Belgium to improve its image abroad

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The Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy believes that Belgium needs to polish up its image abroad.

BRUSSELS -- "The long political crisis in Belgium has left its mark on how people abroad think of our country. We urgently need to upgrade Belgium's tarnished image in the world," says PM Van Rompuy.

In 2010 Belgium wants to be the guest country at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, write the dailies De Tijd and De Standard.

Some 85 guests were present at a lunch prepared by the Flemish celebrity chef Wout Bru in the chic Steigenberter Belvédère Hotel at the weekend.

The guests were treated to lunch and a speech by Belgian PM Van Rompuy on the theme of 'Belgium in the Heart of Europe'.

Mr Van Rompuy had two main reasons for going to Davos. The Belgian federal government has been absent from the World Economic Forum for many years.  Further, Belgium takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union the second half of 2010. "Belgium will be guest country in 2010 before we take over the EU presidency," say members of the cabinet of Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht.

"Davos can give us positive exposure and it is really necessary for us to polish up our image abroad;" explain De Gucht's co-workers. "It will cost money, but we have to do it." Expatica

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