Foreign Investment Trophy 2020: celebrating the most outstanding foreign investment projects in Flanders

Foreign Investment Trophy 2020

On Tuesday 11 February 2020, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) celebrated 4 international companies with investment projects in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium. This happened during the annual Foreign Investment Trophy: an exclusive event that took place at the Deloitte Gateway Office (Brussels Airport).

FIT presented 4 trophies: the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy, the Newcomer of the Year Trophy, the Lifetime Achievement Trophy and the Exceptional Investment Trophy.

Meet the winners

Barry Callebaut (Switzerland) wins the 2020 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy

Barry Callebaut has chosen the city of Lokeren (Flanders) as the location for its new logistics center. The facility will become the world's biggest chocolate warehouse. For this investment project, the Swiss company was presented with the 2020 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy by Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon. Barry Callebaut was declared the winner after 3 rounds of voting by a professional jury, the general online public and those present at the Foreign Investment Trophy ceremony.

The company emerged victorious from a pool of 5 nominated foreign investors. The other nominees were truck builder DAF Trucks (Netherlands/US), diamond producer Heyaru Engineering (Dubai/India), medtech specialist Hologic (US) and car transporter International Car Operators (Japan).

> Discover the story behind the winning investment


Inari (US) receives the 2020 Newcomer of the Year Trophy

US-based biotech firm Inari opened its first R&D branch in Flanders, in Ghent’s biotech valley, and partnered up with research institutes VIB and ILVO.

As a promising new kid on the block in Flanders’ biotechnology and life sciences industry, Inari received the 2020 Newcomer of the Year Trophy from Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy event.

Read the full story behind Inari’s first steps in Flanders


The 2020 Lifetime Achievement Trophy goes to Nike (US)

In the early nineties, American sports goods manufacturer Nike opened its very first distribution center in Flanders in Laakdal, Antwerp. Today, the center has developed into Nike’s European Logistics Campus (ELC), with sites in 3 different locations in Flanders.

To highlight and recognize this continuous investment and dedication, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon presented Nike with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Trophy at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy event.

Discover more about Nike’s track record in Flanders


INEOS (UK) is presented with the 2020 Exceptional Investment Trophy

In 2019, INEOS announced the construction of a new production site at the Port of Antwerp (Flanders), representing a total investment of more than EUR 3 billion. Not only does this project mark the largest investment ever by INEOS, it is also the largest investment in Europe’s chemical sector in 20 years.

To highlight these exceptional efforts, INEOS was presented with the first-ever Exceptional Investment Trophy by Jan Jambon, Minister-President of Flanders, at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy event.

Find out more about INEOS' exceptional project in Flanders

Follow #FITtrophy2020 on

Explore the Trophy hall of fame

Since 2013, the Foreign Investment Trophy stage has welcomed nominees and winners from all over the world. Dive into their fascinating stories.

Look back on the 2020 edition!

Browse the pictures on our Flickr account to relive our 2020 edition. 

Hosted by Flanders Investment & Trade

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) actively promotes sustainable international business in Flanders as a key element of the region’s socio-economic development. FIT accomplishes this by supporting Flanders-based companies in their international business ventures and by attracting foreign investors. FIT assists businesses across Flanders in their international endeavors and provides custom advice and support. Companies can call on the agency’s local and international networks of contacts, while FIT also offers financial support and information about the financial incentives available.