Toespraak van Hare Koninklijke Hoogheid Prinses Astrid - Economische zending in Angola en Zuid-Afrika

  • 22/10/2013
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(Toespraak beschikbaar alleen in het Engels)

21/10/2013

 

Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first of all extend to all of you a very warm welcome. It is good to see that so many of you are here tonight. Thank you for being with us. And let me also right from the start put you at ease: I will not be long as we are all here to meet, to get to know each other better, to discuss future projects and to network. I definitely do not want to refrain you from doing this tonight by being too long myself!

I have three short messages I would like to convey to you tonight:

First: for me, this is the very first time I am presiding over an economic mission. Yes, in a certain way, I am a 'débutante', but then, a 'débutante' who feels strong. Strong because when it comes to promoting trade and investment, there is a solid  tradition in my family. I am referring to the fact that I am here as the representative of my brother His Majesty the King while I am also walking in the footsteps of my father. Both my father and brother have been presiding over economic missions for many, many years. During this mission I want to confirm that tradition.

Second: a word about Angola. Of course , the name Angola will for the rest of my life remain associated with this 'first' for me, that is to say: my first ever economic mission. But more broadly, and more importantly, Angola today is the place to be on the African continent, it is here that one can feel the heartbeat of a whole continent, this is the place where new ideas emerge and where business has created impressive growth, growth that in turn benefits ever larger segments of your society. By coming to Angola we, Belgians, want to extend a hand of friendship and convey a strong message:  that we want to be part of Angola's development agenda.

And finally: a word about my delegation. I feel very comfortable and am extremely pleased as I am accompanied by four ministers who decided to be part of this mission. I am also proud of the many Belgian entrepreneurs who are here tonight, they represent the best of what the Belgian business community has on offer. For quite a number of them Angola is very well known territory, to others Angola is opening new and promising horizons. I am also particularly proud about what these entrepreneurs are bringing with them: high-quality products, the newest technologies, investment projects and innovative services.

Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am absolutely sure that this perfect mix of entrepreneurship, ambition, quality and skills that is present here tonight will lay new and strong foundations for increased trade,  investment and co-operation between Angola and Belgium. That is why we are here.