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Several visits to businesses and with public officials are scheduled in order to explore opportunities to strengthen the partnerships between Belgium and the United States.
The Belgian economic mission will be the largest international trade delegation to visit Atlanta since the 1996 Olympics and the second-largest Belgian trade mission in Belgium’s history. It will put the Southeast in general and Atlanta in particular on the map of Belgian companies interested in expanding their business and activities in the United States.
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.
Georgia and Belgium are already important economic partners today. Georgia’s total trade with Belgium totaled $3.2 billion in 2021, growing 29% from 2020. In fact, total trade with Belgium has increased 157% since 2017.
The scale of this mission shows just how attractive the United States and the Southeast are to Belgian companies and presents a unique opportunity to fortify bilateral economic ties, with a specific focus on technology. The program in Atlanta is a rich mix of events on Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Life Sciences, E-gaming, investment opportunities in Belgium, company visits, high-level bilateral discussions, and business-to-business meetings – a selection of the events follows:
On June 5, Princess Astrid will inaugurate a new applications laboratory at the Alpharetta campus of Belgian company Solvay alongside CEO Dr. Ilham Kadri. Solvay has invested more than $22 million of capital in the new building to increase innovation capabilities.
On 6 June, Princess Astrid and the official delegation will also have a bilateral meeting with Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp at the Georgia Capitol to reinforce the strong friendship between Belgium and Georgia.
The same day, a panel discussion at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights will explore “The Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).” Top CEOs from Solvay, Bank of America, and the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) will hold a discussion on the importance of DEI-focus in business in Belgium and the United States. Business and Human Rights are a priority of Belgium’s foreign policy.
An executive roundtable on artificial intelligence with Professor Angel Cabrera, President of Georgia Tech, and HE Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders at the Georgia Tech Research Institute will highlight the importance of European-American collaboration in artificial intelligence innovation.
In the afternoon, at the Creative Medias Industries Institute at Georgia State University, an event will spotlight the growing Belgian e-gaming sector, including the creation of an avatar of Princess Astrid by CMII students and a virtual reality competition.
HRH Princess Astrid will meet a UCB patient advocate and unveil a plaque for the new inSpace building on the Smyrna campus of Belgian life science company UCB with CEO Jean Christophe Tellier.
A networking reception, offering a possibility for informal contacts with business leaders from all over the south-east of the USA, will conclude the program in Atlanta. The official delegation will continue the Belgian economic mission in New York and Boston.
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.
- News Type