Whatsup 3

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Whatsup 3

  1. 1. SPRING 09 WHAT’s UP: you are reading the third issue of WHAT’s UP. This quarterly newsletter aims to give an overview of the information and initiatives improving Belgian region’s attractiveness. It is addressed to the federal and regional entities which are directly or indirectly involved in the attraction of foreign investments as well as any private organization acting in the same way. Any comments or relevant information to be published can be addressed to the secretariat of the Cellule de liaison/Verbindingscel. The quot;Cellule de liaison/Verbindingscel quot; was created in 1995 as a result of the Cooperation agreement between federal and regional governments regarding the attraction of foreign investments. Its mission is to highlight problems and create synergies between all the Belgian authorities involved in the attraction of foreign investments. The following authorities are represented in the Cell: FPS Foreign Affairs, FPS Economy, FPS Finance, FIT, AWEX, BEA and the Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region. Its chair is held by the Regions on a rotating basis and its secretariat is ensured by the FPS Economy. –– CONTACT 1. quot;Belgium is the most globalised countryquot; (KOF Index) 2. OPL Solar Europe forms a European subsidiary in Brussels 3. Belgian labor card issued in a mere two weeks 4. Liège Trilogiport: work has officially started! 5. Procter & Gamble use Belgium as a test market 6. ExxonMobil opens new CHP facility in Antwerp 7. Dow Corning invests in Feluy 8. Tax Incentives for Audiovisual Investments 9. Passenger traffic up at Brussels Airport for second year in a row 10. Dutch group Hema continues its expansion in Flanders 1.quot;Belgium is the most globalised countryquot; (KOF Index) Belgium is number one amongst the most globalised countries with a 2009 KOF Index of 91.51 calculated by the EPFZ (L'École polytechnique fédérale de Zurich = quot;Federal Polytechnic School Zurichquot;). Belgium is ahead of Ireland, (91,02), the Netherlands and Switzerland More … 2. OPL Solar Europe forms a European subsidiary in Brussels The European subsidiary, a partner with European companies, OPL Solar Europe (OSE), headquartered in Brussels, opens a vital avenue to embed OPEL Inc. products into the solar markets and projects throughout Europe and the Mediterranean basin. OPEL Inc. with operations headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut and Toronto, Ontario, Canada designs, manufactures and markets high performance concentrating photovoltaic panels to transform solar energy into electricity for worldwide application. According to Eric Vanbutsele, a senior Opel executive and European managing director, OSE functions as the hub of all OPEL solar projects, partnerships, and joint ventures on the European continent. Top 3.Belgian labor card issued in a mere two weeks Belgium is faster than its neighboring countries when it comes to issuing labor cards to foreign knowledge workers. Such a card can be obtained in a mere two weeks. Belgium is doing an excellent job, it would seem, in the European battle for brainpower. compared in the survey. In Belgium it takes ca. 2 weeks to get an application for a work permit approved. In France and Germany the average wait is 6 to 8 weeks. In the Netherlands it stands at 2 to 5 weeks. 1/4 SPRING 09
  2. 2. From an employer’s perspective, Belgium can also boast favorable wage conditions: a knowledge worker has to be paid a gross income of at least EUR 35,638. In the Netherlands, the lower limit is EUR 49,087, in Germany it’s higher still at EUR 86,400. Top 4.Liège Trilogiport: work has officially started! quot;Liège Trilogiport is a challenge we could not resist! Thanks to Trilogiport, our intention today is to consolidate the position of the Port of Liège as an ideally situated port area based in the natural hinterland of the major sea ports with a view to making Liège a major magnet from the point of view of inland waterway logistics.quot; declared Mr Bertrand, Acting Managing Director of the Autonomous Port of Liège. More … 5.Procter & Gamble use Belgium as a test market Brussels plays a vital role in the continued global success of consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, says the company’s Benelux Director Luc Suykens. In an interview with Belgian financial newspaper L’Echo, Suykens cited not only Belgium’s value as the premiere European test market for P&G products, but also the Brussels Innovation Centre, its global business unit for R&D whose more than 250 researchers from 30 different countries create and test products, technologies, processing, packaging, and more. The Brussels Innovation Centre has been essential to the group’s global development strategy, a business worth over $1 billion, offering 24 brands against just 10 in 2000. This year will see the launch of a new formula toothpaste to be tested first in Belgium before More … 6.ExxonMobil opens new CHP facility in Antwerp ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, has opened a new Combined Heat and Power facility (CHP) for its refinery in Antwerp. This will allow the group to produce energy in an eco-friendly manner. A CHP facility produces both electricity and steam, whereas conventionally these are produced separately. The combined production concept saves a massive amount of energy, thus making a CHP facility more cost-efficient and eco-friendly. Furthermore, part of the produced heat at the Antwerp plant is used to heat crude oil in the refinery process. The new plant has a total output of 125 megawatt, making it one of the biggest CHP facilities in Flanders. This is enough to meet 80% of the power demands for the three ExxonMobil sites in Flanders. Due to the combined production of heat and electricity, the total amount of CO2 emissions produced by ExxonMobil is reduced by approximately 200,000 tonnes each year. This is the equivalent to the CO2 footprint of 90,000 cars. Top 7.Dow Corning invests in Feluy Dow Corning, the leading world manufacturer and distributor of silicon products, is investing in Seneffe. The company has purchased a 17 hectare site on the Feluy industrial estate. quot;The products manufactured by the company throughout the world will pass through Feluy before being redistributed to the European Union, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.quot; said Marc Van der Veen, Logistics Manager for Dow Corning Europe. More … 8.Tax Incentives for Audiovisual Investments The Belgian Tax Shelter encourages the production of European audiovisual works by giving an incentive to companies that invest in it. The company investing in the production of European audiovisual works may benefit from a tax exemption on its profit corresponding to 150% of the funds invested (limit of 50% of the taxable reserved profit with a maximum of € 750,000 per accounting period). More … 9.Passenger traffic up at Brussels Airport for second year in a row Last year, more than 18.5 million passengers used the airport in 2008: an increase of 3.6 percent on 2007 (17.8 million passengers). With this result, Brussels Airport for the second year in a row exceeds the performance of most other large and medium-sized airports in Europe. At the start of 2008, passenger traffic registered remarkable growth rates. This strong growth was mainly driven by the success of the new long-haul services and the arrival of new low-fare carriers. For cargo activities, at the close of 2008, Brucargo registered 661,000 tons of cargo carried, mainly a consequence of the loss in the express cargo segment. Nevertheless, results were partly compensated by the cargo volumes carried on board of passenger and full- freighter flights and strong first two quarters of 2008. Cargo results 2008 were 11% higher than 2007 More … 1/4 SPRING 09
  3. 3. 10.Dutch group Hema continues its expansion in Flanders The Dutch-owned chain of department stores HEMA keeps growing on the Flemish market. In 2008, the group opened a total of 6 new stores in Belgium, and it plans to do the same in 2009. At the moment, Hema owns 53 department stores in Flanders and, according to the group, there is still a lot of growth potential in the region. Although 2009 is expected to be a tough year for all businesses, Hema plans to continue its pace of investment and – depending on the availability of commercially attractive locations – expects to be opening another six shops in Belgium this year. At the moment, HEMA owns 53 department stores in Flanders and, according to the group, there is still a lot of growth potential in the region. Although 2009 is expected to be a tough year for all businesses, Hema plans to continue its pace of investment and – depending on the availability of commercially attractive locations – expects to be opening another six shops in Belgium this year. 2008 was another successful year for HEMA: the total international turnover of the group increased by 4 percent. There are no specific results given for the Flemish market, but the HEMA spokesperson said that growth in Flanders was higher than the group’s average. In total, HEMA owns 381 stores in the Netherlands, 65 in Belgium, 3 in Luxembourg and 1 in France. In 2009, they will continue their expansion strategy. Top And more … More … … on 1.Belgium, “the most globalised country” Belgium is number one amongst the most globalised countries with a 2009 KOF Index of 91.51 calculated by the EPFZ (L'École polytechnique fédérale de Zurich = quot;Federal Polytechnic School Zurichquot;). Belgium is ahead of Ireland, (91,02), the Netherlands and Switzerland. The index calculated by the institute measures the degree of integration into the global economy by means of 25 variables. The indicator takes account of the amount of direct foreign investment, the volume of post exchanged with foreign countries, the number of IKEA shops and the international book trade of each country. The data covers the period 1970-2006. Taking purely economic criteria into account, Belgium comes in at fifth place (91.63) after Malta, Ireland and Luxembourg. Singapore is top in this category. With regard to political globalisation, Belgium is ranked in third place (97.01) after Italy and France. Finally, in terms of social globalisation, Belgium comes in at tenth place (88.12). 27/01/2009 Copyright © L'Echo.be Top More … … on 4.Liège Trilogiport: work has officially started The details: The platform construction works will take place in two phases: Firstly, the preparatory works for Liège Trilogiport started on 24 November 2008 and their estimated duration is 200 working days (approximately 10 months). Secondly, the infrastructure and installation works will then follow and are estimated to take 700 calendar days. The Liège Trilogiport multimodal platform should be operational by the end of 2011. This investment is estimated at close to €43,636,366 million and should create around 2000 jobs. Top More … … on 5.Procter & Gamble using Belgium as a test market The Brussels Innovation Centre has been essential to the group’s global development strategy, a business worth over $1 billion, offering 24 brands against just 10 in 2000. This year will see the launch of a new formula toothpaste to be tested first in Belgium before its European rollout In the interview given to Belgian economic editorial “l’Echo”, Luc Suykens, P&G Director Benelux, expresses his views on the importance of innovation, even in today’s difficult economic times. Innovation is P&G's lifeblood and their approach to it is intentional. It is about transforming consumer insights into brands that meet and exceed expectations. It is the match of what's needed (i.e. what consumers tell they want) with what is possible (i.e. what research and science tell is achievable). Since its 1st venture into Europe in the thirties, P&G continues to highly value Belgium as the best test market for their consumer goods. 1/4 SPRING 09
  4. 4. Established in Belgium since 1956, P&G employs 3500 workers, of which 1600 are based at the HQ in Brussels. Today, the first ever European location of the group outside the USA, established in Mechelen (Belgium), has become the second global production site for the famous “Pringles”, good for 95% of exports. Then, in 1960, came the European Research Centre, established in Strombeek-Bever (Brussels), also called the Brussels Innovation Centre, a global business unit for R&D, for products, technologies, processing, packaging, etc employing more than 250 researchers from 30 different nationalities. The production site of Aarschot (Belgium) was added through the acquisition in of the group Gillette 2005. All these years, the Brussels Innovation Centre has been a major player and invested fully in the group’s global development strategy, a business worth over $1 billion, offering 24 brands against just 10 in 2000. Plans revealed for 2009 announce a speeding up of innovation capacity. ‘Communicate added value is the message’ says Suykens. Brands who suffer most during a crisis are not big names, but those who have not invested enough or stopped doing so. Citing an example: the synergy between P&G and Gillette in the development of a new formula toothpaste. The forthcoming launch will be in Belgium, the first European test country. Top More … … on 7.Dow Corning investing in Feluy Tens of millions of euros will be required to develop the centre. Dow Corning already has a distribution centre in the Garocentre Nord area but the buildings are starting to dilapidate The future Feluy distribution centre should have a capacity of 1000 tonnes per day. The stock will comprise quot;hazardousquot; products as was already the case at Garocentre. This distribution centre will receive quot;Grand Sevesoquot; accreditation. The project will also include the creation of a car park, amenities and greenery. The new site should employ some 130 people. Some of the workers currently employed at Garocentre should be redeployed to the new site. Dow Corning has more than 20,000 clients worldwide and more than 7000 products in its catalogue. Dow Corning employs 600 people in Belgium. F.Sch. Top More … … on 8.tax Incentives for Audiovisual Investments A series of conditions have to be fulfilled. These conditions are linked to: - the production company (must be a Belgian resident production company) - the investor (must be either a resident Belgian company, or a Belgian branch of a foreign company, excluded a production company or a television broadcasting company) - the nature of investments (loans granted to the production company and the rights linked to the production and exploitation of the audiovisual work ; the total of the qualifying sums invested may not exceed 50% of the global budget of the production) - the audiovisual work itself (must be agreed by the Flemish or French communities as being European work according to the European directive “Television without Frontiers” of October 3, 1989) The production company must spend in Belgium at least 150% of the investments in rights for the production of the audiovisual work within a timeframe of 18 months. Need to know more? Please contact us: Federal Public Service Finance - Fiscal Department for Foreign Investments Rue de la Loi, 24 - B – 1000 Brussels - Phone : + 32 (0) 257 938 66 Top More … … on 9.Passenger traffic up at Brussels Airport for second year in a row Over 18.5 million passengers used the airport in 2008: an increase of 3.6 percent on 2007 (17.8 million passengers). With this result, Brussels Airport for the second year in a row does better than most other large and medium-sized airports in Europe. At the start of 2008, passenger traffic registered remarkable growth rates. This strong growth was mainly driven by the success of the new long-haul services and the arrival of new low-fare carriers. For cargo activities, at the close of 2008, Brucargo registered 661,000 tons of cargo carried, mainly a consequence of the loss in the express cargo segment. Nevertheless, results were partly compensated by the cargo volumes carried on board of passenger and full- freighter flights and strong first two quarters of 2008. Cargo results 2008 were 11% higher than 2007. Top 1/4 SPRING 09

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