|From June 4 to 11, HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, representing His Majesty the King, will lead an economic mission to Atlanta, New York City and Boston in the United States of America.
With over 540 participants, i.e. business representatives from 270 leading Belgian companies and a solid academic delegation as well, this is one of the largest ever organized. The large number of registrations and the extensive program in different cities reflect the great interest of our companies, universities, academic and research centers for the opportunities within the framework of our trade relations with the USA.
Official delegation and participants
HRH Princess Astrid will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation with Federal Minister in charge of Foreign Trade David Clarinval, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, Walloon Vice-President Willy Borsus, and Brussels Secretary of State Pascal Smet. 270 leading Belgian companies, universities and organizations active in some of Belgium’s key sectors, including health and life sciences, renewable energy, logistics, digital economy, robotics, food and agriculture, architecture and sustainability will explore opportunities to strengthen partnerships between Belgium and the United States.
The economic missions are jointly organized by the three regional agencies responsible for promoting trade relations and investment (Flanders Investment & Trade/FIT, Brussels Invest & Export Hub/hub.brussels, Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation/Awex), the Foreign Trade Agency and the FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
Historic relationship with close ties, turned towards the future
Belgium and the United States enjoy strong economic ties. With over USD 58 billion in bilateral trade in goods in 2021, the United States is the largest export destination for Belgium outside the European Union. Belgium is the third export destination in the EU for the U.S. and represents a crucial logistics hub and a key access point to the European market. The stock of mutual bilateral investment amounts to more than $130 billion and is almost evenly balanced between the two countries. About 900 American companies operate in Belgium and many have established their European headquarters or important R&D facilities. The 500 Belgian companies operating in the United States also contribute significantly to the U.S. economy and employ some 70,000 people all over the country.
In addition to being an important economic partner, Belgium has always been a strategic partner and a key ally of the United States. As the proud host of the European Union and NATO, Belgium considers the transatlantic relationship to be the cornerstone of its security and prosperity, especially in today’s world. The United States and Belgium are also like-minded partners who share a similar vision of promoting democratic principles, respect for the rule of law and human rights.
A program focusing on economic sectors where the partnerships can be further strengthened
The sectors receiving special attention in the program are amongst Belgium’s key sectors, including health and life sciences, renewable energy, logistics, digital economy, robotics, food and agriculture, architecture and sustainability. The aim is to explore further opportunities to strengthen partnerships between Belgium and the United States and to highlight the shared focus of our two countries on technology (i.e. Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT). The companies that will be visited by the trade delegation to the United States will be a mix of subsidiaries of Belgian companies and local companies that have strong ties to Belgium (in the former group of companies one finds AB Inbev (New York City), Solvay (Alpharetta, GA) and UCB (Smyrna, GA).
In addition to the various B2B and B2G appointments organized for participants, there will be numerous events with a specific sectoral focus organized by the regional agencies responsible for promoting trade relations and investments.
HRH Princess Astrid will also be meeting government officials throughout the trip, among them Governors Brian Kemp (Georgia) and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) and New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.
The full program and all useful information about the Belgian economic mission to the USA are available on the following website: https://www.belgianeconomicmission.be/.
During the mission, the program can be followed on social media under the hashtag #BEmissionUSA.