Sister of the reigning King Philip of Belgium, Princess Astrid will be in Argentina for a special state visit on the 24th of June. She won’t come alone, as she is bringing with her a huge committee of around 150 businesspeople, in search of investments within the country.
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In addition to this entrepreneurial reunion, the Princess will be accompanied by six Belgian ministers.
The 150 business delegates all represent 97 different companies from Belgium, related to different sectors such as energy, transport, construction, and agriculture. Peter Maddens, the Belgian Ambassador in Argentina, told Infobae that it was a “highly relevant visit” and that “her arrival to Argentina with 150 businesspeople was a big sign” to the relationship the two countries are trying to build. However, according to Maddens, “the business [deals made] depends entirely on the Argentines, not [the Belgians].”
The Belgian group did not chose the best day to visit Buenos Aires, as their main day of activity, June 25, is the date chosen by the CGT umbrella union for a massive national strike. The delegation will continue on with a two-day trip to Montevideo, Uruguay for another state visit.
According to the Belgian ambassador, the Argentina visit will help the to bring the two nations closer, building bridges through business. In the official agenda, it is described that Princess Astrid will be meeting with Mauricio Macri and his wife, Juliana Awada, before holding a joint meeting with eight different ministers.
Always in search for foreign investors, the Argentine government is looking forward to the encounter, as the relation between the two country isn’t economically strong, with only a US $450 million trade balance, which could increase if the deal between the European Union and the Mercosur passes through.
On a diplomatic stand, Argentina is lucky to have this encounter, as the Belgian royal family does not typically make many official state visits; Princess Astrid only has two on her agenda this year: this one, centered on Argentina and Uruguay, and a visit to Morocco later in September. Moreover, since the former King of Belgium, her father Albert underwent heart surgery earlier this year, she is rarely seen in public.
The amount of businesspeople in the trip is also exceeding many expectations; in comparison, Spain’s Mariano Rajoy’s group only had around 100 entrepreneurs with that national delegation. The Princess will have with Mauricio Macri to reassure the businessmen of Argentina’s economic situation, as the media in Belgium are doubting the interest of such a trip.