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From 21 to 25 May, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, representing His Majesty the King, is leading an economic mission to Senegal. The programme for Monday and Tuesday takes place in the capital, Dakar, where a series of B2B meetings and sectoral workshops, a visit to the Port of Dakar and meetings with the authorities are planned to explore new investment and business opportunities between Belgium and Senegal.
Princess Astrid is accompanied by a ministerial delegation including Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions, Hadja Lahbib, Deputy Minister-President of the Walloon Government and regional Minister of Economy, Foreign Trade, Town and Country Planning and Agriculture, Willy Borsus and Brussels State Secretary responsible for Urbanism and Heritage, European and International Relations and Foreign Trade, Pascal Smet.
Monday 22 May
The opening session on Monday 22 May, in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, H.E. Aïssata Tall Sall, and the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Cooperation, H.E. Oulimata Sarr, presented investment and business opportunities in Senegal. Then, Princess Astrid and the official delegation visited, together with H.E. Annette Seck, Minister Delegate of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, the PEM WECCO' initiative - meaning "exchange" in Wolof - which links Belgian and Senegalese SMEs. This opening session was followed by four thematic workshops organised by the Regions throughout the day, presenting Belgian know-how and investment opportunities in the sectors of health (infectious diseases/FIT), water (water treatment and a renewable energy source/AWEX), transport and logistics (FIT) and the service sector in Senegal (health, ICT, insurance & banking, legal services/hub.brussels).
Princess Astrid and the official delegation attended the signing of a G3+1 academic partnership between the French-speaking universities of Geneva, Montreal and Brussels with the University of Dakar (UCAD) where the UCAD medal was awarded to Princess Astrid. The morning programme ended with a business lunch with captains of industry active in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
On Monday afternoon, Princess Astrid and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hadja Lahbib, Deputy Minister-President Borsus and Secretary of State Smet, had an official meeting with the Prime Minister, H.E. Amadou Ba, and an audience with the President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, followed by an official dinner hosted by President Sall.
Tuesday 23 May
The day will start with a Success Stories breakfast, full of positive energy of businesswomen and men who will present their commercial success stories. Next, the official delegation, presided over by Princess Astrid, will visit the Port of Dakar, where Belgian and Senegalese investors have joined forces to ensure that this port remains Senegal's leading port and logistics hub, serving West Africa. The official delegation will visit two major projects in the Port of Dakar: the bulk liquids terminal of the Belgian group SEA-invest and the multipurpose multimodal terminal of Môle 4, a project of the Belgian group Conti-Lines.
Afterwards, the Ambassador of Belgium will organise a lunch with the Federation of Belgian Enterprises (FEB), in the presence of the Minister of Finance and Budget, H.E. Mamadou Moustapha Ba.
The afternoon programme will focus on the role and potential of women entrepreneurs. Strengthening the presence and participation of women in the economy, a priority of both the Senegalese government and Belgian foreign policy, will be at the heart of the "Business & Human Rights" seminar organised by the Belgian Embassy in Dakar. Princess Astrid and the official delegation will also attend the inauguration of the Innovation Fair "Jigeen Ñi Tamit /Women too", a programme financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation which aims at strengthening women entrepreneurship in the field of agro-food processing. Afterwards, Princess Astrid and the official delegation will participate in a meeting between the ecosystems of women entrepreneurs, with representatives from both the public and private sectors.
Minister Lahbib will have an official meeting with her counterpart, H.E. Aïssata Tall Sall.
The full programme and all useful information on the Belgian economic mission to Senegal are available on the following website : https://www.belgianeconomicmission.be
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