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Companies emigrate to Flanders

Dutch Brabant looks longingly to Belgian Limburg. Ever more companies, struggling with the lack of space in North-Brabant, are emigrating to industrial zones in the neighbouring province of Belgian Limburg. Because of the late closure of the mines, it still has ample space available.

In the near future, Belgian Limburg will have 1200 hectares (about 3000 acres) of industrial space on offer. Half of that is available now. As opposed to The Netherlands, the Flemish province has already years ago reserved sufficient industrial space. In the meantime, 81 Dutch companies have already established themselves in Belgian Limburg. Philips, for example, has 1500 researchers working in Hasselt.

Extra cheap

In the late eighties, the province suffered a considerable economic blow. The mines, which remained open fairly long, were then closed. 20,000 people lost their job and at the same time, a lot of space became available. The Belgian government granted the provincial authority hundreds of millions euros in order to attract new business. Add to this some European subsidies, and the land has become very cheap.

Love from both sides

Companies have long since found their way to Belgium. The North-Brabant provincial authority follows suit and has invited the Belgians to start making official agreements. It is now love from both sides of the border.

Reported by
9 April 2002

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