Brussels government visits Turkey for 20th year of bilateral trade


Officials from the Brussels-Capital Region, one of the three federal regions of Belgium, made a high-profile visit to Turkey last week to mark the 20th anniversary of organized bilateral trade relations. Accompanying the diplomatic delegation of 10 people, led by Brussels-Capital Region Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, were 10 Belgian companies that met Turkish companies in Istanbul and Ankara to develop new commercial cooperation.

The 10 state officials led by Minister-President Rudi Vervoort included Pascal Smet, Secretary of State responsible for Urbanism and European and International Relations, Jo De Witte, Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister-President’s office and Zeynep Balci, Spokeswoman for the Brussels Minister-President. The mission was hosted by Economic and Commercial Attaché Stefano Missir Di Lusignano, who also manages Hub Brussels, the trade office for the region, which has been in Turkey for 20 years.

On Monday, the delegation paid a visit to Muze Gazhane, to which they traveled by newly-launched sea taxis, following their official visits to the Governorship of Istanbul and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brussels government earlier this year. Business-to-business meetings also ran throughout the day, with companies from Belgium coming together with Turkish companies, including Yapi Kredi, Koc Holding and Aras Cargo. The first day’s program ended with a cocktail party at the Belgian Consulate General for the cooperation agreement signed between the Belgian company MCE and the Istanbul Technical University Alumni Association.


On the second day of the program, which took place in Ankara on Tuesday, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality (ABB) and the Brussels government, following the delegation’s visit to the governor’s office. The guests attended the forum hosted by Ankara Chamber of Commerce and then paid a visit to the International Vocational Training Center established in cooperation with ABB and UNHCR.

Some of the 10 Belgian companies, which included the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, the Fuel Matrix Europe, ICE- International Consulting Expertise, International Taste Institute, Mabru, Management Center Europe, Med All Solution, Mycelium Europe, Surveal and Watt4Ever, came together with Turkish companies in one-on-one meetings also in Ankara.

Turkey second largest market for International Taste Institute

Pascal Smet, Secretary of State responsible for Urbanism and European and International Relations, pointed out that Turkey is the second largest market for the International Taste Institute in a speech at a breakfast hosted by the Belgian flavor licensing company as part of the Istanbul program of the Belgian delegation on Monday. “Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Belgium,” said Smet, “It is not without reason that a global brand like the International Taste Institute serves the world from Brussels, which we call the city of minorities. All the flavors of the world can be found in this city. A significant Turkish community also lives in Belgium and Brussels. People think that it is all about administration and boring but it is a lively and warm city, although not as much as Istanbul. There are many things to discover besides the job opportunities it offers.”

IBB Mayor and Danish Consul General meet on child obesity

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu met Royal Danish Istanbul Consul General Thierry Hoppe on Tuesday. The two leaders discussed an action plan to reverse the alarming increase in childhood obesity. The action plan has been prepared by a group of esteemed medical experts in the context of the Cities Changing Diabetes program launched by the Danish Steno Diabetes Center, Novo Nordisk and University College London. Istanbul joined the programme in March 2020. A third of Turkey’s population suffers from obesity and the number of overweight children, especially in cities, makes it the biggest health challenge facing Turkey’s young generation today, according to a study.

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