Foreign Investment Trophy 2019: celebrating the most outstanding foreign investment projects in Flanders

Foreign Investment Trophy 2019

On Monday 18 March 2019, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) celebrated three international firms with remarkable investment projects in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium. This happened during the 7th consecutive edition of the Foreign Investment Trophy at the Deloitte Gateway Office (Brussels Airport).

FIT presented three trophies: the Lifetime Achievement Trophy, the Newcomer of the Year Trophy and—last but not least—the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy.

Meet the winners

Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy: Borealis

Borealis was the winner of the 2019 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy 2019. Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois handed the trophy to Thomas Van De Velde, vice president of BU Hydrocarbons & Energy at Borealis. The Austrian multinational is funneling EUR 1 billion into the construction of a new propane dehydrogenation plant at its existing site in Kallo.

“With this investment, Borealis is strengthening the Port of Antwerp’s position as Europe’s largest integrated petrochemical cluster,” said Minister-President Bourgeois.

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Newcomer of the Year Trophy: AGP Group

AGP Group won the 2019 Newcomer of the Year Trophy. Antonio Balata, vice president of AGP, received the trophy from Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade. The Latin-American producer of high-tech automotive glass parts invested USD 90 million in the acquisition of production company Soliver in Roeselare and the opening of a European headquarters in Ghent.

Claire Tillekaerts: “This trophy is our way of showing our appreciation to a company that’s coming to Flanders for the first time. Attracting new investors is crucial to our economy. 2018 was a record year in that respect: foreign firms invested twice as much in Flanders as the year before.

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Lifetime Achievement Trophy: Daikin

One of the first Japanese firms ever to invest in Flanders, air-conditioning specialist Daikin has been present in the region since 1973. Daikin’s EMEA headquarters in Ostend has become one of the group’s largest sites worldwide and is home to a major R&D center.

Highlighting this dedication and success, Flanders’ Minister-President Geert Bourgeois presented Frans Hoorelbeke, chairman at Daikin Europe, with the Lifetime Achievement Trophy.

“This trophy is a token of appreciation for the fact that Daikin has been investing in Flanders for more than 45 years,” the Minister-President stated.

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Explore the Trophy hall of fame

Since its first edition in 2013, we have welcomed nominees and winners from around the globe. Discover their stories.

Relive the 2019 edition

Browse the pictures on our Flickr account to relive our 2019 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.