Flemish economic representation in the United Kingdom
Flanders Investment & Trade has a Flemish economic representative in London and a trade secretary in Edinburgh.
In 2003, the United Kingdom was our fourth export market (after Germany, France and the Netherlands). Flanders? exports to the United Kingdom amounted to 16.976 billion euro. This accounts for 9.71% of overall Flemish exports.
Main export products to the UK (2003):
- vehicles (32.60%)
- pharmaceutical products (8.00%)
- machinery and mechanical appliances (6.20%)
- synthetic materials and applications (6.18%)
- electrical machinery and equipment (6.50%)
Flemish investments in the United Kingdom and vice versa
The Belgian and Flemish industrial and financial sectors are mainly represented in London and South England.
Banks situated there: KBC, ING (formerly BBL), FORTIS.
Important industrial establishments are: Agfa Gevaert, Barco, Brantano, Domo, Eternit, Interbrew, Renson Fabrications, Victor Buyck-Hollandia Joint Venture Ltd (steal)...
Important British companies, such as BP, Candover and Carpetright have recently invested in Flanders. In the period 2001-2003 decisions were made from the UK to invest in Flanders for an amount of 600 million euros.
Toerisme Vlaanderen (Tourism Flanders-Brussels) now has a team of 7 people working in London. The main target group is the population of London and South East England. However, there are also other interesting urbanised areas in Central and North England, such as Leeds, Manchester, etc.
The number of nights spent by British people in Flanders and Brussels increased these past 5 years on average by 11.7% Flanders and 10% for Brussels. Currently, Great Britain is the one but most important foreign market for Flanders and Brussels and generates the largest number of (nearly 2.3 million) nights of hotel accommodation from abroad.
The dynamic British travel industry continues to be of paramount importance in the promotion of our destination.
The programmes of nearly all big city break and coach operators include our art cities (Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Louvain, Malines) as well as Ypres with its battlefields, which remains very popular in the United Kingdom due to the significant role it played during the first World War.
Our biggest trumps are our proximity, our interesting art historical cities and the pound sterling which is still strong.