Thursday 6 April 2017 saw the official opening of the trade office of the Belgian Embassy managed by Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT). It was conducted by the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, the CEO of FIT, Claire Tillekaerts, who had travelled to Peru specially for the occasion, supported on site by H.E. Michel Dewez Ambassador of His Majesty the King of the Belgians and FIT Trade Advisor to the Embassy, Pieter Embo and attended by the Peruvian Minister of Production, H.E. Bruno Giuffra.
The garden of the Belgian Embassy, decorated with the flags of the Flemish Community and FIT, played host to a party from the Belgian community invited to this event as well as several companies and VIPs.
The speeches were given in English and that of the Advisor in Spanish.
This inauguration emphasises Flanders' interest in becoming more open to the outside world and particularly to South America with 5 offices now on this continent.
And it seems to us that it would be more than desirable for Brussels' and Walloon synergies to balance the communication and visibility efforts of Belgium and the Brussels and Wallonia regions, even though, according to the relevant agreements, regional agencies open in the world's countries are deemed to have competence for other regions and the Federal government.
Knowing that the relevant national characteristics are still poorly understood by companies, some bodies and local groups,
let's not forget that in terms of investment, partnership, joint venture, import/export, etc., the companies that seek out new markets are also looking for what they believe to be the most promising, least risky and least complicated, which presents the best political, social and fiscal stability with clear, stable, reliable rules and evident symbolism.
Consequently, it is important to offer them an image and language that matches these criteria.
Diversity, certainly, but also consistency, unity and reference. We therefore believe it is important that during these troubled times of financial, energy and political-economic crises such as Brexit, more than ever, we should be present on the international stage as Europeans, Belgians and regions, or in another order if required but by maintaining the presence of these three entities every time.
This even enables those not interested in the attempt to study, analyse and understand the community and other labyrinths to depend on a simple principle.
I can invest in or imagine a shared journey or one with convergent interests with this company and/or region for the contributions that they present, with the reference and therefore the security that I would find in a framework benefiting from potential insurances, significant international recognition, stability, knowledge, expertise and, as I often highlight, a truly Belgian, Brussels, Walloon and even Flemish ability to enhance the value of the products, services, concepts, etc. on which we focus.
The potato is not originally from Europe or else the Andes and therefore Peru, Bolivia, Chile or the Equator, but the best fries are Belgian!
We no longer produce cocoa, albeit from outside properties, but our expertise means we have the best chocolates in the world.
Our positioning and the richness of our infrastructures and/or our communications network is already an asset for any potential partner.
And while our reality sometimes seems "surreal", it is undeniable that even in the field of painting, this characteristic can generate considerable added value. To illustrate this point, you need only look at the values attributed to pictures by painters like our national Magritte, or even foreigners, such as Dali or others that were in one way or another imbued by this trend and something of our "Belgian attitude": added value.
Thus, we cannot suggest too strongly to our Brussels, Walloon and national entities and companies that they actively and boldly participate, directly or in parallel in the development that the potential of regions such as Peru can offer.
To do so, we will willingly welcome you and help you depending on our resources, to achieve, continue or increase this objective through the Chamber of Commerce and Culture of Belgium and Luxembourg in Peru, the UFBE-Peru delegation, the Association of Belgians in Peru or as a Wallonia.be ambassador to Peru.