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Leuven ft Stuttgart: leaders in the high-tech manufacturing industry

20 November 2019

From 18 to 20 November, Leuven MindGate and VOKA Vlaams-Brabant again organised a business international mission. With the support of our partners - KU Leuven, the Province of Flemish Brabant, Flanders Investment & Trade and the City of Leuven - 30 Leuven entrepreneurs travelled to the region around the German town of Stuttgart. This trip to the mecca of high-tech manufacturing industry in Europe was led by Mayor Mohamed Ridouani.


The destination of Stuttgart was not chosen randomly. First and foremost, Stuttgart is the capital of the economically flourishing Baden-Württenberg region in southwest Germany. Known for its automotive industry - the headquarters of Porsche, Mercedes and Bosch, among others, are located there - the region has many points of contact with the Leuven companies.

Mohamed Ridouani, Mayor of Leuven and Head of Delegation: "This mission is important for the Leuven region. We have made many contacts here, and have been able to seize many opportunities for cooperation and projects. This is very important in order to be able to create extra employment in our own region."

"After all, Stuttgart is increasingly focusing on the 'high-tech manufacturing industry'," says Johan Merlevede of Leuven MindGate. "Many companies in Leuven also supply technology for this sector. Just think of the self-propelled cars of the future... that's what a lot of companies in Leuven are intensively working on. The 'manufacturing sector' is a growing sector and is gaining in economic importance. For example, Flanders Make - the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry - has an important office in Leuven. With this business mission, we are bringing Leuven and Stuttgart closer together."


Leuven takes the lead

The Leuven delegation was led by Mayor Mohamed Ridouani and consisted of representatives of the city of Leuven, the province of Flemish Brabant, the knowledge institutions imec, Flanders Make and KU Leuven, Leuven MindGate, VOKA and about twenty business leaders from the Leuven region. Flanders Investment & Trade was also closely involved in this trade mission.

The Leuven entrepreneurs visited Daimler and SEW Eurodrive, among others, and also had the opportunity to meet promising companies from the region.

Gilbert Declerck, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Leuven MindGate: "We want to show internationally what Leuven companies have to offer. By travelling to Stuttgart with this delegation, many of the participants will have the opportunity to make contact with companies that are at the top of their sector there. In addition, it is also a surplus that the entrepreneurs in Stuttgart now know how to find Leuven."

Peter Van Biesbroeck, Managing Director of Voka Vlaams-Brabant: "It was nice to see how people in Germany looked at what we in Flemish Brabant have to offer. I am sure that these valuable contacts will also lead to contracts."

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