HRM Princess Astrid is leading, as representative of the King, a Belgian Economic Mission to Mexico from Saturday, February 16 to Saturday, February 30. With 280 participants, and events spread on the whole week, first in Mexico City and then in Monterrey, this mission will be almost twice as large as the last princely mission organized in this country 10 years ago. The number of participants and the density of the program reflect the high interest of our companies, universities and research centres for the opportunities offered by the 15th largest economy in the world. Beyond the promotion of exports and investments, this economic mission will also be the opportunity to strengthen the human and political dimension of the relationship between our two countries.
Princess Astrid will be accompanied by the following ministerial delegation :
- Kris Peeters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade, Combating Poverty, Equal Opportunities, and Disabled People, Federal Government;
- Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Vice-President and Minister of Economy, Industry, Research, Innovation, Digital Technology, Employment and Training, Walloon Government;
- Philippe Muyters, Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport, Flemish Government;
- Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State of the Brussels Government responsible for Foreign Trade and Investment, and Minister of the French-speaking Government of Brussels in charge of the Civil Service and Health, Government of Brussels.
Princely Economic Missions are jointly organized by the three regional trade and investment promotion agencies (Flanders Investment & Trade, Brussels Invest & Export /hub.brussels; Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation), the Foreign Trade Agency and the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
Belgium and Mexico are already strong commercial partners, in terms of trade of goods as much as in trade in services. With a population of 125 million, a strategic localization between North America and Latin America, and one of the most open economy in the world, business opportunities remain very significant.
In terms of investments, Belgian companies are already well established in Mexico. Partly thanks to the acquisition of “Grupo Modelo” by AB InBev in 2013, our country features among the most important European investors. In the other direction, several important Mexican investment projects in Belgium last year show that the assets of Belgium as a host country on the European continent continue to attract investors.
The calendar of the mission also coincides with the recent arrival of a new Government in Mexico, which announced its intention to open a new chapter of the political and socio-economical history of the country. In this respect, the princely mission, which will be the first incoming economic visit for the new administration, will be an opportunity to take the pulse of the announced reforms.
Princess Astrid and the ministerial delegation will be received by the President of the Republic Andrés Manuel López Obrador. During the week, they will also meet with several members of the Federal Government as well as with the Governor of Nuevo Leon.
Trade relations between Belgium and Mexico
In 2017, Belgium accounted for 3.3% of European exports to Mexico (8th place), for an amount of nearly 1.265 billion euros. The main categories of products exported by our country to Mexico are chemicals, machinery and equipment, which account for more than half of our exports. On the import side, Belgium represents 15.2% of Mexico’s imports from the European Union (€3.633 billion, 3rd position), underlining the role of our country as the gateway to the European market for Mexican exports. In 2017, the main products imported by Belgium from Mexico were transport equipment, minerals and optical instruments.
Besides a large number of B2B and B2G meetings organized for the participants, the program of the week is built around a number of events set up by the regional trade and investment promotion agencies in order to highlight some specific sectors of activity. The Belgian expertise in ports, in sports equipment and technology, the excellence of our local produce and food & beverage industry, the key position of Belgium in the diamond sector, but also our advanced healthcare or the solutions that we can offer in terms of constructions and “smart” buildings, will be presented during different sectoral forums.
Business & Human Rights
In collaboration with the Mexican authorities and as part of the commitments under the Belgian National Action Plan “Business & Human Rights”, a seminar will be organized on best practices on responsible business conduct.
One can’t mention Mexico in Belgium without bringing back to memory the World Cup of 1986. A sporting event will be the opportunity to put forward the potential of integration and development offered by sport.
During a gala concert, to which the participants in the mission will have the opportunity to invite their Mexican partners, talented Belgian and Mexican musicians will present a program mixing the melodies and rhythms from here and there.