On Sunday, Princess Astrid, the sister of Belgium’s current monarch King Philippe, attended a reception at the University of Texas at Austin hosted by its President Greg Fenves.
About 200 business executives, trade representatives and members of the Belgian government are accompanying Princess Astrid on her visit. Monday morning they plan to meet with Austin Mayor Steve Adler to talk about technology and opportunities for collaboration. That evening they will attend a state dinner with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Other Belgian official dignitaries include Didier Reynders, Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs and Pieter De Crem, Federal Secretary of State for Foreign Trade.
“Texas and Belgium have a great deal in common,” Deputy Prime Minister Reynders said in a news release. “From being one of the first European countries to recognize Texas’ independence in 1836 to 175 years of continuous trade, the time has now come for us to deepen our ties with this important cultural and economic partner. Indeed, Belgium now stands as Texas’ 10th largest export trading partner at just over $4.6 billion annually. Our mutual trade investments include logistics and chemical sectors through the ports of Houston and Antwerp as well as advanced R&D in biopharmaceuticals through the Texas Medical Center.”
— Greg Fenves (@gregfenves) December 5, 2016
In addition to Austin, the Belgian Economic Mission and Princess Astrid will travel to San Antonio on Tuesday to meet with San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor at the San Antonio International Center. They will also tour the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk.
On Wednesday, the Belgian Economic Mission will travel to College Station to meet with Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young and for a ribbon cutting and tour of “Texas Aggies Go to War.”
Also on Wednesday, they travel to Houston to meet with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and to visit the Texas Medical Center.
“In addition to official events in the presence of Princess Astrid there will be meetings and seminars in which business people from Texan and Belgian business sectors such as energy, cleantech, diamond, chemistry and life sciences will meet each other,” according to a news release.