During Friends of Flanders on June 13, 2022, Voka united the international business community in Flanders and Brussels. The event stressed the importance of the foreign affairs policy of Flanders, with an inspiring keynote speech by Julie Bynens, Secretary General of Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office.
Flanders is one of the most open economies in the world. Not only are Flemish businesses active worldwide, Flanders also harbours many international companies. This openness is celebrated each year at Friends of Flanders, by connecting high-level expats with business executives of international companies in Flanders and Brussels.
This year’s edition welcomed participants from more than 20 nationalities. A gathering of ‘Friends of Flanders’, who discussed the importance of international relations and the key elements to ensure economic growth.
Julie Bynens, Secretary General of Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office gave a keynote speech regarding the role of the Flemish foreign affairs department, its key actions and how they address the current challenges that Flanders and the EU are dealing with. “Flanders must be international, or it is not Flanders”, Julie stressed, highlighting our region’s international DNA. Afterwards, Julie Bynens engaged in a debate with Matthias De Moor, General Representative of Flanders to the EU, discussing the war in Ukraine & the green transition, the two key issues that define international trade and relations at the moment.