Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde take 203 Belgian companies on delegation to US

For the first time for a Belgian travel delegation, ministers in charge of foreign trade of the three regions of the Plat Pays were part of the delegation. The mission was composed of 203 companies, mainly from the pharmaceutical, biotech, ICT and finance sectors.
The mission, which lasted until today, June 30, passed through New York, Washington DC and Boston. The Walloon Minister of Economy (Jean-Claude Marcourt), Brussels (Benoit Cerexhe) and Flemish (Kris Peeters) took part in the trip, that consisted mainly of companies, but also of financial institutions of all Belgian universities and industry federations. The Delegation from Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) was the most important with 77 big companies against 68 in Brussels and 50 from the Walloon Export Agency (AWEX). The mission also included a political component. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Steven Vanackere met United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon in NYC. Syria, Libya and the DRC were the hot topics on the agenda.
In Washington, the Belgian foreign minister held tallks with Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, as well as Senators John Kerry and John McCain.
The entire delegation comprised 383 persons. The last Belgian economic mission took place from 3 to 8 April in Russia.