture with Magellan Aerospace Corporation of Belgium to manufacture and assemble subsystems for Airbus aircraft projects.

“The latest partnership extends the long-term contracts with Sabca on the Airbus A380 programme to manufacture about 400 references of machining parts,” Quest chairman and co-founder Aravind Melligeri told IANS here.

The agreement on the Airbus A350 programme also gives Quest manufacturing the status of a preferred supplier for the outsourcing of metallic parts and sub-assemblies.

Orban Microwaves Products, based at Leuven in Belgium, entered into a strategic partnership with Kavveri Telecom Products Ltd to design, manufacture and market its RF (radio frequency) and microwave subsystems and antennas in the Indian market.

The Bangalore-based Kavveri is a leading wireless infrastructure solutions company while Orban is a leading European RF and microwave technology firm, providing innovative solutions to the Satcom, defence and aerospace and avionics markets worldwide.

“The technology partnership leverages the complimentary goals and capabilities of both companies. Our objective is to increase our market share in the satcom, defence, aerospace and avionics markets, whereas Orban is looking to expand its business into the Indian market,” Kavveri Managing Director Shivakumar Reddy said.

Belgium is India’s third trading partner within the European Union (EU), preceded by Germany and Britain. Total bilateral import and export exceeded 8.7 billion euros in 2008.

About 150 Belgian enterprises are present in India, while leading Indian firms, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL, NIIT, Jet Airways, Jubilant Organosys, Crompton Greaves and Raymond are present in Belgium.

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