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Strike will cost Brussels Airlines €9.4 million


The financial impact of the two-day strike announced by the pilots of Brussels Airlines will amount to €4.7 million per day or about €9.4 million in total, reported media on Friday. The unions representing the pilots announced a strike for Monday 14 and Wednesday 16 May due in particular to the lack of an agreement with the management on the ... Read More »

Brussels to get a Mexican flower carpet in August


The flower carpet in central Brussels (16-19 August) will have a Mexican touch this year. The Beurs square will also have a floral exhibition this year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the listing of the Grand Place as UNESCO World Heritage, under the name “Monuments of UNESCO flowers”. The Brussels ‘Grand Place’ first had a flower carpet in 1971. ... Read More »

Iran deal: Belgian businesses fear future


Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is set to hit businesses on the other side of the Atlantic, here in Europe. Belgium exports to Iran totalled more than half a billion euros in 2017. No wonder then, that its businesses have got the jitters about US sanctions. “There is this fear of direct punishment and ... Read More »

Carat tax yields more revenue than expected


A special tax on diamonds earned the State 68.4 million euros in 2017, beating a budget forecast of 50 million euros and dwarfing 2016’s tally of 51.2 million euros, De Standaard and de Gazet van Antwerpen dailies reported on Monday. Under the “Carat tax”, as it is called, diamond companies pay the normal corporate taxes, which amounted to 33.99% in ... Read More »

Hema Chain to be sold to Belgian investor


The Dutch chain of stores, Hema, is soon to become Belgian, according to information in the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, reported on Wednesday by De Standaard. Brussels investor Core Equity Holdings is reportedly close to concluding an acquisition agreement, the Dutch newspaper reported four sources from the financial and distribution sectors as confirming. An oral accord on the broad lines ... Read More »

Financial authority warns against crypto-currency investment scams


The Financial Services and Markets Authority, FSMA, warned against platforms proposing investments in crypto-currencies and said it had drawn up a list of about 40 platforms suspected of fraud. The FSMA explained that these operators claim to offer the best trading platforms, enabling anyone, from beginners to professionals, to trade in crypto-currencies instantaneously and in all confidence. Some also propose ... Read More »

Belgium less transparent on exchange of information


BRUSSELS: Belgium is now “largely compliant” with international standards on transparency and the exchange of information on request, according to the Global Forum’s Tax Transparency Report for 2017, whereas the previous review, in 2014, had assessed it as “compliant”. The 2017 report, published on the 4th of April 2018, attributes this regression mainly to an unfinished adaptation into law of international ... Read More »

Certain loot boxes in video games illegal in Belgium


BRUSSELS: Publisher these days that isn’t pushing their video games as a service, offering lower / zero entry fees and are, instead, trying to needle more money from customers over time via microtransactions. One of the biggest franchises in video games, Grand Theft Auto, has completely gone away from story-based DLC and has focused primarily on GTA Online, with more companies focusing on creating loot ... Read More »

Brussels Shows Up America’s Toothless Big Tech Reaction


BRUSSELS: Last month, as Mark Zuckerberg faced questions from US senators over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, took the microphone. “I’m a proud member of Facebook,” the senator said. “(I) Just got a post from my sister on this being National Sibling Day.” Others were less obsequious. But the episode shone a light into how loathe ... Read More »

Belgium companies caught selling chemical agents to Syria

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BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies have been called to court after it was learned they sold chemicals to Syria. According to various European news agency reports, at least one of the agents sold to Syria could be used for the manufacture of sarin nerve gas. Isopropanol, which is commonly known to many as rubbing alcohol, is an ingredient in many household ... Read More »

Belgian firms prosecuted over Syria chemical exports


BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies are being prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of sarin gas. The firms say they acted with the seeming consent of Belgian customs between 2014 and 2016, but were subsequently alleged to have failed to apply for the permits that would protect them from falling foul of a ... Read More »

Belgian auto supplier to build headquarters in Metro Detroit


BRUSSELS: A global technology and service provider for commercial vehicles is building its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills. Belgium-based  is building a 102,000-square-foot facility with plans to add 87 new jobs in the next three years, the company announced. The facility would house about 200 employees in total. “WABCO’s expansion in Michigan rather than another state means good jobs for Michigan residents and ... Read More »

Belgium recycles over 80% of its used plastic


BRUSSELS: In 2015, Belgium had the best recycling rate for packaging material in Europe, according to the European statistical office, Eurostat. However, the Federal Government aims to do even better and become the European leader of the circular economy. “This is an ambitious project begun in October 2016, that goes beyond the framework of this legislature since the study spans ... Read More »

Over twom euros invested in mental health care for asylum seekers


BRUSSELS: Many asylum seekers who arrive in Belgium come from conflict-torn countries. Some have been subjected to bombardments, violent acts and other traumatizing experiences. The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, decided to provide 2.3 million euros from the AMIF to provide them with better psychological support. Resources will be given to the French- and Dutch-speaking Red ... Read More »

Belgium sees downturn in Polished shipments


BRUSSELS: Belgium’s polished-diamond exports dropped in March, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Polished exports decreased 7% year on year to $1.09 billion and, by volume, fell 13% to 423,764 carats. The average price grew 7% to $2,570 per carat. Polished shipments to Switzerland  which hosted the Baselworld show that month  slid 36% to $270.6 million, ... Read More »

Air Belgium to launch Hong Kong service


BRUSSELS: European long-haul low-cost carrier Air Belgium will launch four non-stop A340 flights a week to Hong Kong from Brussels starting April 30. Prices for economy, premium and business tickets – now on sale – start from HK$4,499, HK$9,999 and HK$19,999 respectively. The carrier said Hong Kong would deliver it a wide cross section of passengers including the “young generation ... Read More »

Belgium consumer payments country snapshot market analysis 2018


BRUSSELS: Consumer Payments Country Snapshot production region, major players, and product type which will provide a simplified view of the Consumer Payments Country Snapshot industry. The Consumer Payments Country Snapshot market report presents the competitive scenario of the major market players based on the sales revenue, customer demands, company profile, the business tactics used in Consumer Payments Country Snapshot market ... Read More »

LIQAL to build LNG refuelling station in Belgium


BRUSSELS: The total concept  from design, production and realisation onsite, up to the maintenance and 24/7 service  was the deciding factor in LIQAL being awarded the contract. With the arrival of its own LNG refuelling station, Remitrans is continuing to build on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the transport sector.Business Development Manager at LIQAL, added, “We are sure that ... Read More »

Brussels talks begin on solving Irish border conundrum


BRUSSELS: Brussels this month between UK and EU officials to see if an “innovative and untested approach” a new customs partnership – can be introduced to avoid a hard Irish border post Brexit. The customs partnership appears to be s preferred option, described by Whitehall insiders as “intellectually perfect,” but it could take years to realise as it would involve some form ... Read More »

Belgian prince’s allowance cut over China contacts


BRUSSELS: Lawmakers voted yesterday to reduce the prince’s 307,000-euro (USD 378,000) annual allowance by 15 per cent, a cut of 46,000 euros, following a recommendation by Prime Minister Charles Michel. Prince Laurent, 54, was photographed last year wearing a military uniform while attending the 90th anniversary of the Chinese army at Beijing’s embassy in Brussels — a photo he himself tweeted — without official permission. ... Read More »