Minister-President Jan Jambon together with the diplomatic representative of Flanders in the US, Yves Wantens, the Flanders Investment & Trade representatives in the US and an extensive delegation of representatives of Belgian federations, companies and educational institutions took part in the economic mission to Atlanta, New York and Boston. The mission took place from 4 to 12 June and was led by HRH Princess Astrid.
Trade relations with the United States are of great importance to Flanders. After the United Kingdom, the US is our largest trade partner outside the European Union. In 2021 the US was the fifth largest export destination of Flanders and the sixth largest source of imports.
One of the highlights of the economic mission was the signing of a 30-year concession agreement with New York-based PlugPower for a green hydrogen plant. PlugPower is building the plant on the NextGen District site in Antwerp. This site is part of the port of Antwerp-Bruges and will be a hotspot for the circular economy that will help us become climate-neutral. The new plant will be one of the largest in Europe. With 12,500 tonnes of green hydrogen a year, it will be able to supply the many chemical companies in the port, and ships and lorries will also be able to get green fuel.
The Flemish delegation made use of its visit to New York to commemorate the fallen of World War I at the Flanders Fields Memorial in DeWitt Clinton Park. The commemoration was held in the presence of William Castro (Manhattan Borough Commissioner), Nick Angione (Chairman of the United War Veterans Council) and James Hendon (Commissioner of the NYC Department of Veterans' Services).
The last Flemish activity of the New York leg of the mission was the reception in The Morgan Library & Museum in honour of three men who play a major role in protecting and promoting Flemish art and heritage in the United States. Minister-president Jambon honoured Colin Bailey, director of the Morgan Library, Maryan Ainsworth, former curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Jay Wegman, director of NYU Skirball.
New York was followed by visits to Boston and Atlanta.
Delegation of Flanders in the US
Flanders Investment & Trade