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The Government Minister for the Brussels Capital Region responsible for the Economy, Céline Fremault, VISITBRUSSELS and Brussels Invest & Export announce the creation of the ‘Associations’ Bureau' to attract more international associations.


15 May 2014


Public Affairs
Trade & Society

VISITBRUSSELS and Brussels Invest & Export organised a working breakfast this morning between international associations and Minister Fremault, the Government Minister for the Brussels Capital Region responsible for the Economy, on the attractiveness of Brussels for international associations.

Brussels is home to approximately 2000 international associations (2500 in total in Belgium). According to a recent study by the FAIB, these employee 13,000 individuals directly (and a lot more indirectly), spend an annual budget of €2.5 billion in Belgium and are occupying 250,000 m² of office space there. This presence is undeniably an important issue for the regional economy.

If a certain number of determining factors of the attractiveness of Brussels for International Association depends on the federal authorities (legal status, level of social security contributions, etc.), their attraction to Brussels is part of the remit of the Minister of the Economy. A direct meeting between the Minister and some of the representatives of these companies has enabled him to get a more comprehensive idea of their expectations and potentially to champion them with other relevant authorities.

In order to facilitate the arrival and stay of international associations in Brussels, a project for an 'Associations' Bureau' has been launched. VISITBRUSSELS has done a detailed study to assess its viability. Today, the Minister announced to the associations present the intention of the Government of the Brussels Capital Region to set up this 'Associations' Bureau'.

“The Associations' Bureau's task will consist of being a facilitator, particularly between international associations and local authorities, comparable to a business advice centre.  But also to organise training courses on managing international associations. And finally to facilitate networking, mainly in the form of partnerships with other large cities – as in the case of the existing joint-venture between Brussels and Washington.” explained the Economy Minister, Céline Fremault.

This informal meeting was held at the European Business Summit (EBS) at the Egmont Palace. The aim of the European Business Summit is to bring together decision-makers in the worlds of politics and business in order to have informal discussions on the various social and economic issues faced by European countries. "Rebuilding a competitive Europe" is the theme proposed by the FEB (the initiator of the event) for the 2014 event.

In addition to officials from major European companies, EBS also attracts a large number of managers from international associations, representing multiple economic sectors. For that reason, VISITBRUSSELS took the initiative to organise the European Association Summit (EAS), which has been held for two years on the fringes of the EBS. EBS shall take place this year at the palace of Egmont and EAS will take place at Square.


Press Contact: Martha Meeze: - +32 486 53 31 81



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