An outstanding French professional congress is coming to Brussels

The 71st congress of the association of French certified public accountants will have over 5,500 participants at Brussels Expo this September. The major theme for this year is "Certified Accountant, Fiscal  Expert". The main objective of conducting this event is to propse important fiscal changes to the European Institutions.
This event will happen from 28th - 30th september,2016.

BEL obtained its third Star

BEL Brussels - the environment and energy administration of Brussels capital region earned its third star which implies that the region has reached the highest level for "Eco-dynamic Enterprise" label. This star proves good environmental management implemented within BEL. Any event at BEL is truly an eco-event.

Plaza Theatre earns Green Key Certification for Brussels

Brussels holds more than 31 reputed certificates with 20% for hotel rooms and 80% for youth hostels. Apart from meeting the criteria for a Green Key certificate the place is also known for its  exceptional decor and historic cinema setting. The place stands out due to:
its various energy conservation measures: significant insulation measures for the ventilation system, double doors and strapped curtains to seal out the cold and reduce drafts; energy efficient lighting and an ongoing energy audit;
measures undertaken for more environmentally friendly maintenance: eco-label cleaning products (70%), use of microfibre rags, and tight controls on the amount of maintenance products used, use of rain water to clean exterior spaces, etc.;
the ongoing feasibility study to replace table linens (tablecloths and napkins) at banquets and seminars with organic cotton products;
sustainable food: organic menus upon request at banquets and seminars;
environmental communication, especially by means of a satisfaction questionnaire and a "green corner";
its social responsibility measures ("Diversity" training for its personnel). 

“Harry Potter™, The Exhibition” is being extended

The Exhibition that opened on June 30th, ushered in more than 160,000 visitors increasing the total number of guests for the worldwide tour to over 4 million. Along with Warner Bros, Consumer products GES, created a 1400-square-meter magnificent exhibition where visitors were able to enjoy dramatic displays inspired by the Harry Potter film sets and also have a look at the amazing craftsmanship behind authentic costumes, props and creatures from the films. Fire-Starter, Brussels Expo and Encore B also partnered with GES in setting up this exhibition. 
Due to demand from fans worldwide, this exhibition will be extended until 6th November,2016.

The new "Tram Experience" features Belgium's culinary heritage

Fifth season of Tram Experience showcased traditional Belgian flavours while a two hour ride through the city.Whether you are a private individual or a company, Tram Experience provides you and your hosts with an evening you certainly will not forget ! The tram can be privatized for corporate events as well. Up to 18 seats can also be reserved aboard regularly scheduled transport.

Busworld international trade show moves to Brussels Expo

Busworld, the biennial international bus and coach industry professional trade show will be moving to the Brussels Expo after spending 45 years in Kortrijk. The international image of the city of Brussels and the large capacity of Brussels Expo convinced the Busworld team. Factors such as presence of an international airport, international train station and a large hotel room capacity will simplify a visit to Busworld Europe, for both the Busworld exhibitors and visitors.
Busworld, Brussels Expo

Brussels airlines connecting Belgium and India

From March 2017, the Indian Metropolis will be connected to Brussels airport 5 times a week. Brussels airlines is all set to connect Belgium and India in close cooperation with Star Alliance partner, Air India. There will be 5 direct flights to Chhatrapati Shivaji airport in Mumbai. To operate the Mumbai route, Brussels Airlines will expand its fleet with a tenth Airbus A330, having a Business Class, Economy Class and the recently introduced Economy Privilege.

Belgium's performance at Rio Olympics 2016

Belgians gave a stunning performance this year at the Rio Olympics. They have made Belgium proud once again by bringing home two gold, one silver and two bronze medals. They have achieved in athletics, cycling - road and track, swimming,field hockey and judo.
Greg Van Avermaet has won the first place in cycling for the Men's road race and secured a gold. Nafissatou Thiam has secured a gold for the Women's heptathlon. Pieter Timmers secured a silver for Men's 100m free style swimming. Dirk Van Tichelt secured a bronze for Men's 73kg Judo. Jolien D'HOORE secured a bronze for Women's omnium (cycling-track). The team also secured a silver medal in field hockey.
Bravo!! Team Belgium.

Increase in Belgium’s GDP by 0.5% in the second quarter

28th July, 2016: Gross domestic product of Belgium has increased by 0.5% in the second quarter compared to the preceding quarter. There has been a growth of 1.4% in economic activity according to Institute des comptes nationaux (ICN). This growth has been mainly attributed to energy sector activity in the second quarter.

Belgian beers among the top 50 in rankers list of world's best beers

18th July, 2016: Belgium owns a variety of premium beers and this has been proven with the release of the Ranker's list of world's best beers. The list was published on 18th July with no less than 21 Belgian beers in the top 50. Everybody can vote for their favorite beers on the ranker. Stella, was the first Belgian beer to secure a second place on the list. The other Belgian beers in the top 50 were:
12  Chimay red
13  St Bernardus abt 12
15  Rochefort
16  Leffe blonde
18  Delirium tremens
19  Duvel
21  Hoegaarden grand cru
25  Westvleteren
28  Westmalle triple
29  Rochefort 8
35  Rodenbach grand cru
38  Westmalle double
41  Orval
44  Chimay grande reserve 1997
47  Rochefort 6
48  St Bernardus prior 8
49  Leffe brown 6

GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] - most attractive Belgian employer

29th April, 2016: GlaxoSmithKline is considered as Belgium's most attractive employer. This was proven through a survey of 15,000 respondents in Belgium. More than 51% of the people who knew about the company were willing to work there. The company won its 4th Randstad award, which is an absolute record.
Top 10: Most attractive employers in Belgium:
1. GlaxoSmithKline : 51%
2. Janssen Pharmaceutica : 50%
3. Brussels Airlines : 47%
4. UCB : 46%
5. Pfizer : 45%
6. Estée Lauder : 45%
7. Jan De Nul : 45%
8. Mercedes-Benz : 44%
9. Coca-Cola : 44%
10. Hewlett Packard : 42%

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Belgium [eu india ties]

30th March,2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Brussels on 30th March,2016 to attend the India-EU Summit and held bilateral trade talks with his Belgian counter part Charles Michel. Mr. Modi advanced India's partnership with EU in priority areas such as 'Make in India' and 'Smart Cities'.
Mr. Modi's speech in Belgium revealed India's interest in trading with Belgium. The following part of his speech comes as a proof of this:
"India is one of the brightest economic opportunities in the world today. Our macroeconomic fundamentals are robust, and at 7% plus, we are one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. I believe that a combination of Belgian capacities and India's economic growth can produce promising opportunities for businesses on both sides. Prime minister and I have just held a productive interaction with Belgian CEOs and business persons earlier today. I invite the Belgian government and companies to pro-actively associate with India's ambitious development projects, including Digital India, Start Up India and Skill India. Belgian businesses can make their global supply chains more cost effective by manufacturing in India. India's goal to modernise infrastructure, especially railways and ports, and building of 100 plus smart cities also presents a unique investment opportunity for the Belgian companies. These partnerships can help us reach new heights in our trade and commercial partnership. I have invited Prime Minister Michel to visit India with Belgian businesses to see first-hand the reality of India's economic and political promise."

Audi's new manufacturing plant in Brussels

20th Jan, 2016: Prime Minister Charle's Michel met with the director of Audi regarding their new manufacturing plant in Brussels. Audi will manufacture its first electronic SUV "e-tron" in Forest in Brussels. The German automobile manufacturer announced that the production will start in 2018.

State Secretary De Crem in Delhi

14th- 17th January, 2015: On his first economic mission to India, State Secretary for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem met up with several contacts in the Indian business community and representatives of Belgian companies investing in India. As a part of laying a strong foundation to the mushrooming Indo-Belgian ties, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem along with the Belgian Ambassador to India, Mr. Luykx met Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi during the Global Business Forum of The Economic Times in Delhi to which Mr. De Crem was invited. Economists including American economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, politicians and thinkers had come together for the summit to discuss various topics. Mr. De Crem participated in the panel discussion on global trade. During his tour of India, Mr. De Crem visited the factory of the Kortrijk imaging specialist Barco in Noida. 
In the light of the plans of the Modi government to address the pollution of the Ganges River and subsequent to a meeting he had with the Smt. Uma Bharathi - Indian Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation on 14th January, the State Secretary advocated Belgian companies expertise and technology to clean the Ganges River. Owing to the fact that Belgium had tackled the same problem concerning water pollution and that Belgian companies have a lot of expertise in the field of water treatment, it is proposed that a team of experts from Belgium will sit in a consortium that will get the first information about how the Ganges project will be addressed concretely. Belgian companies have in the past developed the entire chain purification (purification, detection, etc), in terms of dredging, river transport and port development, the knowledge and experience of which has been commendable.
The Secretary of State for Foreign Trade also met the Minister of Transport (including Shipping), Mr. Nitin Gadkari accompanied by representatives of FIT, AWEX and Brussels Invest and Export and discussed on various topics which included Ports and Dredging. Indian counterparts present at the meeting included the Secretary Shipping, Mr. Sandeep Srivastava (ex oil and petroleum Secretary) and Mr. Rajgopal Sharma, Officer on Special Duty to the Minister (and posted at the Indian Embassy in Belgium until very recently). The Minister also sought Belgian cooperation in the road transport sector where the focus was on the development of infrastructure (expressways, ring roads). With the sector being opened up for a 100% foreign investment (100% FDI), the chances for an Indo-Belgian collaboration stand even more likelier.
Port activities were also a major topic of discussion during the visit of Secretary of State. Subsequently on February 12, the Port of Antwerp opened a training center in Mumbai, India. Initialized by the Government of India, the aim is to make Indian ports respond better in a global port sector.
The Secretary also met Mr. Suresh Prabhu,  Hon'ble Railway Minister, Govt. of India and had a fruitful discussion about how Belgian specialists could assist in the development and modernization of the Indian railway infrastructure.
Mr. Pieter De Crem also interacted with several other to business leaders in the country during his visit and recorded that he intends to act as a facilitator for Belgian companies abroad. He also expressed his appreciation for the work of the Belgian Embassy in India.

Services account for 45% of exports in Brussels

The findings of the study recently released by the National Bank of Belgium on the evolution of exports between 1995 and 2011 showed that Brussels represents 15 % of Belgian exports because of the dominant role of the service sector. Intra- Brussels, services account for 45 % of exports. Export growth in Brussels has been strongest and has seen an exponential rise from: + 157.3 % from 1995 to 2011 to reach nearly 46 billion euros ( + 187.2 % for services). 
Account will be taken of these data in the Action Plan 2015 Foreign Trade Capital Region which includes the 94 events, 31 seminars, 25 economic missions (two princes) and 21 fairs, which Brussels is scheduled to be taking part in the year 2015 quoted Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Cecile Jodogne. 
Cécile Jodogne has stressed that focus is on the BRICS countries which includes India and special attention will be given to the life sciences, ICT, food, catering and audiovisual sectors, including through increased presence at shows devoted to these topics. Multi-sectoral trade missions coming up in this year will include as much as possible components of health, ICT and gastronomy. 

Brussels figures in the top 15 cities most appreciated

According to the Reputation Institute, global leader in consulting, Brussels has a better reputation than Paris or Rome.
In one year, the capital of Europe has moved from 28th to 13th place. Conducted for four years, over a hundred cities in the world whole, the study is based on interviews with 19,000 citizens from the G8 countries. Among the highlights of Brussels figures its attractiveness to the business world and its visibility on the international stage.

Belgium ranks 4th worldwide: Innovation Index 2014

Innovations secure jobs and prosperity - a formula for success realized by companies worldwide. It is not a matter of surprise that in many countries economic policy makers create conditions so that innovation flourishes. Belgium finds a place among the top 5, ranking fourth among the world's 35 leading industrialized nations. With this fourth place, Belgium outclasses the Netherlands (8th), France (17th) and Germany (6th).
The Innovation Index is composed out of 38 individual indicators to conclude on the capacity for innovation of a nation. The indicator does a realistic estimate of the global innovation competition and the study analyses the innovation strength in terms of a number of factors, notably, national economy, science, education, government institutions and civil society. The 2014 study reveals that Belgium enjoys a very balanced innovation system, clearly visible in the high-tech sector and its large number of hidden champions in the small industrial subcontracting markets.
The innovation indicator is developed by a consortium of three research institutes: The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI), the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW ) and the Maastricht Economic and Social Research and Training Centre on Innovation and Technology, Maastricht University ( MERIT).

Belgium - The location which catches your eye in the movie 'PK'!

The movie world in India has recently been abuzz with two letters - 'PK', the film which has emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, and ranks as the 66th highest grossing film of 2014 worldwide. It has also made news for being the first Indian film to earn US$100 million (Rs 630 crore) worldwide. Anyone who has watched the movie cannot but appreciate the scenic beauty of the Belgian locales which were one of the main locations in the movie, beautifully captured by its director.
Notably, the movie is the first Hindi film to be shot in Belgium. These include  the  Market  Square  and  Belfry,  Howest  Campus  Sint-Jorisstraat,  the  Beguinage, plus several streets and canals in Bruges. The city, surrounded by an almost continuous ring of canals, is one of the premier tourist destinations of the region attracting more than 4 million visitors each year. Also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bruges boasts of numerous medieval buildings, churches, museums and art collections. It can be easily explored on foot, by boat along quiet canals, or by horse-drawn carriages over cobblestone streets just like many other cities in Belgium.
 "I was spellbound by the picturesque architecture, landscapes, the strong historical background and clean refreshing environs. I decided that this is just the right place to shoot a part of the movie as it fitted in beautifully with the storyline," quoted the Director of the movie, Rajkumar Hirani.
Karl Van den Bossche, Consul General of Belgium in Mumbai said, "It has been a great experience associating with Mr. Hirani for his film PK, and we are overjoyed that people in India will get a glimpse of the beautiful city of Bruges through the film. I am sure this will inspire people to visit and experience the city and Belgium, which has so much to offer to Indian travellers. We are there to assist all tourists and travel agents with their visa requests if they want to travel to Bruges and Belgium."