Europe’s economic gateway
Thanks to its central location, extensive infrastructure, and mature logistics, Flanders is a key economic region in Europe and a perfect distribution centre from which multinational companies can access all of Europe.
In fact, Flanders has been a major player in European trade since the Middle Ages. A number of Flemish towns − like Bruges and Ghent − have illustrious histories as commercial centres.
The region grew rich and strong through its linen, cotton, and tapestry trade, and even today Flanders is known for quality textiles.
High added-value sectors
Today, this land of merchants and manufacturers is continuing its tradition of trade and export orientation. Flanders is particularly active in high added-value, quality products and services, such as:
- Technology − automotive, mechatronics, IT, …
- Healthcare − pharmaceuticals, medical imaging, …
- Durable and luxury products − diamonds, fashion, design, …
- Service industries
- Biotechnology, environmental technology, and research in the life sciences
- Chemical and metallurgical processing
- Petrochemical industries
Some key figures on Flemish exports
- Exports of Flemish goods and services amount to some 175 billion euro annually
- Flemish exports account for about 80% of Belgium’s GDP
- 1-in-3 jobs are in export-related businesses.
Moreover, Flanders’ highly educated, hard-working, multi-lingual work force has created and sustains the powerful, innovative economic engine behind these figures.
In addition to its premier role as a distribution gateway to the rest of Europe, a range of fiscal advantages make Flanders one of the most open and investment-friendly economies in the world.
The Flanders’ Foreign Investment Office fields business development managers, who provide information and support for prospective investors. The government of Flanders has implemented a powerful policy to attract foreign investment, providing both direct and indirect supportive measures..