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Throughout history, Belgium and New York have always been deeply connected. Business opportunities, a shared ‘can do’ spirit, and creative know-how, are key factors of this solid bilateral relationship, enabling them to be frontrunners in an ever-changing economic setting.
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.
The New York program of the Belgian Economic Mission consists of an array of unique exchanges, each with their own approach, all with the same goal: to maintain and foster Belgian-American ties.
Considered the pinnacle of bilateral friendships and the ultimate celebration of transatlantic trade relations, is the Belgian Official reception. On June 7th the economic mission will be celebrated in style, adorned with speeches by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium and Jean-Arthur Regibeau, Ambassador of Belgium to the United States.
On June 8th HRH Princess Astrid and the official delegation will have a bilateral meeting with the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams. Here too, the emphasis will be on the friendly relations and how to explore further cooperation opportunities.
Two other flagship events taking place in New York are the high level meeting with AB InBev on sustainable business innovation, and the event Two inspiring cities: Brussels and New York, Cities for the People.
AB InBev - sustainable business innovation (June 7)
AB InBev is the world’s biggest brewer with a heritage that started more than 600 years ago. To this day, AB InBev is headquartered in Belgium, with a second global headquarter in New York City.
In 2018, AB InBev launched the 100+ Accelerator, a global incubator program that works to solve supply chain challenges across water stewardship, circular economy, sustainable agriculture and climate action. Over the last two years, the program has accelerated 36 companies in 16 countries. These startups have raised more than $200 million and are scaling globally. In the spring of 2021, AB InBev launched the third 100+ Accelerator. For this third cohort, the Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilever joined the AB InBev 100+ Accelerator to fund and pilot sustainable innovation in supply chains.
One of AB InBev’s main goals during the meeting in New York on June 7th, is to connect with partners who also want to tackle sustainability challenges.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth will open the event, and Isabelle Seunier (Director Innovation & Supply) will talk about the beer category and the presence of Belgian beer in the US. A presentation on the AB InBev Global Sustainability Goals will be brought by Ezgi Barcenas (Chief Sustainability Officer AB InBev), whereas John Blood (Chief Legal & CA Officer) will talk about the AB InBev Community Strategy. The event will be concluded with a meet & greet with Belgians working at AB InBev, and a photo opportunity on the rooftop with HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Federal Minister in charge of Foreign Trade David Clarinval, Walloon Vice-President Willy Borsus, and the AB InBev Management team.
Two Inspiring Cities, New York and Brussels: Exchange of Best Practices on the Economic Transition towards "Cities for the People” (June 8)
Inspired by general sustainability targets set worldwide, some cities take the climate challenge even further by tailoring ambitious strategies for their respective homes. Two of those cities, Brussels and New York, seek to lead and integrate sustainability into every part of their policy making process.
For many years, Brussels has been a pioneering and internationally recognized capital in the field of sustainable and circular construction. In 2016, Bill de Blasio, former mayor of New York, based his ‘One City: Built to Last’-plan on the Brussels legislation that rendered passive construction mandatory as of January 1st 2015. This legislation sparked an incredibly dynamic ecosystem in Brussels. During two seminars in New York, on June 8th and 9th, best practices and possible partnerships between the Brussels and American markets will be exchanged.
While channeling new ideas and exchanges, the goal of the interactive panel discussions is to provide new opportunities for collaboration and thus achieve a faster and more equitable transition to sustainable economies and cities for the people.
Richard Yancey (Executive Director, BEEX) will open the event and introduce 3 speeches: Economic Transition - Brussels for the people by Brussels Secretary of State Pascal Smet, The Building Challenge, priorities for New York State by Doreen M. Harris (President and CEO of NYSERDA), Next steps for NYC by Kizzy Charles-Guzman (Executive Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental climate sustainability, environmental justice, and resiliency). After the opening speeches, there will be a photo opportunity with HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, together with the Ministers and speakers.
Experts Laura Fox, Aline Muylaert, Greg Hale and Henry Gordon-Smith will subsequently open the interactive panel discussions and discuss best practices, urban strategies and how Brussels and New York have become drivers of sustainable change.
Key topics will include Citizen Participation and Inclusion, Green Mobility in the City, Food System Optimization, and Green Built Environment.
After completion of the program in New York, the official delegation will travel to Boston, Massachusetts for the third and final leg of the Belgian economic mission to the USA.
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.
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