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Kebony (Norway) is the first-ever Newcomer of the Year at the Foreign Investment Trophy 2017

In Kallo, near Antwerp (Flanders), Norwegian wood producer Kebony is building its first production site outside of Norway. By choosing Flanders as its location, Kebony also secured the very first trophy for Newcomer of the Year at the Foreign Investment Trophy 2017.

The awards ceremony took place at the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent on February 21, and was organized for the fifth year in a row by Flanders Investment & Trade. With the prestigious event, the government agency underlines the importance of foreign investment as a crucial driver of Flanders’ economy and a vital source of employment.

It’s the first time that Flanders Investment & Trade has presented an investor with the title of Newcomer of the Year. Christian Jebsen, CEO at Kebony, received the trophy from Michel Casselman, General Manager at do and dare company PMV. In addition to Kebony, two other foreign companies were recognized at the Foreign Investment Trophy. German chemical giant BASF won the Lifetime Achievement Trophy, while the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi took home the coveted Foreign Investment of the Year trophy.

Double first for Norwegian wood producer in Flanders

“The fact that we won the first-ever trophy for Newcomer of the Year is a major honor for us,” comments Mr. Jebsen after Kebony’s victory at the Foreign Investment Trophy. “We are delighted with the warm welcome we have received in Flanders, and we look forward to continuing our growth in the region.”

On the grounds of the Scheldt Chemical & Industrial Park near Antwerp, the Norwegian manufacturer of ecofriendly wood is currently building its second European factory. It’s the company’s first production site located outside of Norway. A total of EUR 20 million will be funneled into the construction of the new site – an investment for which the Norwegian company can count on the support of the government of Flanders as well as of do and dare company PMV.

Sustainable production process in the spotlight

At the new factory, 25 new employees will ensure the sustainable production of around 20,000 m3 of wood per year. The factory relies on a patented production method in which pine wood is optimized by means of a biobased liquid. The result is higher durability and structural stability that matches the qualities of hardwood.

Construction of the new factory was officially kicked off on February 8 2017. Commissioning is planned for early 2018.

More information about the Foreign Investment Trophy and the winning investments is available at


I would like to congratulate the entire team at Kebony for winning the first-ever Newcomer of the Year trophy. With this award, we want to show companies which are taking their first steps in our region that can count on Flanders as well as on Flanders Investment & Trade to expand their business. We are confident that Kebony has a bright future ahead in Flanders. On the other hand, foreign investments like Kebony’s are a crucial part of our economic landscape. Last year, for instance, foreign companies invested EUR 1.87 billion in Flanders, representing 198 new investment projects and creating 4,260 new jobs.

Claire Tillekaerts (CEO Flanders Investment & Trade)

I am pleased to see that an innovative company like Kebony chose Flanders for its first international base. With the support of the Government of Flanders and PMV, Kebony has invested no less than EUR 20 million in its growth ambitions in Flanders, creating 25 new jobs. In short, established corporations and big multinationals are not the only types of companies that can benefit from what our region has to offer; newcomers can also reap the rewards of an extensive ecosystem in Flanders that ties together knowledge, research and business opportunities.

Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport

Press contacts

John Verzeele, Director Inward Investment,, +32 2 504 88 83.

Thomas Pollet, spokesperson Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport, +32 474 69 56 08 -

About FIT

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.

22 February 2017