Dirk Wouters, ambassador of Belgium to the United States, traveled to North Carolina on Dec. 9-10 to learn more about the Research Triangle region. Ambassador Wouters was appointed in Washington D.C. in 2016.
The ambassador represents Belgium’s federal government in the United States and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. He is responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including bilateral, political, and economic relations, visa, and consular services. You can read more of his biography.
The purpose of the Belgian Ambassador’s visit was to become more familiar with the Research Triangle region and learn more about the life science and clean technology industry clusters. Belgium and the Research Triangle region have many shared strengths, and building relationships between the two is critical for future success. This was the ambassador’s first time visiting the Research Triangle.
Ambassador Wouters met with representatives from Nash County, Rocky Mount, and members from Poppies International for an introduction lunch to the region. Afterward, a reception and inauguration were held in the ambassador’s honor at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. During the reception, he named North Carolina’s first honorary consul to Belgium, Christof Jensen, CEO of UCB, a life science company in Raleigh. The ambassador also officially decorated Marc Noel, founder of Nomaco, for his contributions to Belgian and U.S. relations.
In addition to the reception, the ambassador had the opportunity to meet with North Carolina legislators, as well as Ryan Combs, executive director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. With Christof appointed as honorary consul, the ambassador now has a contact in the Research Triangle region working on behalf of the Belgian government to strengthen ties between North Carolina and Belgium.
As always, strengthening our relationships with foreign countries is a direct initiative of our foreign direct investment strategy. We plan to continue building and connecting with different countries to elevate our region. Economic Development Director Kathleen Henry states, “Wake County and the Research Triangle region look forward to supporting Ambassador Wouters’ efforts and the country of Belgium. It is prosperous partnerships such as this that help keep the Triangle moving forward globally.”
If you are interested in learning more about our foreign direct investment strategy, contact Kathleen Henry.