Flanders: at the very heart of Europe

Flanders, the northern region of Belgium

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Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Hasselt
13,522 (Belgium: 30,528 km2)
5,995,553 (Belgium: 10,355,844)
441.7 people/km

Crossroads of Europe

Flanders is often called “the crossroads of Europe” by virtue of its high-density road and rail networks, three international airports, and four major sea ports.

Boasting the most dense road network in the world, two major arteries literally cross on the north-south / east-west axis - making Flanders the European interchange for overland freight. In addition, the highways are illuminated at night, facilitating truck routes around the clock.

Flanders also has the highest concentration of ports in the world. The Flemish ports of Antwerp, Ghent, Zeebruges, and Ostend are all within 100 km of each other, handling both international and inland water-borne traffic at competitive prices.

The region borders on France, Germany, and the Netherlands - with Great Britain only a short ferry or train ride across, or under, the English Channel.

This also places Flanders in the middle of the large West European industrial areas and at the centre of Europe’s most affluent consumer populations. Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Cologne are all within a 350 km radius.

Flanders is ideally situated to provide businesses with rapid access to leading markets and suppliers.

Bustling Brussels

Moreover, Flanders is fortunate in having Brussels as its capital city, as this is also the capital of Belgium and the political capital of the European Union.

Brussels is truly open to the world - nearly a third of the capital's population is made up of foreign nationals, lending the city and its famed cuisine and lifestyle a truly cosmopolitan flair. Brussels’ central role in European affairs is highlighted by the fact that the city is home base to:

  • NATO headquarters
  • the European Commission
  • 159 embassies
  • 2,500 diplomats

The city’s welcoming infrastructure is particularly well-developed. An international business forum, Brussels is home to nearly 2,000 foreign companies - including 1,400 American companies - and over 1,000 international associations.

Brussels is also the world's second largest congress centre - about 16,000 business congresses are held in Brussels every year. The presence of 60 foreign banks has contributed to making Brussels the world's seventh largest financial market.

In so many important ways, your Flanders business partner is the very heartbeat of Europe.