Reportage: Belgium King’s Day 2015

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The new Belgian Consul General led celebration of the November 15 King’s Day. Carrie Lam, the Guest of Honour, was happy to make a shout-out for Belgian diamonds.


 

Madame Michèle Deneffe, the new Consul General of Belgium in Hong Kong and Macau, hosted the reception of the King’s Day on Friday (November 13) at the Maritime Museum – a day that has been celebrated since 1866.

During her welcoming speech, Ms Deneffe hailed continued cooperation between Hong Kong and Belgium, including Belgian presence in the Hong Kong Business of Design Week, and Belgium being the first country to sign a double taxation agreement with Hong Kong in 2003.

“To conclude, consolidation of our bilateral relations and diversification should be the priorities for the years to come,” Ms Deneffe said.

Chief Secretary Mrs Carrie Lam was the guest of honour, who cited a list of personal connections between the two governments, including visits to Belgium by Lam herself, CY Leung, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury CK Chan in separate occasions, and a visit by Queen of the Belgians her majesty Queen Mathilde in December 2013 (Ed note: The Chief Secretary however did not mention the embarrassment when the host wrongly addressed Queen Mathilde as ‘Queen of Belgium’ during her three-day visit).

Mrs Lam also made a special shout-out for Belgian diamonds, citing a recent record high transaction of a blue diamond bought by a Hong Konger with CHF48.6 million (approx. HK$380 billion).

“Hong Kong people, or rather rich people, are fond of diamonds. So there are a lot of business [opportunities] for Belgian diamonds in Hong Kong,” The Chief Secretary said.

No diamonds were on display at the venue, but the guests were treated with something better – Belgian chocolates, waffles, and beers.