Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Vice Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Credit: Otilia Dragan/Chronicle.lu

On the morning of Monday 24 June 2024, the second edition of the Go International Day took place at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce; an event dedicated to international business.

The day’s programme includes seminars, networking opportunities and B2B meetings, the presentation of various opportunities, challenges and the latest trends in international business, aiming to provide fresh momentum for Luxembourg companies looking to expand into foreign markets. The programme also aims to highlight international expertise and entrepreneurial experience, offering high-level keynotes as well as individual Business2Advisors meetings with market experts and representatives from the Luxembourg Trade and Invest Offices abroad, practical seminars, best practices on selling internationally online, and “all under one roof” experts who support Luxembourgish companies in export matters in one place.

Prince Guillaume, Luxembourg’s Hereditary Grand Duke attended this event. During the welcome address, Carlo Thelen, CEO of Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce bid him welcome and expressed his gratitude for the royal family’s “unconditional support”, emphasising that his participation in trade missions and trade fairs gives Luxemburg “importance and visibility that makes it stand out in competition with other countries.” Carlo Thelen also noted that Luxembourg’s diplomatic network abroad bolsters national companies across the world. He also stressed the importance of digital tools in business culture concerning foreign trade and market engagement and regulations. “The Go International Day is the occasion to highlight support mechanisms that Luxembourg companies can benefit from, such as business partnership facility programme of LuxDev, and the access to market tools of the European Commission.” He then presented the International Affairs teams for Luxembourg.

Next, Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s Vice Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade welcomed the announcement that Prince Guillaume will take over a part of Luxembourg’s Grand Duke's official duties and responsibilities in October. He noted that the Hereditary Grand Duke, whom he had recently joined for a trade mission in Japan, as well as on an earlier visit to the United States, is a committed “bridge maker”. Minister Bettel added that an informal dinner in town with 42-43 ministers of foreign affairs will be organised this evening, preceded by a welcome visit at the Grand Ducal Palace. “We all must know that we are dependent on international trade: by importing and by exporting. Living without connectivity is wrong.” He stressed that Luxembourg used to be a “poor” country before the steel industry boom and that even the industrial advances would not have improved the country’s financial situation were it not for foreign trade. Touching on where his geographical priorities lie, Minister Bettel said “wherever”, mentioning that the Greater Region should not be forgotten and places further away should not be excluded, nevertheless stressing the importance of the rule of law being respected.

Practical insights were given on the upcoming events for the day, including the possibility of discovering a platform dedicated to outbound activities of Luxembourg companies at app.connect2business.lu.
An additional feature on the platform allows the booking of direct meetings to support businesses interested in the market abroad. Participants were also invited to join a survey concerning the event. The upcoming trade missions were announced, notably one to Romania in September, one to Canada in October, one to China in November and, lastly, one to Sweden in December.

After a short coffee break, two thematic seminars took place in parallel on how to access the international market by digital interactive tools, mastering strategic trade control: navigating regulations and compliance for global trade success. A session of B2B meetings and several workshops on FTAs followed, notably on how to use trade fairs for developing markets, as well as a presentation of the upcoming Expo 2025 Osaka by the Ambassador of Japan to Luxembourg.