CAIRO: Visiting Belgian Crown Prince Philippe conferred last night on business tycoon Onsi Sawiris a new diploma entitled: “Commander in the Order of the Crown.
The silver-star medal was bestowed by King Albert the Second in recognition of Sawiris’ “services to Egypt, to the poor and also to Belgium,
Belgian Ambassador to Egypt Leroy Daniel told Sawiris before he was given the decoration in a reception held at the ambassador’s residence in Giza.
King Albert II first acknowledged the efforts of Sawiris 10 years ago. This is the second medal Sawiris has received from Belgium.
“You are not only a successful businessman. You also care for under-privileged people. You created the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development to help them, the ambassador continued.
Sawiris told Daily News Egypt that he is “content, of course, because his activities are being appreciated. He also spoke about the growing friendship and strong partnership he has enjoyed with Belgium for the past 12 years.
Sawiris works with BESIX, the Belgian construction company that built the extension of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the Conrad Hotel and the two Nile towers in Cairo. BESIX is also building the third tower.
The reception was held in the honor of an economic mission comprising more than 90 business people that began a visit to Egypt early this week to look into the possibilities of investment, trade and creating joint ventures with their Egyptian counterparts, especially in gas, renewable energy, recycling waste, construction, and finance.
Companies represented include BESIX, CMI-Cockerill and Maintenance Ingenierie, Solvay, Waterleau, Suez and Schreder/Comellec.
The mission was led by Vincent Van Quickenborne, federal minister for enterprise and administrative reform, and Patricia Geysens, Flemish minister of economy, science, innovation and foreign trade.
During the visit, Crown Prince Philippe met with President Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.