King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians will make a state visit to Korea March 25-28 at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.
President Moon will meet with King Philippe for a summit on March 26 and host a state dinner for the royal couple on the same day. King Philippe will be the first European monarch to make a state visit to Korea since the inauguration of President Moon. It will be the first visit to Korea in 27 years by a Belgian King.
The King's amicable relationship with Korea is evident from his four visits to the country when he was the crown prince. On this visit, he will be accompanied by a large delegation, including high-ranking officials from the federal and local governments, about 80 heads of corporations and presidents of 15 universities. On top of the summit, the King is scheduled to attend the Korea-Belgium business forum, a seminar on smart cities and lunch with business leaders.
During the summit, President Moon and the Belgian King are expected to review the development of cooperative relations since the countries established diplomatic ties in 1901. They will also exchange ideas on concrete measures to strengthen mutually beneficial and forward-looking cooperation in areas where the two countries have strengths, such as information and communication technology, chemistry, logistics and food.
In addition, President Moon is expected to discuss the experience of Belgium, which has played a leading role in integrating the European Union and establishing peace in the region. He will also likely seek assurances of Belgium’s continued support for and cooperation in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.
The state visit by King Philippe and his wife is expected to solidify the momentum in bilateral trade and investment cooperation, which has become more vibrant since the Belgian economic mission’s visit to Korea in 2017. It will also likely serve as an opportunity to diversify Korea’s summit diplomacy.