Mechelen in Financial Times Top 10 Cities of the Future


Flanders and Brussels figure heavily in the Financial Times new list of European Cities and Regions of the Future, with Mechelen, Antwerp and Ghent all winning points for connectivity, economic potential and FDI strategy.

Flanders in Top 25 for regions

The Financial Times (FT) Top 10 list of Micro European Cities of the Future puts Mechelen at number nine, the only city in the Benelux to feature on the list. On the list of the overall top 25 European Regions of the Future, Flanders comes in at 24, while number eight for Small European Regions is the Brussels-Capital Region.

The lists of regions and major, large, small and micro cities is compiled every two years to assess cities’ and regions’ potential for inward investments. It includes Mechelen this year because of, among other features, the presence of major companies such as Hewlett-Packard, LiveNation and Telenet. Unfortunately for the city, Telenet recently announced that it plans to move its headquarters to Brussels.

Mechelen also made the FT’s lists of micro cities with the most economic potential and the best connectivity. The city, the report said, can call on an impressive pool of talent composed of graduates of universities and colleges in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent and offers free wi-fi to residents, companies and visitors.

The report also mentions the city’s intelligent LED street lighting and the digitalisation of city administration and services. Mechelen mayor Bart Somers said the listing was a recognition of his city’s recent policies. “This means that our city is making itself more emphatically heard on the international scene as the perfect location of the future for national and international investors.”

The Brussels-Capital Region, meanwhile, came in seventh on the FT’s list of Major European Cities of the Future for connectivity, while Antwerp is number eight on the Large European Cities list for economic potential. Ghent made it to number nine of Small European Cities FDI strategy (foreign direct investment).

These achievements pushed Flanders onto two of the FT’s future cities lists: Number eight for connectivity in Large European Regions and number 24 in the overall European Regions of the Future. Brussels-City is listed at number seven for connectivity on Major European Cities, while the region is number eight overall for Small European Regions.

Photo: Hotel Mercure Vé in Mechelen

Flanders Investment & Trade

Flanders Investment & Trade (Fit) is the Flemish government agency for international enterprise. It represents the region to the world’s investors.
In and out - Fit assists Flemish companies in their business ventures abroad, and helps foreign companies set up shop in the region.
Export Lion - Each year, Fit awards an “Export Lion” to two Flemish companies with exceptional export achievements.
Merger - Fit was born from the merger of the former Flanders Foreign Investment Office and Export Vlaanderen.

offices around the world


percent of EU purchasing power lying within a 600km radius of Flanders

2 005

year created