On his maiden visit to Punjab on Monday, the ambassador of Belgium, Jan Luykx, said “he never felt any security threat in India”.
Moving without any security cover when he visited ‘Belfrance’ — a Belgian chocolate shop in the city, and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Luykx said, “We know that due to the recent terror attack, Punjab is on high alert. But honestly, I never felt any threat and have, therefore, come here without any security. There is nothing to panic.”
He further talked about the prospect of his country’s collaboration with Punjab in the field of chocolates, sugarbeet cultivation and processing. PAU gifted a miniature Golden Temple to the Belgian delegation.
“There is immense possibility of trade between Punjab and Belgium. Tomorrow, we will meet a delegation at the office of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for investment possibilities in Punjab. Our chocolates from Belgium are famous worldwide and if some more chocolate shops serving authentic Belgian chocolates open up here, it would be great,” he said.
In the agricultural sector, the ambassador said the sugarbeet crop could be widely grown and processed in Punjab, which would be a mutually beneficial agreement.
“I wish to have cooperation in areas of food processing and research on sugarbeet. I am exploring possibility of cultivating sugarbeet in Punjab,” Luykx said.
He further said the seaport of Antwerp in Belgium can be used by Ludhiana industrialists. “It is a centrally located port in Europe and Ludhiana industry should explore its utility,” he said.
Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor Dr B S Dhillon in his discussion told the Belgian ambassador that “exchange of scientists is the top priority” for collaboration in agri-research.