BELGIUM KING’S DAY
Iwant to thank the Kuwait Times for giving me the opportunity, on the occasion of King’s Day, to present my country to you. Most of you know Belgium as the land of fries and waffles, comic books and of course, high quality chocolate.
Yet, my country has so much more in store. Belgium is in the top 3 of most Globalized countries in the world, according to the latest KOF index of Globalization . We are in fact the per capita biggest exporters in the world as 80 % of our prosperity stems from selling products and services abroad. This has led to many success stories on a global scale, some of them in Kuwait.
Like the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Belgium attaches a lot of importance to peace and stability on a regional and global scale. Therefore my country is candidate for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and we hope to join Kuwait in the council from January 2019 onwards.
The celebration of King’s Day is the perfect occasion to bring our countries even closer together and I am looking forward to working with you in the next coming years.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the State of Kuwait.
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Facebook : #BelgianEmbassyKuwait Website : kuwait.diplomatie.belgium.be/en Belgium – Your partner in the center of the European Union
A Major logistics hub
Thanks to its location in the throbbing heart of Western Europe, Belgium offers easy access to millions upon millions of consumers. As a result, many international companies have chosen Belgium as their bridgehead for continental Europe and have benefited from two added assets, the country’s excellent infrastructures and the high quality of its workforce.
Since the days of the industrial revolution, in which Belgium played a pioneering role, the country has never ceased to innovate. Indeed innovation is the key to Belgium’s future economic success in the traditional industrial sectors and in the new high tech industries. In 2017 Belgium was in the top 3 of the “Innovation Indicator” – an innovation ranking of 35 countries. The list is based on a study conducted by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) and the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW).
Universities are without a doubt the main catalysts of fundamental and applied research in Belgium. For one thing, universities have a number of technology transfer offices (TTO’s) which are responsible for completing the delicate transition of a given project from the laboratory to a start-up company. Every year Belgian universities are instrumental in setting up dozens of spin-offs, some of which go on to become big players in the global economy.
A showcase of Belgian Know-How is biopharma : around 4200 researchers work in the R&D laboratories of the Belgian Pharmaceutical industry. The companies and their employees benefit from a unique business environment that has made Belgium the second-biggest exporter and the third biggest producer of medicines and vaccines in the European Union. Looking back over the last fifty years, Belgium has also been at the forefront when it comes to developing and applying information technologies and the Internet and promoting the digital revolution.
A high level education system
According to recent education reports of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Belgium has the third best education system amongst the 35 OECD countries. Thanks to outstanding teachers and a flexible education system, our country has scored considerably better than the world average.
This is also reflected in the performance of Belgian universities at the global level. Five Belgian Universities ranked in the top 250 in the World University Ranking 2018. Most Universities also offer an English speaking curriculum, especially at the Master’s and PhD level. Kuleuven which occupies the top spot among them participated in the 2017 Q8EduEx student fair last month.
Research cooperation between Belgium and Kuwait on Solar energy - Imec a World Renowned research center
Belgium’s best known state-of-the-art technology center is without a doubt IMEC, which specializes in components for semi-conductors and nano-technologies. IMEC works with the world biggest ICT companies to create the world’s smallest elements. The center has a clear mission : “We aspire the impossible and aim for radical innovation”. Based in Leuven, (Belgium) it has a staff of 2200 and also has premises overseas. Imec and Kuwait University have been successfully conducting joint research and development in the field of silicon solar cell technologies since 2012.
Innovation, the Key of the success of the Belgian Economy