On 16 April, FRX Polymers won the first edition of the Foreign Investment Trophy. With this award, Flemish minister-president Peters, together with Flanders Investment & Trade, wishes to recognise foreign investors that have sustainably strengthened the Flemish economic fabric. In addition to this, a Lifetime Achievement Award was also issued that evening to the American company Johnson & Johnson, for their years of investment policies in one of Flanders’ top sectors: pharmacology and biotechnology.
Four companies were nominated for the 2013 Foreign Investment Trophy:
- the American Stanley Black & Decker (tools, safety applications)
- the American FRX Polymers (flame-retardant polymers)
- the Indian JBF Rak (PET granules for the drinks industry)
- the French Norbert Dentressangle (logistics)
After an assessment by a professional jury and a public vote, FRX Polymers was announced as the winner. This 2013 Foreign Investment Trophy is a tremendous recognition for the company, which has successfully invested in Flanders. The FRX Polymers story will undoubtedly be an inspiration for many other companies.
Minister-president Kris Peeters said: “In past years, FRX Polymers has invested heavily in Flanders. This has created an even deeper anchoring in our region and creates jobs and prosperity. With this, FRX Polymers proves the importance of foreign investments in Flanders.”
FRX Polymers, the American manufacturer of flame-retardant polymers based on phosphorus, will make a first full commercial factory operational on the Bayer site in the Port of Antwerp in the fourth quarter of 2013. In its current construction phase, the factory has already created 200 jobs, and the factory will start up with 35 full-time jobs. In time, it won’t just be the production capacity that is increased; the efforts regarding research and development will also be significantly intensified.
That the first Lifetime Achievement Award from Flanders Investment & Trade went to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) should come as no surprise. After all, the USA has been the number 1 investor in Flanders for many decades now, and J&J carries out a pioneering role in that story. The company has developed substantial production and research and development activities in Flanders. It employs over 5,000 people throughout 7 sites in Belgium that are active in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. J&J has contributed significantly to the fact that Flanders has become a particularly interesting pole of attraction for pharmaceutical and biotech companies both Belgian and foreign. The company’s profile clearly fits into the Government of Flanders’ New Industrial Policy as a “lead plant” for future-oriented technologies. Moreover, J&J was voted best employer of the last decade in 2010.
Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), the Flemish Agency for International Business, promotes Flanders as an investment location for foreign companies, as well as supporting Flemish companies in their international business. They can make full use of FIT’s knowhow, as well as its national and international network. www.flandersinvestmentandtrade.com