DiplomaticQuarter: Belgium on front line of coronavirus battle, says envoy to Riyadh

Dominique Mineur, Belgian ambassador to Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Dominique Mineur, Belgian ambassador to Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 30 December 2020

DiplomaticQuarter: Belgium on front line of coronavirus battle, says envoy to Riyadh

DiplomaticQuarter: Belgium on front line of coronavirus battle, says envoy to Riyadh

RIYADH: Belgium’s long history in the pharmaceuticals sector qualifies it as one of the main sites for coronavirus vaccine production, according to Dominique Mineur, Belgian ambassador in Riyadh.
Mineur described Belgium as a biopharmaceutical hub, and said it was the second-largest exporter of medicines and vaccines in Europe.
The envoy told Arab News that Belgium has been home to major pharmaceuticals companies, such as Solvay Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharma, GSK Biologics and Janssen Pharmaceutica, for at least a century.
In addition, many leading firms, such as Baxter, Genzyme, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, have established R&D activities in Belgium.
The country is on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, she added.
Mineur said that Belgium is a small country but has big ambitions, ranking 46th out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey in 2020. Its central geographic location offers major trade advantages, with 100 million potential customers within a four-hour drive.
Antwerp is the second-largest seaport in Europe, while Liege Airport — the sixth-busiest European cargo hub — was nominated best cargo airport in 2020. The airport was also selected as one of eight hubs for medical supplies during the pandemic by the World Health Organization, Mineur said.
“The Belgian government support of innovation is unique,” she added. “Competitive poles and clusters were created at the beginning of the 2000s to bring together private and public players in order to foster innovation, employing more than 38,500 people.”
Belgium is Europe’s No. 1 biotech country, she said, and has a network of more than 270 biotech companies working with universities, research institutes and hospitals.  Collaboration with the university hospital research centers is key.
 


Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims
Updated 57 min 57 sec ago

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims

Saudi royals offer condolences to Indonesia’s quake victims
  • At least 56 people were killed and 820 injured in the quake that left 15,000 people displaced

RIYADH: The Saudi King and Crown Prince have offered their condolences to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia after an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale hit Sulawesi island on Friday, state news agency SPA reported.

According to the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) at least 56 people were killed and 820 injured in the quake that left 15,000 people displaced.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered their sympathy to the families of those killed and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.