Texas Economic Development Corporation Signs MOU with Belgian Region
(AUSTIN, Texas, December 6, 2016) – To strengthen economic ties to Belgium, the Texas Economic Development Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday with the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency, a government agency of the Wallonia Region of Belgium.
The signing was part of a reception hosted by the Texas Economic Development Corporation last evening to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and dignitaries of a Belgian economic delegation traveling on a week-long mission in the Lone Star State to promote trade opportunities between Texas and Belgium. The Princess is representing 117 Belgian companies and her trip includes stops in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and College Station.
The Memorandum of Understanding enables the Texas Economic Development Corporation, a not for profit, public-private partnership that markets the state of Texas, to work cooperatively with the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency for expansion of industry development and commercialization opportunities involving commercial trade, investment and supply chain operations in both economies. The agreement calls for full support by both organizations of companies wishing to relocate or expand in Belgium or Texas through integration into local networks and industry clusters, as well as access to business incubators and university resources.
“Texas and Belgium are already strong partners in trade and investment and this memorandum of understanding will provide a platform to help take our economic relationship to the next level,” said
Tracye McDaniel, President and CEO, Texas Economic Development Corporation, who jointly signed the MOU with Pascale Delcomminette, Chief Executive Officer, Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency. “This agreement underscores the message that Texas is fertile ground for European business expansion.”
McDaniel noted that there are more than 30 Belgium companies currently operating in Texas, including Budweiser Distributing Company of Borger, Solvay Chemicals, Unimin Corp. and Lhoist North America.
Exxon, Dell, AT&T, Heelys and Nuviant Medical are among at least 15 Texas companies operating in Belgium.
Since 2003, Texas companies completed 21 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Belgium, representing more than $2.1 billion in capital investment. In the same period, Belgium companies completed a total of 14 FDI projects in Texas, representing $332.6 million in capital investment and the creation of more than 1,100 jobs.
As the largest exporting state to Belgium, Texas exported $4.61 billion in goods to Belgium last year, making the country the state’s 10th largest export destination. Texas also imported $1.3 billion of Belgium goods in 2015, including mineral fuel, organic chemicals, industrial machinery and plastics.
About Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne
Texas Economic Development Corporation is an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is dedicated to economic development, business recruitment and job creation in the State of Texas. TexasOne is a public-private partnership of the Texas Economic Development Corporation, which coordinates efforts with the Office of the Governor to market Texas globally as a premier business destination. For more information about Texas Economic Development Corporation and TexasOne, visit www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com.