A vast Belgian economic mission presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, as representative of His Majesty King Philippe, will head for Texas from 3 to 11 December 2016.
240 business representatives, together with the press and the official delegation will visit the cities of Austin, Houston, San Antonio and College Station.
No less than five ministers will accompany the princess on her mission:
- Mr. Didier Reynders, federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs;
- Mr. Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, and Flemish Minister for Foreign Policy and Architectural Heritage;
- Mr. Jean-Claude Marcourt, Deputy Minister-President and Minister of Economy, Industry, Innovation and Digitalisation of the Walloon Government and Deputy Minister-President and Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Media of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation;
- Mr. Pieter De Crem, Federal Secretary of State for Foreign Trade;
- Ms. Cecile Jodogne, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and Investment for the Brussels-Capital Region, and Minister of the French Community Commission in charge of Civil Service and Health Policy.
The mission to Texas builds on a long tradition of Belgian trade missions to the US, and the historical relations between our country and the American state of Texas. The very first Belgian trade mission thus departed for the US in 1960, led by the then Prince Albert. Since then, the US has been an integral part of the agenda of Belgian economic missions. The last trade mission to the US dates from June 2013 (California).
Texas is the largest exporter to Belgium of all US states ($ 4.6 billion in 2015). Belgium is the 10th export destination for Texas, and the second in Europe after the Netherlands. Chemicals represent 58 % of the exports, petroleum and coal products 8%, and computer and electronic equipment 6 %. The remaining 17% concern various finished products. Belgium was the 25th import destination for Texas in 2015. In 2014 Texas imported for $ 1.6 billion from BE and thus had a trade surplus of about $ 3 billion towards Belgium, a continuation of the trend of recent years.
More information : Flanders Investment