State Visit of Luxembourg to Belgium: Thriving Connections and New Business Opportunities

Chambres de Commerce - International
Commerce extérieur
Go International

The Official Mission on the occasion of the State Visit of Luxembourg to Belgium took place on 16-18 April 2024 in Brussels, Ghent, Liège, Louvain-La-Neuve and Leuven brought together an unprecedented Luxembourg business delegation of more than 120 companies from space, defense and cybersecurity, healthtech, renewable energies, maritime, circular economy, sustainable construction and tourism sectors.

The enthusiasm of business communities from both countries can be explained by various factors, such as historical ties between the two countries, mutual interest in building partnerships, a strong belief in the European project, shared innovations and oftentimes, a common approach to business. Importantly, there is a high concentration of trade volume between Belgium and Luxembourg: Belgium is Luxembourg’s 6th trading partner for goods and services representing 6,82% of our total trade volume.

5 years ago, the State visit of Belgium took place in Luxembourg. Since then, the trade ties between Belgium and Luxembourg intensified. The economic program for this State Visit was designed to discuss, deepen and strengthen economic, commercial and financial relations between the two countries. The Luxembourg business delegation arrived in Brussels on April 16th, 2024 greeted by their first networking opportunity and the unveiling of the business agenda awaited them.

On the second day, the Business Forum “Thriving Connections: Belgian-Luxembourg Economic Relations” was launched in the presences of H.R.H. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg and His Majesty the King of the Belgians, and with the participation of Mr. Fernand Ernster, President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Pieter Timmermans,  CEO of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, H.E. Mr. Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, H.E.Ms. Hadja Lahbib, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions, Mr. Lex Delles Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, SME, Energy and Tourism and Mr. Renaat Schrooten, Director General Economic Analysis and International Economy at the Belgian Ministry of Economy.

As stated by Mr. Fernand Ernster during his opening address, “the momentum and the number of participants in this State visit show that the potential is far from exhausted and [that] we can continue to grow together beyond our borders and thus contribute to strengthening Europe's economy from within”.

The Business Forum was followed by several parallel programs. Companies from the HealthTech sector gathered for an insightful discussion on key health data related strategies and initiatives in place in Luxembourg and Belgium, and explored avenues for health data-driven scientific, technological and/or innovation cooperation opportunities.

The parallel programme “Innovative and circular construction” highlighted the trends and innovations in circular economy within the construction industry through various presentations of transnational lighthouse projects of sustainable and circular construction as well as a visit to the urban flagship project Gare Maritime in the city centre of Brussels.

The visit of the North Sea Port in Ghent aimed to bring together Belgian and Luxembourg partners from the renewable energy and hydrogen, maritime and inland navigation ecosystems.

The sectorial seminar “Inspiring travel experiences in Luxembourg” gathered professionals from the hospitality industry from both countries around the promotion of Luxembourg as a tourist destination. Belgian tour operators, travel agents, specialized press, and influencers relished the event, which also featured networking opportunities and lunch for both the Belgian and Luxembourg travel hospitality industries.

At the same time, on April 17th, 2024, participants of the sectorial programme Cybersecurity and Defense visited IMEC, Belgium world-leading research and innovation hub based in Leuven. The visit was followed by 3 parallel workshops in Louvain-la-Neuve for Belgian and Luxembourg companies from the Land and Cyberdefence ecosystems highlighting joint projects and exploring further cooperation opportunities. The day concluded with the concert of the Luxembourg Philharmonic orchestra and reception at Flagey, offered in honor of their Majesties The King and The Queen of the Belgians and by order of His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

April 18th, 2024 was dedicated to companies from cyber, space and defense sectors. The programme was launched at the University of Liège with the opening ceremony and discussions on Security and Defense challenges in and from Space - Strengthening bonds between Belgium and Luxembourg. The parallel workshops that followed included 3 sessions: Strategic foresight – Earth observation, Secure communication and Protection of critical space assets.

Overall, the Official Mission on the occasion of the State Visit of Luxembourg to Belgium involved a high number of organizing institutions, such as the Luxembourg Trade and Invest, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of Luxembourg in Belgium, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation, Luxembourg for Tourism, Luxembourg for Finance, Defense Cluster, Cluster Maritime, Luxembourg House of Cybersecurity and Luxembourg Space Agency.