AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott and first lady Cecilia Abbott hosted Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and dignitaries of the Belgian economic delegation, Monday, according to a news release from the Governor's Office.
The delegation is traveling on a seven-day economic mission to promote trade opportunities between Texas and Belgium. The princess is representing 117 Belgian companies, and her trip includes stops in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and College Station, the release said.
"Cecilia and I are honored to host Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid and other members of the Belgian economic delegation today to discuss the importance of strengthening the already prosperous economic relationship between Texas and Belgium," said Abbott. "As Texas’ 10th largest export destination, Belgium is a strong economic partner for the Lone Star State, especially in the industrial and energy sectors. I look forward to engaging with the Belgian officials further in order to continue this productive and positive partnership between our two economies."
The Belgian Economic Mission includes visits to four Texas cities and includes 240 business executives, trade representatives and members of the Belgian government the release said.
During the mission Princess Astrid will meet with state officials, as well as leaders from a wide range of Texan and Belgian business sectors. Belgium is Texas’ 10th ranked export destination, and 24th ranked import source country the release said.
"The long historic ties between Texas and Belgium have forged an impressive economic bond," Belgium Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders said. "The close partnership between the ports of Houston and Antwerp are the backbone of our trade relationship, which includes considerable investments in logistics and chemical clusters. But our relations have diversified significantly over the past years to include such sectors as clean technology, life sciences and biopharmaceuticals, as well as close cooperation between our universities."
The trip began Dec. 3 and will conclude on Dec. 10.