A delegation of a dozen entrepreneurs* headed by the Monaco Economic Board (MEB) took part in a Trade Mission 28-30 September to Antwerp, the main Flemish metropolis, Europe’s second largest port and world capital of diamonds. It was a constructive trip organised under the aegis of the Monaco Embassy in Belgium and assistance of its many partners there.
The Trade Mission opened with a dinner in the superb neogothic setting of the old trade exchange, Handelsbeurs, attended by H.E. Mrs Isabelle Berro-Amadeï, Monaco Ambassador to Belgium and Belgium’s Consul in Monaco Nancy Dotta-Van Tendeloo, also from Antwerp. During the evening, various speakers including Michel Dotta and Guillaume Rose for the MEB, had a chance to highlight the advantages of doing business in the Principality to an audience of stakeholders and high-ranking figures in the Flemish city most of whom were invited by Guy Van Doosselaere, Monaco’s Honorary Consul in Antwerp. Before the dinner, a cocktail provided the ideal setting for Monegasque companies to make their first contacts.
The main agenda took place next day at the port of Antwerp, Europe’s second largest, where the delegation was hosted by the port authorities and given the privilege of touring several sites. They included Euroports, a subsidiary of the Monaco Resources Group (represented by Mr Axel Fischer, and Frédéric Platini) which has several terminals and symbolises new trade relations between the two countries.
At the business forum organised on site, the MEB signed a cooperation agreement with the CBL-ACP Chamber of Commerce** that will strengthen ties with Belgium and other regions in the world, notably Africa. CEMA (Club des Entrepreneurs Monégasques en Afrique) were also on the trip, represented by its President Fréderic Geerts who also signed an agreement. This was followed by targeted meetings between around 60 Monegasque and Flemish entrepreneurs, mainly but not exclusively on trade and logistics. In the evening, a dinner hosted by H.E. Mrs Isabelle Berro-Amadeï was another chance to exchange business cards in a privileged setting.
On the Thursday there was an opportunity to visit the Antwerp World Diamond Center through which all diamonds processed or sold in Antwerp pass through, that’s around 86% of the world’s rough diamonds and 50% of its polished stones. Initial analysis of the debriefing lunch which concluded the trip was very positive, highlighting the desire of companies in Monaco to conquer new markets.
The MEB is not resting on its laurels with the upcoming Dubai Expo20 when several sector-specific missions are planned. Another trip is also scheduled to St Petersburg in the first half of 2022.
*Representing: ABTS & Partners, AC Cleaner, BLS Real Estate Monte-Carlo, Boutsen Classic Cars and Boutsen Aviation, Gordon S Blair, Jutheau Husson, Mercure International, Monaco Logistique, Monaco Resources Group, World Express Services.
**Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture - Belgium, Luxembourg, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific.
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