Borealis wins Foreign Investment of the Year trophy


Flanders has awarded its annual trophy for inward investment to Austrian chemical giant Borealis for its planned €1 billion propylene plant in Antwerp

AGP Glass and Daikin also recognised

Flanders Investment & Trade (Fit) has awarded its Foreign Investment of the Year trophy to chemical giant Borealis, which is investing €1 billion in its site at the port of Antwerp. The Austrian multi-national’s new propylene plant will open in 2022, creating some 100 new jobs.

Other nominations for the prize, which goes to a foreign concern investing in Flanders, were Chinese packaging expert CPMC, New Zealand logistics firm Mainfreight and Japanese medical technology specialist Nipro. The award is based on votes from a professional jury, combined with the public and the audience present at the ceremony, which took place yesterday evening.

Thomas Van De Velde, vice-president of BU Hydrocarbons & Energy at Borealis, was at the event to receive the award from Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois. “With this investment, Borealis is strengthening the port of Antwerp’s position as Europe’s largest integrated petrochemical cluster,” said Bourgeois.

Two more awards make up the Foreign Investment recognition. Fit CEO Claire Tillekaerts awarded AGP Glass, headquartered in Lima, Peru, the award for Newcomer of the Year. The producer of high-tech automotive glass parts spent some €79 million on the acquisition of West Flemish glass company Soliver in 2018 and established its European headquarters in Ghent.

2018 was record year

“Attracting new investors is crucial to our economy,” said Tillekaerts. “2018 was a record year in that respect: Foreign firms invested twice as much in Flanders as the year before. Traditionally, foreign investments originate from the US and our neighbouring countries. From Latin America, various production and R&D investments in the automotive sector are now also finding their way to Flanders, where companies seek to strengthen their presence in Europe.”

Finally, the Lifetime Achievement trophy went to air conditioning specialist Daikin. The Osaka-based company “has been investing continuously in Flanders for more than 45 years,” said Bourgeois. “As a result, Daikin has become the biggest employer in Ostend, and the local site has grown into the Japanese company’s corporate  headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.”

Last year, saw €4.2 billion invested by foreign concerns in Flanders, the highest amount in history. More than 5,300 new jobs were created through these investments.

Photo courtesy Borealis