The economic mission to the UK highlights strong economic ties between Belgium and the United Kingdom

The Belgian economic mission to the UK ends after a full program of events, business-to-business contacts and high-level meetings.After two years of interruption, the network of contacts between Belgian and British operators was restored thanks to physical presence.

The many contacts between Belgian and British companies ultimately led to no fewer than nine signed "Memoranda of Understanding. Two important Belgian investments in the United Kingdom were also inaugurated, namely an integrated waste-to-energy site for the Indaver company in Rivenhall and the construction of a brand-new research and development facility for the Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB in Windlesham.

The recently concluded bilateral agreement on energy cooperation was one of the topics of discussion during the meeting between British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng and Federal Minister for Energy Tinne Van der Straeten. British Secretary of State for International Trade Penny Mordaunt interacted with the Belgian business community at a lunch organized by the Federation of Belgian Businesses (FEB) and their British counterpart, the Confederation of British Industries (CBI).The CBI and the FEB, the two major business federations, have reached a agreement in principle to start a regular dialogue between British and Belgian business leaders.

In Oxford, where part of the mission's program took place, Princess Astrid, along with Princess Elizabeth, and Belgian rectors, met with Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, on the possibilities of further bilateral cooperation between our universities, the exchange of students and researchers, in the interest of the development of ecosystems in our two countries.

The official delegation was received by the British Secretary of State for Europe and North America, James Cleverly. Following the joint statement of Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo and Boris Johnson, the meeting reaffirmed the importance of good cooperation in many areas such as renewable energy, research and development and strengthening cross-Channel trade flows.

The cultural and historical ties between our two countries were highlighted during the tribute to Edith Cavell, brought by Princess Astrid together with Princess Anne. The British nurse Edith Cavell helped several hundred wounded escape from occupied Belgium during World War I, and eventually lost her life in our country. Princess Astrid also had a meeting with the Prince of Wales.

This economic mission has convincingly demonstrated that trade relations between the UK and Belgium still offer great potential, based on our geographical proximity, our historical trade ties and our economic similarities.