Tag Archives: Belgium

Le projet Médiapark se concrétise #schaerbeek #media #rtbf #vrt #begov #bruxelles


Jeudi, le masterplan Médiapark a été présenté. Il s’agit de développer à Schaerbeek, le long du boulevard Reyers, une cité des médias qui s’articulera autour des nouveaux locaux de la RTBF-VRT prêts selon toute vraissemblance en 2021. Les bâtiments actuels seront détruits.

Elle comprendra des écoles, des laboratoires de recherches, des entreprises et des commerces de proximité.

2000 à 3000 logements vont être construits dans le but d’accueillir 6000 personnes. Ce vaste projet a été confié à François Leclerc, architecte-urbaniste français. L’objectif est de créer une cité des média ou « mediacité » plus fonctionnelle.

Normalement, le chantier devrait commencer début 2017 et se terminera en 2030. Il constitue une opportunité économique à la fois pour la commune de Schaerbeek, mais aussi pour la RTBF et la VRT.

#Belgium and #UK launch Single Common #Visa Scheme in #China #reynders #begov

chine 01

This morning, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and State Secretary for Asylum, Migration and Administrative Simplification Theo Francken announced that, from 1 July 2015, Belgium and the United Kingdom propose a new visa service to Chinese citizens wanting to travel to Belgium, the wider Schengen area and the United Kingdom during the same trip.

Currently, a Chinese citizen who visits Belgium and the United Kingdom during the same trip must submit applications for two visas at two different places.

The new service offered by Belgium and the United Kingdom will allow this Chinese citizen two submit an application for these two visas online, then book an appointment in one of the three UK visa application centers (Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai), at which they will complete the process. Each country takes its visa decision independently, but the decision will be sent to one visa application center, where the Chinese applicant receives the passport with visa, generally within 10 working days after the applications.

This Belgo-British initiative allows Chinese visitors the possibility to receive two visas as part of a single process. With these visas, they can visit Belgium (which must be the main destination), other countries within the Schengen area and the UK.

A combined visit to Belgium and the United Kingdom offers many advantages to the Chinese visitors. The excellent transport connections (Eurostar trains connect Brussels and London in two hours, numerous flights, ferry boats) and the central location of Belgium in Europe guarantee easy travel over the whole continent.

The 40th anniversary of the ACP Group #acp #anniversary


The ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) is currently celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding.

A conference is going to be held under the theme “From Georgetown to Sipopo and beyond”, at the ACP house, based in Brussels, avenue Georges-Henri.

Many ambassadors and representants are expected and important topics  such as economical growth and integration are going to be discussed.

28th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg

28th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg


Shervin LABANI

Didier Reynders to preserve the Virunga National Park in DRC #virungapark #reynders #congo #begov

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders attended the ceremony for the creation of the Virunga Foundation Belgium at Château Val Duchesse in Brussels, on Thursday 7 May. In the presence of Minister of State François-Xavier de Donnea, trustee of the Virunga Foundation United Kingdom and Emmanuel de Merode, CEO of the Virunga Foundation United Kingdom and director of the Virunga National Park, Didier Reynders stressed the commitment of Belgium to preserve the Virunga Park.


Virunga is the oldest park in Africa and hosts the largest number of mammals, birds and reptiles, but is also the most threatened park in Africa. The massive presence of armed groups throughout the park, increasing population pressure, illegal mining, exploitation of charcoal, illegal fishing, poaching and especially oil exploitation projects are constant threats to the rich biodiversity of the park.

The aim of the new Virunga Foundation Belgium is to promote the reputation of the Virunga National Park, located in the North Kivu, and to contribute to the financing of social projects and sustainable development, in the Park or for the benefit of its active or retired staff, their families and local communities.

Didier Reynders emphasized the importance of raising awareness among Congolese and international actors, as well as identifying and denouncing these threats and helping to find alternatives. Belgium supports, through direct or indirect means, projects that contribute to the improvement of living conditions of local communities.

Crisis at Belgium Expo Pavillon in Milano. #expomilano2015 #begov #belgium


The Belgian pavilion at the International Exhibition of Milan undergoes a major crisis. Tuesday morning furious  employees made their anger public, after the fury  of the bar and restaurant which  had led to a strike on Sunday.

It was said the organisers had accumulated the hiccups and durably penalized the restoration of the pavilion. The working conditions were also judged undecent by the many workers.

They demanded the immediate resignation of Laurence Heyblom, director of the pavilion. They also wanted the return of Benoît Gersdorff, chef of the restaurant, in order to manage the project.


Shervin Labani

Affaire Fortis: La Belgique évite une amende de 2 milliards d’euros #fortis #belgium

La décision d’une cour d’arbitrage internationale évite à la Belgique de payer 2 milliards d’euros de dommages et intérêts dans le litige qui l’opposait au groupe chinois Ping An Insurance Group.

Le holding Ping An, actif dans la banque et l’assurance était le premier actionnaire de la défunte Fortis, avec une participation de 4.18% du capital, soit 1.8 milliard d’euros. Le groupe chinois avait investi dans la banque belgo-néerlandaise en 2007 après la reprise d’ABN Amro par cette dernière.

Suite à la crise des subprimes en 2008 et à l’implosion de Fortis, Ping An a perdu l’intégralité de son investissement. Le groupe chinois, qui s’ était opposé au démantèlement de la banque, espérait pouvoir obtenir une compensation de l’Etat belge en entamant une procédure devant un tribunal. La plainte a été rejetée par les arbitres, a-t-on appris ce  lundi selon le quotidien De Morgen.




The second edition of the economic forum "Africarise" held its promises #africarise #genval #africa #africa #belgium #business #brabantwallon

AFRICA RISE – AFRICA BELGIUM BUSINESS WEEK closed its doors on the 30th of April 2015 on a high note. In fact, its success was hailed by many personalities who took part in the latter, including HRH Prince Laurent of Belgium.


The large attendance of the event and the participation of nearly 500 African companies is mainly due to the ability of the organizers to appeal to significant African delegations from many highlighted countries (Benin, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Niger and DRC), and their companies, members of governments and service, chambers of commerce and or investment promoters.

This second edition, in which Ivory Coast was in mainly under the spotlights, has allowed the meeting between Mr Charles Michel, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium and HE Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, accompanied by HE Jean-Vincent Zinsou, Ambassador of Ivory Coast in Belgium, HE Jean-Claude Brou, Minister of Industry and Mines, HE Bruno Nabagné KONE, Minister of Post and ICT, EKPENI Gilbert, Director of Cabinet Head of the the Economic Infrastructure Minister and Mr. Emmanuel Essis, CEO of CEPICI.


Among the many personalities who took part in the forum, were gladly seen and received :

Mr Charles Michel, Prime Minister, Mayor of Wavre, Willy Borsus, Federal Minister for the Middle Classes, Independents and SMEs, Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade of the Brussels Capital Region, Mr Dominique Godin, Head of the Walloon Union of Enterprises (UWE), Pascale Delcominette, Head Deputy of the Walloon Export Agency and Foreign Investments – AWEX, René Branders, President of the CCI-Brabant, Mr Mathieu Michel, Chairman of the provincial college and permanent deputy of the Province of Walloon Brabant, Marie-José Laloy, Honorary Governor of the Province of Walloon Brabant, Prof. Dr. Marc Francaux, Pro-Rector for Regional Affairs of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL).


Noëlle PARE

Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. Belgium pledges 20 million euros. #belgium #syria #international


Today the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria takes place in Kuwait. This conference brings together international donors to discuss the continuing humanitarian crisis in Syria. In this context, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo agreed in principle to donate 20 million euros in assistance to the Syrian population in Syria, the Syrians who fled to neighboring countries and to humanitarian aid in Iraq.

The Syrian conflict enters its fifth year. The consequences for the local population are staggering: 12.2 million people are in need of aid, nearly half of the Syrian population is driven from their homes and 3.8 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries. In Syria itself 7.8 million people are internally displaced. The Syrian crisis is now the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has agreed in principle on the donation of a package of 20 million euros:

  • 11 million euros to fund humanitarian flexible funds in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan (Emergency Response Funds) in 2015 and 2016.
  • 3 million euros for relief of basic needs (shelter, protection, food, water and sanitation, health and education) in Syria and the neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The Humanitarian Aid department of the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) currently analyses responses to the call for projects launched by the Minister of Development Cooperation;
  • 2 million euros in additional support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for supporting Syrian refugees, Syrian-Palestinian refugees and Lebanese refugees who fled the Syrian conflict and have returned because of conditions in the Lebanese host communities that are under pressure because of the massive influx of refugees.
  • 4 million euros for humanitarian needs in Iraq in 2015: 2 million euros through the International Committee of the Red Cross and 2 million through the ‘Food Aid’ program of the World Food Programme.

Business Space, leader belge en “tenant representation” rejoint EXIS #realestate #businessspace #bureau #immobilier

Business SpaceBusiness Space est une société 100% Tenant representation et est le principal acteur sur ce secteur en Belgique. Bien que peu développée en Europe, la Tenant representation est une activité connue et bien instituée aux Etats-Unis. Le cœur de ce métier est la négociation de bail et la représentation des intérêts des locataires face aux propriétaires. Business Space est entièrement dédiée à la location de bureau par des entreprises et fournit notamment un appui en matière d’équipements et d’ameublement.

Le spectre d’action de BS est assez large. L’entreprise peut fournir un appui dans la recherche de biens immobiliers, conduire des renégociations de contrats de bail. Elle gère aussi l’optimisation des espaces et élabore des solutions économiques et techniques en cas d’espace non utilisé ou en cas de manque de surface. Le principal intérêt de la tenant representation est de pouvoir payer le juste prix d’une location. Selon Daniel Coltof (Senior partner et fondateur de BS), une grande majorité des locataires supportent des loyers bien supérieurs à ce qu’ils devraient être. Daniel Coltof parle même de “jungle des charges” dans laquelle les locataires sont souvent bien démunis, avec comme seuls interlocuteurs les propriétaires et les agents immobiliers qui défendent leurs intérêts propres.

L’intérêt de la tenant representation est donc d’avoir affaire à un acteur indépendant qui protège des conflits d’intérêts puisqu’il ne représente que les intérêts du locataire et pas ceux d’une société immobilière. Il est difficile d’éviter ces conflits quand un acteur représente à la fois des propriétaires et des locataires, situation qui peut exister entre les départements de certaines entreprises. Outre-Atlantique, cette séparation entre intérêts du propriétaire et intérêts du locataire est bien instituée dans les affaires. Il n’est pas envisagé d’étendre les activités de consultance au marché locatif des particulier, qui aurait bien besoin d’être représenté lui aussi.

Business Space compte parmi ses clients des entreprises de taille: Pernod Ricard, Arcelor-Mittal, Crédit agricole et d’autres ont eu recours à leurs services. BS a notamment appuyé Bpost pour son nouveau centre de tri Bruxelles X (60.000m²) et pour ses bureaux Place de Brouckère à Bruxelles (10.000m²). Au vu des enjeux que représentent des contrats de bail portant sur des milliers de mètres carrés, les consultants en Tenant rep font face à des défis de taille. On veut bien croire que dans ces conditions les négociations se doivent d’être menées avec témérité. Le marché locatif bruxellois représente 13 millions de mètres carrés et l’immense majorité des entreprises ne sont pas propriétaires de leurs surfaces de bureaux. BS se targue d’avoir fait économisé plus de 80 millions d’euros en loyers et charges depuis 10 ans.

Si BS est centrée sur le marché Belge et plus particulièrement bruxellois, elle entame son introduction à l’international en rejoignant la plateforme Exis. Exis est un regroupement de 15 sociétés immobilières  vouées à la tenant representation dans 25 pays représentant 3500 sociétés. “Grâce à EXIS, nous avons la certitude d’offrir à nos clients internationaux un service best practice via nos partenaires du réseau”  affirme Edouard Moreels, associate partner qui gère l’équipe de Bruxelles.


Launch of the panafican chamber of commerce #brussels #acp #europe #business #africa


Numerous figures and representatives of international organizations for funding and support were present Wednesday in the ACP-building in Brussels  to participate in the joint launch of the Pan African Chamber and its network specifically devoted to multicultural gender approach.

Under the patronage of the Embassy of Benin, the event also hosted important delegations and representatives of embassies including the DRC, Central Africa, but also from Ghana, Algeria, Gambia, Ivory Coast , Burkina Faso, Gabon, and many MEPs, members of the ACP and representatives of major international donors.

The way the Chamber organized its launch operation shouwed his pro activity and its effective intervention strategy in all priority areas.

The emphasis was placed on male / female equality through the creation of a network of women who will have a key role in building partnerships and exchanges with respect, transparency and equal opportunities and support to women entrepreneurs for  business creation and expansion of their activities in Africa.

The Chamber gave us proof of its ability to provide financial and technical resources for the development projects of companies or associations that it intends to support in Africa in all areas related to health, access water, education, employment and empowerment and food for all.

The presentations revealed how the room will be supported in its private sector development strategy, by the ACP, but also on its ability to make successful projects FAGACE (African Fund for Guarantee and Economic Cooperation in 14 countries Africa), the European Investment Bank active by significant funding in Africa and make access of SMEs to the European Development Fund (EDF)

For the deployment of its actions, the Chamber will rely on its preferred partners such as COLEAP that promotes sustainable agriculture; IPDD acting in defense of democracy;ENIDA accompanying project developers; the health platform Gupta and also the companies run by its members as Osmoteam Consulting,  specialist in intercultural coaching and territorial development and partnership building; Meridia partners supporting African organizations and evaluating the impact of EU policies of Erika Kaneza that coaches entrepreneurs of the African Diaspora; Aminata  Samake freight manager at the port of Antwerp and importer of food products from Mali; Annick Niyonzima, a  specialist financial instruments.

Our newspaper wishes  long life and success to the Panafrican Chamber and invites its members to provide all relevant information to  our readers.

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