(Texte disponible uniquement en anglais)
Mr Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Your government has given our delegation the most outstanding welcome.
We are deeply grateful for your hospitality.
Belgium attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Korea.
We are impressed by your strong economic performance and by the resilience of your companies. Your financial sector enjoys remarkable stability as a result of measures you took after the Asian financial crisis. Your industrial sector is among the world?s most competitive and innovative. Korea?s workforce is renowned for its efficiency and reliability.
It is clear that all these assets helped you to achieve positive economic growth in the midst of a world economic slowdown.
That is an impressive result indeed.
Undoubtedly, your focus on new technologies and on new possibilities for growth, helps you to boost your economy. Among these new avenues, we have identified eco-technology, ICT and logistics as very promising sectors. We share your view that it is vital for our economies to engage a lot of effort in a policy of ?low carbon green growth?.
Belgian companies have invested heavily in technologies leading to energy efficiency, reduction of pollution and waste, and sustainability.
On ICT and advanced materials, we are very pleased with the contacts scheduled tomorrow at Daejeon.
And in logistics and maritime technology, the advantages for very close partnerships are abundantly clear.
We are also aware of Korea?s potential and ambition to attract additional foreign investment.
Likewise, Belgium is promoting its assets as a gateway to Europe for Korean investors and industrial groups.
Locating offices in Belgium helps our foreign partners to have intensive contacts with European decision makers. We would also encourage Korean investors to use Belgium as a logistics, distribution and research platform for the entire European Union, a market, as you know, of 500 million customers.
Mr Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Although the crisis is biting deep, we have many reasons to remain confident in the future.
The opportunities for growth and for working together are there for those who want to pursue them.
We are delighted to find, here in Korea, the friendship and the welcoming atmosphere to make intensive future cooperation our common goal.