Foreign Investment Trophy 2018: celebrating the most outstanding foreign investment projects in Flanders

Kaneka- Winner 2018

Foreign Investment Trophy 2018

For the sixth time in a row, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) hosted the Foreign Investment Trophy on February 27th, 2018. The Deloitte Gateway Office at Brussels Airport provided a setting fit for this international investment competition, which recognizes some of the most remarkable investments made by foreign firms in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium.

Three multinationals were recognized for their dedication to Flanders. Discover who took home the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy 2018, the Lifetime Achievement Trophy 2018 and the Newcomer of the Year Trophy 2018.


Kaneka (Japan) – Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy

Kaneka won the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy 2018 at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy, emerging victorious from a pool of 5 nominees after 3 rounds of voting—by a professional jury, the public and the audience.

The Japanese chemical firm was recognized for the recent expansion of its production facility in Westerlo, Flanders. The Minister-President of Flanders, Geert Bourgeois, presented the trophy to Jean Vandael, plant general manager, and Katsutoshi Shichijo, president of Kaneka Belgium.

Find out more about Kaneka’s crowned investment 
Meet the other nominees

Pfizer (US) – Lifetime Achievement Trophy

Highlighting its decades-spanning dedication to invest in its Flanders-based activities, American pharmaceutical juggernaut Pfizer received the Lifetime Achievement Trophy 2018 at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy.

Flanders’ Minister-President, Geert Bourgeois, presented the prestigious trophy to Luc Van Steenwinkel, Managing Director at Pfizer’s manufacturing and packaging site in Puurs, Flanders.

Learn more about Pfizer’s track record in Flanders

Brolis Semiconductors (Lithuania) – Newcomer of the Year Trophy

In 2012, the Vizbaras brothers—two technical whiz kids and one former maritime student—founded a Lithuanian photonics technology company that would take the European tech world by storm. Just over 5 years later, Brolis Semiconductors won the Newcomer of the Year Trophy 2018 at FIT’s Foreign Investment Trophy.

Marc Van Gastel, Head of Department Invest at FIT, presented the award to founders Kristijonas, Dominykas and Augustinas Vizbaras, and Andreas De Groote, Senior Engineer Silicon Photonics at Brolis Ghent.

Discover why Brolis won


Flanders Investment & Trade

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