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The Financial Times praises Flanders’ cities

For the first time, Antwerp – Flanders’ largest city – was included in the list of 'Global Cities of the Future 2018/19'. This global ranking was put together by fDi Intelligence, the foreign investment knowledge center of the Financial Times. In the 'big cities' category, Antwerp places 3rd for connectivity, putting it ahead of major competitors like Copenhagen, Helsinki and Seattle. In addition, Antwerp also received special recognition for stimulating innovation in the form of an 'fDi Strategy Award'.
While Antwerp was praised in the global rankings, two of Flanders’ other cities – Ghent and Mechelen – scored well in fDi’s European ranking as well.

Port House, Antwerp

First Europe, then the world

The Global Cities of the Future ranking is the most prestigious ranking for business cities worldwide. Every two years, a team of experts compares more than 120 cities on their potential and attractiveness for international entrepreneurship and investment. Since 2015, Antwerp has been advancing through the European rankings of fDi Intelligence. This year, for the first time, the city has received recognition in the 'Global Cities of the Future 2018/19' ranking for cities with a population between 500,000 and 750,000 inhabitants.

Praised for its connectivity

Within the 'Global Cities of the Future 2018/19' ranking, Antwerp placed third in the 'connectivity' category. The Financial Times and fDi Intelligence recognize Antwerp’s excellent connections to the world via the port, nearby airports, a dense rail and central road network and high-quality digital infrastructure.


Antwerp is not the only city in Flanders to score high for connectivity: at the European level, Ghent came in 9th in the ‘small European cities’ subdivision. Mechelen even took connectivity gold in the division ‘micro European cities’ and ended up 6th in the overall European ranking for micro cities. Flanders as a whole was also praised for its connectivity, coming in 2nd place in the ‘large European regions’ category.


fDi Strategy Award for stimulating innovation

Furthermore, the fDi Strategy Award for stimulating innovation is proof that the efforts made by the city of Antwerp and its partners to stimulate innovative entrepreneurship and attract new investments are paying off. Key factors for the jury were the projects of StartupVillage, a temporary hub for digital growth companies, and the transformation of Antwerp into a 'living lab' for City of Things applications, which is physically anchored in the business and innovation hub The Beacon.

"A boost for Antwerp"

"These awards recognize the success of the policy implemented to turn Antwerp into an innovative and attractive business city,” says mayor Bart De Wever. "It strengthens our ambition to compete with leading innovative cities in Europe. It is this commitment to innovation that creates the ideal climate for doing business and investing in Antwerp. Receiving international recognition for these efforts is a great boost for our city.”

More info

fDi Intelligence
Reported by
GvA newspaper
13 December 2018

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