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23 May 2013

Rewarding mission to Belgium and the Netherlands

Minister and Director-General for International Relations at Netherland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Simon J.H. Smits

The Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, is back from a mission to Belgium and the Netherlands.

During her stopover in Brussels, the Minister kicked off the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Québec’s presence in Brussels by highlighting the many joint achievements in a variety of areas. She also travelled to Namur to meet with the Minister-President of the Walloon Region and the French Community of Belgium, Rudy Demotte. They discussed relations between the Walloon Region and Québec and future prospects.

The Minister also held talks with the Minister of Finance, Budget, the Civil Service and Exterior Relations of the Brussels-Capital Region, Guy Vanhengel. She reiterated Québec’s desire to participate in Brussellicious, a Year of Gastronomy in Brussels. The Eat Brussels! event in particular will showcase Québec products and know-how in September.

First visit by a government minister to the Netherlands

Minister Gagnon-Tremblay headed an official mission to the Netherlands, the first for a Minister of International Relations, to explore possible avenues for economic cooperation, especially as regards the Plan Nord.

The Minister presented the Plan Nord for the first time in the Netherlands at a seminar organized to create awareness of the project and its investment potential. The event in Amsterdam attracted institutional and economic attendees.

Since collaboration between Québec and the Netherlands in the environmental sector is already well underway, it was completely natural that the Minister meet with the Secretary-General of the Netherland’s Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Siebe Riedstra. She also held discussions with Simon J. H. Smits, the Director-General for International Relations of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. One of Mr. Smits duties is to provide expert advice on trade relations with Canada and Québec.

The mission ended with a tour of the Port of Rotterdam. The largest port in Europe has a wealth of expertise that could help Québec develop infrastructures in Northern Québec.

Québec Government Office in Brussels
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