BRUSSELS, Belgium (Mabuhay) — President Benigno Aquino III and his official delegation arrived here this afternoon for a series of meetings with leaders of the European Commission and Belgium.
President Aquino will kick off his three-day visit in Brussels with a meeting with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to tackle various issues, including the West Philippine Sea and bilateral trade and relations.
The President is also scheduled to meet with His Majesty King Philippe of Kingdom of Belgium to seek support for the Philippines’ application for the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) and discuss ways to combat illegal fishing, improve the welfare of seafarers. He will also update King Philippe on the progress of the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.
A meeting with members of the Filipino community from Belgium and Luxembourg to be held at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula is in the agenda of the President while in Brussels.
There are about 6,000 Filipinos living in Belgium according to recent data of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
On his second day in Belgium, the President is also expected to meet with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at the European Council headquarters and sit down with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo at the latter’s official residence in the Belgian capital.
The President is also scheduled to give a keynote address during the Private-Public Partnership Infrastructure Conference and hold meetings with several multinational companies.
He will also deliver a policy speech at Egmont Institute to mark the 50th anniversary of the Philippines and European Union relations. (MNS)