New Zealand Embassy & Mission to the European Union, Brussels, Belgium
Crown Prince of Belgium visits New Zealand
The Crown Prince of Belgium, Prince Philippe, visited New Zealand recently as part of an Economic Mission to strengthen business links between New Zealand and Belgium, accompanied by Belgium Defence Minister, Pieter de Krem.
The New Zealand Ambassador-designate to Belgium, Paula Wilson, also participated in the visit, which saw the signing of some key business deals between numerous New Zealand and Belgian companies. “The Port of Zeebrugge and New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga signed a deal, as did New Zealand’s kiwifruit exporter Zespri and Belgian company Sea Invest - one of the world’s largest terminal operators for dry bulk, fruit and liquid bulk. Belgian firm Eloy Water, a waste water treatment firm, also confirmed it will open an office in NZ in the near future” said Ms Wilson.
“In addition, other Belgian companies had a chance to network with New Zealand counterparts, and hopefully more deals will be signed in future to increase bilateral trade.”
During his three day visit, Prince Philippe met New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, and other key New Zealand ministers.
“Two particular highlights of the visit – the business deals aside - were the Prince’s visit to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, and his visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The first tapped into the Prince’s interest in Māori culture and history, the latter showed the Prince more about the role New Zealand played in raising funds for the Belgium Relief Fund and the participation of New Zealand soldiers on the Western front in Belgium during World War I,” said Ms Wilson.