Belgium's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, is among the many government officials scheduled to join the princess in attendance, including leaders from each of Belgium's three regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

A postponed Belgian trade mission that was set to bring Princess Astrid and nearly 400 business and government officials to Atlanta in October has been rescheduled for next June.  

The mission, set to be the largest delegation to the city since the 1996 Olympics, was postponed due to fears over the COVID-19 Delta variant. 

The Consulate General of Belgium is leading planning for local events during the three-city mission that will stop in New York and then Boston after leaving the Georgia capital (the order of those city visits was flipped in the new arrangement). The new dates for the overall visit are June 4-12.  

The original plans for Atlanta called for visits to Belgian subsidiaries like UCB, OMP and Solvay, as well as a diversity-focused panel at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights as well as an innovation roundtable on artificial intelligence and the opening of an E-sports tournament. 

So far, no major changes to the program beyond are expected, Consul General Michel Gerebtzoff told Global Atlanta, and things are moving full speed ahead “unless a fifth wave crashes in.”  

The Biden administration announced last week that the U.S. is set to reopen to vaccinated European travelers in November. While the fight against COVID-19 is far from over in a state that lags the nation on vaccination rates, daily case totals in Georgia are down more than 46 percent from two weeks ago, perhaps indicating that the worst of the latest wave has passed. 

Learn more about the original mission here 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...