We are living in West-Flanders, and known for being hard workers. I was not surprised to read in an article that, besides being a top region for recreation and being a quality region, our province is very enterprising. The provincial government will focus in this spearhead and deepen and capitalise on this winning asset in the further future. This is good news for us, young entrepreneurs…
I am very proud to live in this wonderful province that gives me opportunities in life…
This article was adapted from:
The coastal province is bustling¹ with economic activity. Sectors such as agriculture and fisheries are historically interwoven with the province. But there is also strong industrial presence and trade and distribution are well developed as well.
The industrial recovery of companies in West-Flanders afterWorld War II is enduring². Turnover³ and exports continue to rise. Expansion, automation and environmental investments are guarantees for the future.
Unemployment is low and there is a high demand for skilled technicians. At present, there is extensive employment in metallurgy, the textiles and clothing sector, nutrition, chemicals and plastics
Small and medium-sized Enterprises are of great importance for the economic development of West Flanders. This form of entrepreneurship has grown through history. Family owned and operated companies with West Flemish roots still form the cradle⁴ of regional growth. They are the engine of West Flanders. Not only are they an important source of employment, but they also underlie the quality of life and wellbeing of the region. West Flanders moreover enjoys a favourable investment climate for companies large and small. So, the future remains secure.
The Flemish Coast, Bruges and Westhoek are the traditional magnets of West Flanders. Tourism is one of the most important mainstays of the West Flemish economy. The sector keeps registering continuous growth. Furthermore, tourism is expanding ever further over the entire region. Flemings and the international public alike find a full range of days and accommodation tourism in West Flanders. Many tourists come from neighbouring countries, but also from elsewhere in Europe, America and Japan.
Agriculture, horticulture5 and fishing
West Flanders is the most agricultural province in Flanders, with the family embedded mixed concerns and land crops 6. Livestock7 breeding, agriculture and horticulture supply quality Foods and constitute an important pillar of the countryside in Flanders.
The supply of raw materials and processing of agricultural produce led to a sound8 industry and a source of growing indirectly employment. West Flanders has acquired a unique position at world level on this front.
Fishing is an industry typical of West Flanders. The total value of the fish that Belgian vehicles bring into harbours such as Zeebrugge, Ostend and Nieuwpoort exceeds 81 million euros. Specialised personnel are increasingly called upon for the high-tech fishing vessels9.
When it comes to education, Flanders is said to have one of the best education systems in the whole world. There are no universities in West-Flanders. However, the province does have three university-colleges (HOWEST, KATHO, KHBO), as well as the KULAK - the bachelor campus of K.U. Leuven (Catholic University of Louvain) in Kortrijk. In addition, some of the schools in West Flanders offer a few unique, sector-oriented training programmes, such as maritime techniques in Ostend and textile production techniques in Waregem.
1 bustling - full with
2 enduring - continuing, lasting
3 the turnover - the amount of business done in a given time
4 the cradle- the origin
5 the horticulture - the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, flowers or ornamental plants
6 land crops - the amount of cultivated plants, vegetables, fruit… in any particular season
7 livestock - domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fibre, and labour
8 sound - healthy
9 a vessel - a passenger or freight-carrying ship or boat