Networking: The 105-year old Belgian expat association Union Royale Belge is unveiling the Belgium Business Club Luxembourg this Thursday.
It officially launches September 22 with a conference and cocktail featuring the BBCL’s patron, the Belgium ambassador to Luxembourg Luc Teirlinck, and a presentation from Degroff Bank’s chief economist. Delano asked URB chair Marc Willem about the event and the club’s objectives.
AG: Why are you founding a business club?
MW: The URB created the Belgian Business Club Luxembourg in response to calls from our members and it is becoming the second pillar of our association’s activities. The objectives are to gather deciders, exchange and share views, and get to know each other better in order to do more business together.
AG: How are you launching the BBCL?
MW: The inaugural conference will happen this Thursday, September 22 at the Château de Septfontaines.
We are honoured to have as our first guest speaker Etienne de Callatay, chief economist of the Degroof Bank, former advisor to a Belgian prime minister and professor at several universities. He will speak on “Belgium and Europe in the financial turmoil: problems, challenges and hopes,” which will be of interest given the [current situation in the] EU.
AG: The club aims to boost communication between neighbours. So, what is your assessment of business relations between Belgium and Luxembourg today?
MW: The relations between Belgian and Luxembourg have always been very good, due to our common history, the common monetary union, Benelux, and to the links that exists between the two royal families.
Currently, business relations are a bit less visible, but are well present. It used to be quite visible, prior the financial crisis. Since then, major Belgian banks have been sold.