The world comes to Flanders
Flanders is an attractive region for foreign investors. Just under one quarter of all new investments in Flanders are realised by American companies. Traditionally, the neighbouring countries (the Netherlands, France and Germany) are important investors, followed by India, Japan and the United Kingdom. The most remarkable trend is the increased attention Flanders is receiving from Indian investors. This trend is mainly perceptible in the diamond industry. Antwerpen has been the centre of international trade in diamonds for ages.
Transport by water, by air and by railways
The railway network in Flanders is one of the first and even the most extensive in the European Union. This makes the train an excellent alternative for the road. Figures show an intensive use of the railways, as the number of passenger rides is increasing year after year. Cargo transport by railways is also increasing. The importance of the railway network can hardly be overrated, particularly as there are plans to connect the four port of Flanders Port Area with the hinterland by rail. This involves large projects like the Liefkenshoek Railway in Antwerpen, the Iron Rhine Railway that connects Antwerpen with Germany, and the opening up of Zeebrugge’s back port. Finally, Flanders proves its central location with a range of high-speed trains that bring you to the great cities of Europe in a few hours. The Thalys only needs 1 hour and 25 minutes to take you from Brussels to Paris, and Amsterdam and Cologne are less than 2 hours away. You can be in the centre of London in 1 hour and 51 minutes with the Eurostar. Rome, Geneva, Marseille, Madrid, ... are within easy reach with super fast trains.
Public transportation for everyone
The Government of Flanders’ vision is that everyone in Flanders must get the opportunity to work, shop or benefit from the many recreational activities. To that end, it drew up a plan to make the threshold for using public transportation as low as possible: over 65s ride for free and pupils receive season tickets at strongly reduced prices. Taking the bus or tram in Flanders is also surprisingly inexpensive for adults. An adult can take the tram or bus throughout Flanders for a whole month at an attractive price. This approach works. De Lijn, the Flemish public transportation company, conducts almost 500 million passenger rides per year.