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STATEMENT: Davos '24: Bill Gates joins Belgium in a showcase of innovation and global partnerships

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STATEMENT: Davos '24: Bill Gates joins Belgium in a showcase of innovation and global partnerships

(Information sent by the signatory company)

BRUSSELS, January 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Belgium inaugurates the first "House" in its history during the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2024, which takes place from January 15 to 19 in Davos, Switzerland. The "House of Belgium" is an initiative of the European Business Summits and a group of leading Belgian companies, with the support of the Belgian federal government, to present Belgian technology and innovation.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo hosts three flagship events at the "House of Belgium" that summarize Belgium's commitment to driving progress for all through openness, innovation and global partnerships – as explained in the current campaign "Embracing Openness." "

On Tuesday, Belgium demonstrated its leadership in the ecological transition during the debate "Cleantech innovation on the path to Net Zero". In the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Belgium, the panelists - Bill Gates, Co-Chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Luc Vandenbulcke, Director General of DEME; Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys; and Ilham Kadri, CEO of Syensqo – explored the innovative partnerships that turn cleantech ideas into reality.

On Wednesday, Belgium, as an important pharmaceutical valley in Europe, inspires the conversation on the "Challenges and opportunities of the European biopharmaceutical sector. What role does Belgium play?" Michel Demaré, Chairman of the Board of Astrazeneca, Paul Hudson, CEO of Sanofi, Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President of MSD, Tineke Van Hooland, Deputy Secretary General of the Belgian Federation of Chemical and Life Sciences Industries, and the moderator Trevor Mundel, Chair of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, discuss the future of life sciences in Europe.

Additionally, the panel "Tech.Money.Br.AI.n - What if money had consciousness?" highlights Belgium's strengths in financial innovation by reimagining money for this century. The panelists - Colin Bell, CEO of HSBC; Marc Raisière, CEO of Belfius Bank; Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol; and Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs at Google - explore what a super-br.AI.n could tell us about economies and societies, rethinking our network of payment systems as a neural network.

"As Belgians, it is in our DNA to embrace openness towards innovation and partnerships," said Prime Minister De Croo. "Davos is the perfect forum to invite others to join us in finding sustainable and innovative solutions to global challenges."

Other highlights of the program include Tuesday's panel "How to safeguard Europe's main industrial and logistics hub?" by Annelies Verlinden, Minister of the Interior, on critical infrastructure in Belgium that facilitates the flow of goods, services and people. On Wednesday, Petra De Sutter, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, participates in the panel "Fact and Fiction: The Future of Democracy," where she will explore the role of science and fact-based worldviews, and artificial intelligence.

The "House of Belgium" is an association of key companies of the Belgian industry: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), Syensqo, Ackermans

About Belgium

Located in the heart of Europe, Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world, with 11.5 million inhabitants and a reputation for innovation, hard work, partnership and multilingualism. Strategically located between Germany, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, it is located in the center of the richest and most densely populated area of ​​Europe. A founding member of the European Union and NATO, Belgium enjoys full access to the world's most advanced single market and customs area, ensuring extensive frictionless trade. Belgium currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Belgium has an advanced transport infrastructure, including the second largest seaport in Europe (Antwerp). Belgium is home to world-leading research and innovation facilities, multinational corporations and artisanal businesses supported by the investor-centric approach of public services.

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