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From 21 to 25 May, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, representing His Majesty the King, will lead an economic mission to the Republic of Senegal. Following recent princely economic missions in Europe (UK), the United States and Asia (Japan), a substantial economic and academic delegation from Belgium will visit the African continent to explore opportunities to further strengthen and expand economic and trade relations with Senegal. Senegal is on the one hand a partner country of Belgian development cooperation, and on the other hand actively committed to developing and diversifying its growing economic sector with B2B opportunities for companies, universities, academic and research centres.
Official delegation and participants
Princess Astrid will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation including Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions, Hadja Lahbib, Deputy Prime Minister of the Walloon Government and regional Minister of for 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.
In addition to the official delegation, the mission will host representatives of 155 leading Belgian companies, universities and organisations. The key sectors addressed during this princely economic mission are port and intermodal logistics, pharma and biotechnology, food and agro-industry, sustainable building and construction, renewable energy sources, water treatment and environment. There will also be a strong focus on creative industries and arts. The mission will take place mainly in the capital Dakar and in the recently created Diamniadio business and service centre.
The princely economic missions are jointly organised by FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Foreign Trade Agency and the three regional agencies responsible for promoting trade relations and investments (Flanders Investment & Trade/FIT, Brussels Invest & Export /hub.brussels, Agence Wallonne à l'Exportation et aux Investissements étrangers/Awex).
A holistic approach to cooperation around shared challenges for the future
Senegal and Belgium are historical partners. In 1960, for instance, Belgium was the seventh country to recognise Senegal's independence and sovereignty. As early as 1968, programmes of international solidarity were launched by Belgium. And King Baudouin paid a State visit to Senegal in 1975. Today, Senegal is resolutely working to further develop and diversify its market economy, relying on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and investments. Belgium can offer know-how and both countries can strengthen each other in the transition towards a sustainable future. The role of women entrepreneurs will be highlighted during the economic mission, including during the “Business & Human Rights” segment, through which Belgium promotes human rights within the economic framework.
During the Belgian economic mission, Princess Astrid and Minister Lahbib will also meet President Macky Sall, Prime Minister Amadou Ba and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Diaspora Aïssate Tall Sall.
The full programme and all useful information on the Belgian economic mission to Senegal are available on the following website: www.belgianeconomicmission.be
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