|Ambassador calls on Wallonia Minister-President|
Ambassador Bataclan calls on Wallonia Minister-President
Wallonia is eyeing on some ASEAN countries especially the Philippines for business expansion and trade partnership, Minister-President Paul Magnette has revealed to Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan. The leader of the French-speaking southern region of Belgium also told Ambassador Bactaclan, who paid him a courtesy call at the Wallonian capital of Namur, that Wallonian businesses are eager to invest more in the Philippines because of its impressive economic turnaround. "They would like to invest in a very interesting region." Mr. Magnette also said his office will help organize a big business mission to the Philippines soon, particularly focusing on pharmaceutical, chemical and technology industries. Wallonia is actively promoting said industries as these are very promising.
Ambassador Bataclan assured Magnette full support from the Philippine Embassy and Mission in Brussels for any Wallonian business organization planning to invest in the Philippines, especially industries that create jobs. She also encouraged the Wallonian Government to continuously actively support Filipino businessmen who wish to invest in Belgium.
Commercial Counsellor Zafrullah G. Masahud, who accompanied the Ambassador in Namur, briefed Magnette on the opportunities in the Philippines for business organization who are into private partnership infrastructure projects. "The Philippines needs industrial partners, and Wallonia's expertise on port development, airport development and logistics are much welcome." Magnette acknowledged that there are businessmen who are into partnership with governments, adding that if Philippine companies want to visit Wallonia to explore business opportunities, "We can organize with you."
On March 24 to 29, 2015, eight Wallonian companies participated in the Belgium Trade Mission to the Philippines. These were Extense Pharma, Groupe Autosecurite, IBB Group, Lutosa, Magermans, Mahusaca-Droper, Medex and SNC Hollange. Wallonia Region makes up 55% of the territory of Belgium and a third of its population. Administratively, Wallonia consists of the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur. It is also divided into 20 administrative arrondissements and 262 municipalities. Wallonia has companies which are world leaders in their specialized fields, including armaments, glass production, lime and limestone production, cyclotrons and aviation parts.
Ambassador Bataclan reminded Mr. Magnette of the valuable contribution of Filipino migrant workers like nurses and other health professionals in Wallonia. Magnette acknowledged the expertise of Filipino in medical field.