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Today more than ever, our diplomatic missions need the cooperation of men and women working in the field who have close ties to local political and economic circles.
With the Royal Decree of 24 January 2013, the Minister wanted to launch a project initiated by his predecessors, namely the creation of a network of advisors in economic diplomacy. The way they are appointed and how it works is similar to how things were run previously for foreign trade advisors, but the new network has been renamed and the areas of expertise of the advisors have been modified. Candidate advisors in economic diplomacy must have sufficient knowledge of the institutional framework and the social and economic environment of Belgium and experience in social, economic, and financial matters of the country in which they work. To avoid confusion, the tasks have been clearly delineated with respect to economic and trade attachés so that there is no risk of overlapping responsibilities.
Who are they?
The advisors are not remunerated and have their permanent residence in the country whose customs they know well in political, financial, and business circles. They are expected to be skilled in making new contacts and have many contacts in the business world due to their long professional experience. They are often of Belgian nationality, but they can also be citizens of the country where they perform their duties, or of a third country. No age limit has been set.
What do they do?
The advisors provide information to the Minister through our diplomatic and consular missions and advise on all issues of an economic and financial nature or on opportunities for our country. Thanks to the hands-on experience of this volunteer network, our interests in the world are better promoted and growth and employment in Belgium are fostered.