Belgium princess leads economic mission
Anggi M. Lubis
The Jakarta Post
Princess Astrid of Belgium, the younger sister of Belgian monarch King Philippe, is leading her country's fifth and biggest economic mission to Indonesia in a week-long visit during which she is expected to meet a number of officials in Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung.
Astrid began her Indonesian visit on Saturday and is scheduled to leave the country on March 19. The visit will focus on several themes that are deemed important for Indonesia's economic development, maritime affairs, food security, agriculture, technology, sustainable energy and city planning.
Astrid met with Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Monday, while on Tuesday she is scheduled to meet Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Punama and on Thursday West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan and Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil in Bandung.
Astrid conferred on Monday the Order of the Crown, officer class, on Shanti Poesposoetjipto, chairwoman of PT Samudera Indonesia, on Hadi Topobroto, secretary-general of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) and on entrepreneur Bruno Thoeng Boen Siang.
Several Indonesian ministers will also attend a number of events scheduled for Astrid and her entourage. The ministers include Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya, Industry Minister Saleh Husin and Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli.
Seven seminars are to be held during Astrid's visit, two of which are to be held in Jakarta, one in Bogor and the rest in Bandung. The seminars include a Belgium-Indonesia Cleantech Seminar in Jakarta on Tuesday, an agriculture seminar in Bogor on Wednesday and a Belgium-Indonesia Smart Cities seminar on Thursday.
A maritime summit between the two countries, meanwhile, is slated to take place on Wednesday in Jakarta.
Astrid is also scheduled to visit the 'Art of Politics ' The Bung Karno Le Mayeur Encounters' exhibition on Wednesday and the Bogor Botanical Gardens on Thursday.
Adrian-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres was a Belgian painter from Brussels who lived the last part of his life on Bali.
Astrid's visit is the biggest economic mission of five previous missions, according to an official statement from the Belgian Embassy for Indonesia, all of which were led by members of the royal family.
The visit is expected to result in 25 contracts being signed between the Belgian authorities and companies with local partners. About 127 Belgian companies are involved in the mission with more than 500 business-to-business meetings, conferences, seminars and cultural events having been arranged for the visit.
Astrid is accompanied by a delegation of 301 and among her entourage are representatives of five Belgium ministries, including the deputy prime minister, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Didier Reynders and other economic-related officials.
Belgium ' according to 2014 data ' is Indonesia's fifth biggest investor from the EU, as well as the sixth biggest export market and importer among other countries in the regional community.
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