Antwerp delegation is visiting Seoul as part of trade mission

From 10 until 17 December 2016, a delegation of Antwerp entrepreneurs and researchers is visiting Seoul and Shanghai as part of a trade mission. The mission is led by Antwerp’s mayor, Bart de Wever. Today an invest seminar titled “Antwerp, a great port city in Europe where innovation meets business” took place in Seoul.

Antwerp’s economic strength was illustrated with three cases during the invest seminar:

  1. The internationally reputed innovation institute IMEC is rolling out a unique technology and living lab, called the City of Things, out of Antwerp. It wants to become the international reference for Internet of Things research, experiments and applications. The University of Antwerp will also take the lead, to develop a real University of Things.
  2. Nxt PORT is an initiative of the private port community and wants to be a leader in terms of the real-time management of data that are relevant for a fast supply of the hinterland.
  3. Antwerp has also distinguished itself internationally in terms of sustainable chemistry, the valorisation of waste and by-product flows, sustainable building and energy transition with the development of the eco-innovative Blue Gate Antwerp business park.

These cases illustrate that Antwerp is an exceptionally interesting city for test and pilot cases. As Mayor De Wever explains: “‘If it works in Antwerp, it works everywhere’. Which is why we have decided to really concentrate on our ambition to become the European Capital of Things in this digital age.”

Korea is a technological partner

That is why Antwerp seeks to establish a solid relationship with Korea. After all, Korea is the world leader for IT and communication technology with several very strong brands such as Samsung and LG. Korea is also investing heavily in R&D for the pharmaceutical industry. Korea wants to develop its strengths in terms of “smart healthcare” and “e-health”. It has excellent technology and is searching for international partners to enter new markets. Bart De Wever: “Connect with the hardware and software expertise of IMEC and the incubator Bluehealth Antwerp. Vice versa, you can also establish useful contacts with our exporting companies. Our region has a very strong medtech cluster that offers innovative high end products.”

The Korean fashion industry is also on the up and up. “Explore Western Europe from Antwerp”, Bart De Wever said. “Our city is the Belgian shopping capital, with an annual footfall of more than 16 million shoppers in our main shopping street. Thanks to Antwerp’s fashion academy, the city is also an internationally respected fashion capital.”

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