Femish minister-president Geert Bourgeois has presented the outline of a new international strategy for the Flemish economy. Bourgeois was speaking at the first Flanders International Economic Summit this week in parliament.
At the creation of the new Flemish coalition under Bourgeois in 2014, the minister-president gave Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), the region's agency for international business relations, the job of drawing up a new international strategy for the Flemish economy. FIT consulted more than 80 businesses and other stakeholders, resulting in the new strategy.
The strategy is made up of four main goals: speeding up internationalisation, encouraging more businesses to go export, reducing fragmentation and bringing down existing barriers.
"The challenges for the future are not negligible," said FIT chief executive Claire Tillekaerts. "We have to make more effort than ever before. It's business that will make it happen; they provide the jobs and the added value. We as a government have to choose the right proactive focus, to give companies the right kind of support and reinforce our competitive position."
FIT aims to follow up the broad lines of the strategy with an action plan, to be ready by June. "We have to work together, according to each other's strengths," Bourgeois told those attending the summit. "The lines have been drawn; in the coming months we have to turn those into concrete and viable actions in which a maximum number of partners have an active role."
Bourgeois (pictured) went on to thank the various partners involved in drawing up the strategy. "It is vital that we are all heading in the same direction, with a common goal and showing a common face to the world."
Photo courtesy vlaanderen.be