The Flanders region of Belgium, which is located in the north of the country, will run 12 booths at the ninth session of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT).
A seminar on investment in Flanders will also be staged during the fair, CIFIT's organizer has announced, with seating for about 100 guests.
According to the Flanders Foreign Investment Office (FFIO), Flanders is at the hub of European trade and the heart of European decision-making.
The region¡¯s immediate neighbours are France, Germany, the Netherlands and, just across the Channel, the United Kingdom. Geographically, Flanders sits in the middle of the wealthiest and most populated area of Europe, providing businesses with rapid access to leading markets and suppliers, said a spokesman for FFIO.
Brussels, capital city of Flanders and the national capital of Belgium, is the headquarters of the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as well as a large number of other non-governmental associations.
In addition to a wide range of companies -- large and small, local and foreign -- operating in Flanders, a considerable number of corporate headquarters are based in both the region itself and in Brussels.
Situated at the point where the Anglo-Saxon, Latin and Germanic cultures meet, Flanders has long been a crossroads of European trade and culture. As a result, businesses can benefit from the flexibility, language skills, business know-how and favourable enterprise environment built up over the centuries.
Flanders also has highly developed transport and communications systems. With three of Europe¡¯s leading ports, two airports, an extensive inland waterway system and superlative road and rail networks, Flanders offers rapid and efficient supply and distribution links with other
A symposium on the economic development betwwen Belgium and six provinces in China's West on June 8,2005.YUANJINGZHI
Chinese Predident Hu Jintao(fourth left)welcome visiting Belgian King AlbertII(right)at the east square of the Grest Hall of the People in Beijing on June 6,2005.WUZHIYI
major European centres and the wider world. Flanders is also a thriving hi-tech region providing sophisticated, reliable communications connections.
BrusselsInternationalAirport offers a range of intra-European and international flights, with most other major European centres accessible within two hours' flying time. Both Brussels and Antwerp are on Europe's high-speed train network, which runs frequent services to such key cities as London and Paris.
The national workforce is the most productive per hour in the EU, according to figures researched by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Developmentpublished in 2003. Surveys have also shown the Flemish workforce to be loyal to employers and the Flemish people to be among the most multi-lingual in Europe, generally speaking English and French, and often German, in addition to their own language.
After centuries at the heart of European trade and culture, the Flemish people have earned a reputation for cross-border flexibility and understanding. The modern international character of cities such as Brussels and Antwerp, along with the large number of foreign companies in Flanders, has added to the international business culture that exists in the region.
Logistics operations based in Flanders extend across a wide range of sectors and include both in-company operations and third-party specialist contractors. Specialist national and international third-party operators include, among others, Caterpillar, Katoen Natie, Furness Logistics and Essers.
A number of the operations are located in the more than 185 specialist European Logistics Centres (ELC) in Flanders. These ELCs combine a number of value-added services and activities, from order-entry in call-centres through repair services to assembly.
The industry is supported by the Flanders Institute for Logistics, a centre dedicated to strengthening the sector through research and innovation.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Flanders fell slightly last year but launched more projects and created more new jobs than the previous year, according to figures produced by FFIO.
While the total amount invested in projects recorded by FFIO reached 1.13 billion Euros (US$1.37 billion), down from 1.27 billion Euros (US$1.66 billion) in 2003, the number of projects announced increased. In addition, the number of jobs created rose from 2,761 in 2003 to 2,949 in 2004.
The sectors attracting the most investment were logistics and transport, the automotive industry, IT and telecommunications, chemicals and electronics. These sectors created the most jobs and also accounted for the largest investments. The leading countries of origin for FDI in Flanders in 2004 were neighbouring nations, the US and Japan.
Export Vlaanderen, the Flanders Export Promotion Agency, is the Flemish public agency responsible for promoting exports of Flemish products and services. The agency runs an office in Guangzhou, capital of Southern China¡¯s GuangdongProvince.