Belgian Economic Mission to Côte d’Ivoire, 22-25 October 2017 - #BEmissionCIV

Economic mission to Côte d'Ivoire

HRH Princess Astrid will preside over an important trade mission to Côte d’Ivoire as representative of His Majesty the King. The Belgian Economic Mission counts 265 participants in total, of which 214 business people from 134 companies, will be in Côte d’Ivoire from 22 to 25 October.

The 3 day mission will focus on Abidjan. 5 ministers are accompanying the mission :

  • HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders
  • HE Deputy Vice President of the Walloon Government and Minister of Economy, Industry, Research, Innovation, Digital, Employment and formation, Pierre-Yves Jeholet
  • HE Minister of Employment, Economy, Innovation and Sports of the Flemish Government, Philippe Muyters
  • HE State Secretary for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem
  • HE State Secretary of the Brussels Government in charge of Foreign Trade and Investment and Minister of the French Community Commission in charge of Civil Service and Health Policy, Cécile Jodogne

It is the first time that a Belgian Economic Mission is visiting Côte d’Ivoire. Business opportunities will be explored and trade relations will be deepened. All 134 companies will have B2B’s and participate in high level conferences, seminars, network opportunities and official meetings organized by the 5 main organizers. 20 contracts and MOU’s will be signed with Ivorian partners. The 3 regional trade and investment organisations (Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) , Brussels Invest & Export (BIE) en Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation (AWEX)), the Agency for Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been working on the program jointly with the local authorities.

HRH Princess Astrid and the ministerial delegation will also have several political contacts, including with President Alassane Ouattara, members of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and local authorities.

Belgium is the second largest EU exporter to Côte d’Ivoire, representing 12% of the EU’s total exports for a value of 292 MIO €. Belgium is also the second largest importer within the EU, with 15,2% of total imports, valued at 685.8 MIO €. Exports consists mainly of transport material, machinery and chemicals. Imports are dominated by food products (79.4%) followed by vegetable and mineral products.

All three regionals trade and investment agencies will organize sectorial forums: FIT will focus on transport and logistics, BIE on economic infrastructure and AWEX on agriculture and the agro-industry. Belgian companies possess a unique expertise and experience in project development in Africa, including in Côte d’Ivoire. The Belgian Economic Mission will promote Belgian companies as gateway for products of Côte d’Ivoire to Europe. Likewise, Côte d’Ivoire could become a gateway for the export of Belgian products to the region and a promising investment location for our companies.

During the Belgian Economic Mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will organize a seminar on business and human rights and more specifically on the rights of children in the cacao industry, the most important export of the country. The First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara, will participate. Action plans of the national authorities and of international organization will be presented, as well as the priorities of large buyers and cooperatives active in the sector. The seminar will take place in the framework of the preparations of the European Union - African Union Summit which will be held in Abidjan from 29 till 30 November with the participation of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

During the mission, Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders will sign an aviation agreement with Côte d’Ivoire. The agreement will provide a stronger legal framework to airlines operators between our two countries. It will be also an important step in the development of our economic, political, cultural and personal bilateral ties .

The Belgian Economic Mission will end on a gastronomic lunch on 25 October. As part of the Belgium, Uniquely Phenomenal campaign, it will feature a Belgian chef who will combine local Ivorian products with top Belgian gastronomical know how.

More information on the mission on www.belgianeconomicmission.be and in social media through hashtag #BEmissionCIV.