(L-R): Tim Cook of Apple; PM Xavier Bettel; Credit: ME

Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Minister of State, Xavier Bettel, has been on a trade mission to the West Coast of the United States from 13 - 16 March 2023.

The trade mission began on Monday 13 March in Cupertino with a meeting between the Prime Minister and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. During their exchange, Prime Minister Bettel and Tim Cook notably shared their common understanding that a sustainable approach is the future of the technology sector. In this context, Tim Cook presented several initiatives towards more circularity of Apple products. The Prime Minister underlined that for Luxembourg green growth and the development of innovative technologies go hand in hand. Discussions also focused on advances in artificial intelligence, data protection and cybersecurity.

The following day, the mission continued with a visit by the Prime Minister to the headquarters of start-up company Lyten in San Jose. This company explores innovative avenues related to advanced materials. Lyten has developed Graphene 3D, a material which finds its application in particular in “lithium-sulphide” type batteries. This material has the capacity to double the energy density of batteries while considerably reducing their charging time. The material also makes it possible to lighten a wide range of products today often produced in plastic, thus reducing the carbon footprint, for example in the aviation sector.

After this visit, the Prime Minister was received in Mountain View at Google by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, Kent Walker, President, Global Affairs Officer and Chief Legal Officer of Google and Alphabet, as well as by Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. During the visit to Google, a Belgian-Luxembourgish partnership between Proximus Group and LuxConnect in the field of the cloud was presented (see separate article).

The trade mission continued the next day with a visit to San Francisco at Open AI, the artificial intelligence research laboratory behind Chat GPT, whose fourth and much-anticipated latest version was presented the previous day. The Prime Minister had the opportunity to chat with Greg Brockman, President and co-founder of Open AI, who presented to the Luxembourg delegation several Chat GPT applications under development. The discussion focused in particular on the opportunities and challenges in the field of artificial intelligence.

The mission then continued with a visit to San Francisco at Cruise, a company active in the development of autonomous electric vehicles. Prime Minister Bettel was received by Jeff Bleich, Cruise's Chief Legal Officer. Prior to a demonstration drive of one of Cruise's vehicles, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to discuss with Jeff Bleich the next steps for city infrastructure, including green mobility and road safety and the role companies like Cruise could play in accelerating and improving both.

Finally, the Prime Minister visited the Qualcomm campus in San Diego on Thursday 16 March. Qualcomm is a pioneer in the fields of semiconductors, as well as software and services related to wireless technology. Xavier Bettel was received by the CEO of the company, Cristiano Amon. During a meeting of the Luxembourg delegation with representatives of Qualcomm, several avenues were explored which would allow cooperation in many sectors, including that of satellite technology, 5GmmWave and mobility. Several applications of "Snapdragon" semiconductors were presented. 

After illustrations and demonstrations of cutting-edge products, technologies and systems developed by or together with Qualcomm, the trade mission ended in San Diego.