Over 10 years ago, Energetic Lighting set up shop in the town of Aartselaar (Flanders), in a small office with storage space. In 2017, the company invested EUR 5 million in a new site in neighboring town Kontich, where it built a 6000-m2 warehouse and a 1000-m2 office and showroom. There are currently 25 people on the team in Kontich, but with the continuous expansion and the acquisition of the Danish company Nordlux, this number will reach 70 over the next few years. Every week, 7 to 8 shipping containers of lighting products are transported to the warehouse in Kontich, which are then distributed to major retail chains like Carrefour, Delhaize, and Albert Heijn.
“Before deciding to set up shop in Flanders, we considered several other options,” says Zhangming Yang. “The main ones were the UK and France, where I went to university. However, Flanders’ excellent location in the heart of Europe, its dense road network, affordable logistics space, and the close proximity of our main competitor Philips in the Netherlands quickly moved Flanders to the top spot on our list.”
Zhejiang Yankon’s management team soon contacted the local offices of Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) in Shanghai to find out all about doing business in Flanders. The FIT team didn’t waste any time: they immediately took action and visited the Chinese company’s headquarters to organize a visit to Antwerp in Flanders. Zhangming Yang: “Our first impression was very positive. For example, we soon met a number of Chinese-speaking employees at large companies like Katoennatie and EY. This helped us feel at home immediately.”
Our first impression was very positive. For example, we soon met a number of Chinese-speaking employees at large companies like Katoennatie and EY. This helped us feel at home immediately.
Zhangming Yang translated his words into deeds and moved with his wife and 2 children to Flanders. Today, he still lives in the same town. Zhangming Yang: “When it comes to quality of life versus the cost of living, nothing beats Flanders. Living is extremely affordable but high-quality, and so is education – a very important factor for me. But by far the most important thing is that my family and I have always felt welcome here, whether it’s for doing business or for leisure activities.”
- Parent company: Zhejiang Yankon Group
- HQ: Shaoxing, China
- Annual turnover worldwide: EUR 675 million
- Present in Flanders since: 2008
- Subsidiary in Flanders: Energetic Lighting Europe
- Number of employees in Flanders: 25
- Website: www.energeticlighting.eu