A high-level Belgian business delegation, led by the Crown Prince, Prince Philippe, and Defense Minister Pieter De Crem, will arrive in New Zealand next week to promote bilateral trade and to remember the sacrifices of World War One.
New Zealand Arts and Culture Minister Christopher Finlayson said on Thursday that Prince Philippe would meet Prime Minister John Key and be guest of honor at a dinner hosted by the Governor- General Sir Jerry Mateparae at Government House in Wellington, during his stay from Nov. 27 to 29.
"A dominant feature of New Zealand's relationship with Belgium is the World War One experience we shared on Belgian soil," Finlayson said in a statement.
"With the centenary of that awful conflict approaching, this visit will be an opportunity to introduce to His Royal Highness and Mr De Crem our preparations for the commemoration of such a significant chapter of New Zealand's history."
Prince Philippe will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on Nov. 28.
New Zealand's participation in battles along the Ypres front line in 1917 and 1918 were the country's most costly military operation to that point, with more than 18,000 casualties, including 5,000 dead.