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Belgian economy fires up

Belgian economy fires up

Unit labour costs have reduced during the last two years. Belgium is described as a “strong innovator” and the balance of trade in goods was positive for the first time in seven years. This positive news emerges from the fourth edition of the Dashboard for the Belgian Economy which was published today (Wednesday) by the FPS Economy. The FPS Economy ... Read More »

Belgium advises its companies stop exporting to UK around Brexit date

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Belgian companies are being advised to avoid exporting to the UK after the 29 March scheduled Brexit date to avoid the chaos of a possible no-deal. They say any firms who can should implement a ‘Brexitpauze’ and try to get their material into the country before Brexit date. Kristian Vanderwaeren, chief executive of Belgian customs, also told Belgian business newspaper ... Read More »

Belgian parties want short-haul flights replaced by train rides

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The CD&V (Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams) and Groen (Flemish Greens) would like short-haul flights replaced as far as possible by train journeys. The CD&V party have introduced a resolution containing several alternatives to reach this objective. The Flemish Greens intend to ensure that train journeys are ultimately the lowest-cost option for journeys below 1,000 kilometres. The upper chamber of the Dutch ... Read More »

Belgium wants EU to tax airline flight tickets

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Belgium wants its EU partners to introduce a European tax on commercial aviation, Le Soir reports. It could be on aircraft fuel, currently tax free, or a VAT on airline tickets. This will be discussed at the Council of Environmental Ministers next Tuesday at the request of the new Flemish Environment Minister, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V, Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams, ... Read More »

Belgium has traits of a tax haven, European Parliament commission finds

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Belgium and six other European countries “display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning,” the European Parliament noted on Wednesday in a report by its Special Commission on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud. In an immediate reaction to the finding, Socialistische Partij Anders (sp.a) europarliamentarian Kathleen Van Brempt accused Belgium’s government of “actively ensuring that ... Read More »

Senior Belgian spy accused of sharing secrets with Russia

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A senior Belgian intelligence officer is under investigation over allegedly sharing secrets with the Russians, in a case that exposes fears about spying in the European Union and Nato. An unnamed major who is the head of division at the general intelligence and security service (GISS), the equivalent of M16, is accused of having exchanged confidential information with a Serbian ... Read More »

Ryanair inks agreement with Belgium based pilot unions

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Ryanair’s directly employed pilots based in Belgium have voted in favour of a collective labour agreement governing pay and conditions for the next four years. The vote, passed by a majority of 98%, is a further step towards industrial relations stability at Europe’s largest budget airline. In a statement the airlines said the deal was negotiated between Ryanair and the ... Read More »

Belgian port Antwerp netted record cocaine haul in 2018

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Brussel: Belgian authorities said they had seized a record haul of more than 50 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Antwerp in 2018. Antwerp, Europe’s second busiest cargo port after Rotterdam, has boomed in importance to the drug trade in recent years and is now considered the continent’s main entry point for South American cocaine. The Belgian finance ministry ... Read More »

Nestlé to launch new Starbucks products in Belgium

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Nestlé plans to launch a new range of Starbucks products in a first batch of countries, including Belgium, considered a key market for the two brands, which joined forces last year. The new range is made up of 24 “premium” products, including the first Starbucks capsules that can be used on the Swiss food giant’s Nespresso or Nescafé Dolce Gusto ... Read More »

Investing in the Port of Antwerp

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The Port of Antwerp has unmatched strengths to develop industrial and logistics activities into profitable investments. The proximity of customers and suppliers, the high productivity and excellent services mean the port is a prime investment location for industrial activities.Its extensive offer of sustainable energy facilities is a great example of the port’s well-thought through policy. The Port Authority’s Investment Division ... Read More »

Ivory Coast ex-president Gbagbo released to Belgium

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Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo has been released on bail to Belgium following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity, the court said Tuesday. Belgium said on Saturday that it had agreed in principle to host Gbagbo pending a possible prosecution appeal against his acquittal, but that final arrangements were ... Read More »

Belgium agrees to take in former Ivory Coast president

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Belgium has agreed to take in the former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo following his acquittal at the international criminal court in The Hague, a foreign ministry spokesman has said. Karl Lagatie confirmed the agreement on Saturday, and added that he did not know if the ex-president was already in Belgium. “That is also part of the framework of our ... Read More »

LSE grabs slice of Belgium’s Euroclear for £243 million as Nasdaq targets Norway

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The shake-up of Europe’s trading houses was in full flow today as the London Stock Exchange snapped up a stake in Belgium’s Euroclear and US giant Nasdaq entered the bidding for the Norwegian stock exchange. The LSE will pay £243.35 million for a 4.92% stake in Euroclear and take a seat on the board of the clearing house as competition ... Read More »

Beirut Security Foil Liquid Cocaine Smuggling From Belgium Into Lebanon

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ISF said the drugs were concealed “professionally” inside vehicles transported from Belgium into Lebanon via Beirut’s airport. An “international cell had planned to smuggle massive amounts of liquid cocaine into Lebanon,” said ISF, adding that the cell is masterminded by one of the most dangerous fugitives, a Lebanese identified by his initials as G.H. A suspicious vehicle imported from Belgium ... Read More »

Banks may be allowed to open on evenings, weekends and holidays, if staff agree

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Belgium’s banks could start practising more liberal opening hours from as early as next month, if unions representing bank employees agree to a proposal formulated by the banks themselves, De Tijd reports. Under the agreement reached by the banks, branches would be able to open until 2000 and in certain cases until 2200. Opening could also be extended to Saturday ... Read More »

Belgian port Antwerp netted record cocaine haul in 2018

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Brussel: Belgian authorities said Friday they had seized a record haul of more than 50 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Antwerp in 2018. Antwerp, Europe’s second busiest cargo port after Rotterdam, has boomed in importance to the drug trade in recent years and is now considered the continent’s main entry point for South American cocaine. The Belgian finance ... Read More »

EU Okays Belgian Tax Measures for Maritime Transport

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Various Belgian support measures for maritime transport have been prolonged until the end of 2022 following an approval granted by the European Commission under EU State aid rules. The scheme encourages shipping companies to register their ships in Europe and so ensure higher social, environmental and safety standards. Belgium has also committed to a number of changes to its scheme ... Read More »

Belgian king asks prime minister to stay on until May elections

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The king of Belgium has accepted the resignation of Charles Michel as prime minister but asked him to stay on at the head of a caretaker government until elections are held in May. Michel, a Francophone liberal, had led a four-party coalition government that fell earlier this month when the largest party, the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), quit over objections ... Read More »

Funding Nemo: £600m power cable connects UK and Belgium

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A £600m cable connecting the UK and Belgium’s energy systems is about to be switched on, becoming the first of a new generation of interconnectors that will deepen the UK’s ties to mainland Europe just as it prepares to leave the EU. The Nemo link is in the final stages of testing and from early 2019 is expected to transmit ... Read More »

Belgium Global Market Leader for Offshore Wind Energy

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There are already five wind farms in the North Sea, of which four fully-operational and one semi-operational, with a total of 274 wind turbines and providing energy for 1 million Belgian families. Work is already underway on the sixth. In May 2019, the construction of wind farm number seven, Northwester 2, can start 50 km off the coast of Ostend. ... Read More »