Belgian Economic Mission to Argentina and Uruguay, from 25 June to 29 June 2018 - #BEmissionARG, #BEmissionURY
Princess Astrid, acting as Representative of the King, will lead an important trade mission to Argentina and Uruguay from 25 to 29 June. 202 participants, of which 134 businesspeople representing 94 companies, are participating in this Belgian Economic Mission.
Ministerial participation and organisation
The following ministers will attend the five-day mission, comprising three days in Buenos Aires and two days in Montevideo:
- Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs;
- Kris Peeters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade;
- Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Vice-President of the Walloon government and Minister of Economy, Industry, Research, Innovation, Digital Technology, Employment and Training;
- Philippe Muyters, Minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport in the Flemish government
- Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade
- Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for the government of the Brussels-Capital Region in charge of Foreign Trade and Investment; and Minister for the government of the French Community in charge of Civil Service and Public Health.
This is the third economic mission to Argentina since 1995. The three regional trade and investments agencies (Flanders Investment & Trade - FIT, Brussels Invest & Export - BIE - and the Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation - AWEX), the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency and Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, in close cooperation with their Argentinian and Uruguayan hosts, have elaborated a rich and varied program for the participating Belgian companies and their local partners.
The main objectives of the mission are to explore new economic opportunities and deepen trade relations between Belgium and Argentina and Uruguay. 94 companies will participate in B2B’s, high-level conferences, seminars, official meetings and will have many networking possibilities. Some fifteen contracts and agreements will be signed with Argentinian and Uruguayan partners.
Both in Argentina and Uruguay, Princess Astrid and the ministerial delegation will hold a series of political contacts at the highest level. These include meetings with President Macri in Argentina and Vice-President Lucía Topolansky in Uruguay. Meetings are also planned with the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior Affairs, Economy, Transport and Infrastructure of both countries as well as with other high-ranking members of the governments and local authorities.
Trade relations between Belgium and Argentina
Belgium accounts for 6.5% of European exports to Argentina (6th), for a total amount of EUR 640 million. In 2017, our country’s most important export products to Argentina were chemical products, mineral products, machinery and equipment. As for imports, Belgium accounts for 4.2% of the European market for Argentina with a value of EUR 345 million. Foodstuffs are by far our main import (36%), followed by chemical products and vegetable products.
Trade relations between Belgium and Uruguay
Our country is the 7th largest European exporter to Uruguay, for an amount of EUR 107 million consisting mainly of mineral products, chemical products, and machinery and equipment. On the import side, Belgium is 11th at the European level, for an amount of EUR 18 million. In 2017, our main import products were vegetable products (43%), animal products and base metals.
The three regional agencies will organise various sectoral forums in Buenos Aires and Montevideo: AWEX on smart cities, agro-biotech, and construction and infrastructure; BIE will present seminars on eco-construction, international arbitration (with CEPANI), and audio-visual cooperation. FIT will organize a seminar on ports and port infrastructure. The Belgian Economic Mission will also promote our country as an attractive investment destination.
A Belgian Economic Mission is also an excellent opportunity to give our companies better access to major development programs and projects which are set up on the ground by national and multilateral development banks. In this context, Belgian companies will get access to representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) during their B2B program in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
Business & Human Rights
In the framework of the Belgian National Action Plan “Business & Human Rights”, a seminar will be organised in cooperation with the International Labour Organization on “social dialogue in a changing labour market”. This seminar will bring together public authorities and international organisations as well as employers and trade unions.
Cultural and networking activities
The mission will also be the opportunity to strengthen cultural ties between our countries. “Afanes Hogareños” (1913), a statue by the Belgian sculptor Rik Wouters will be inaugurated on the Plaza Bélgica - the Belgian plaza in Buenos Aires. On 26 June, our country will offer a jazz concert. Organized by BOZAR in the Centro Cultural Kirchner in Buenos Aires, it will feature the Belgian jazz guitarist Philippe Catherine and the Argentinian bandoneon player Dino Saluzzi. In Uruguay, our country will organise an official reception for the Uruguayan guests on 28 June.
For more information on the Belgian Economic Mission visit www.belgianeconomicmission.be or follow the double hashtag #BEmissionARG and #BEmissionURY on Twitter.