Below are the yearly summaries of the past joint economic missions. Several aspects are highlighted, including the number of participants and contracts that were signed as well as the distribution of the companies by Region and the company loyalty.
The figures provide an overview of 17 joint economic missions organised between 2012 and 2016. In 2016 two missions were presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, Representative of HM The King.
The number of participants to the missions remains significant from mission to mission, with a majority of Flemish participants and a very high fidelity of the companies. These elements prove that the missions are highly successful for all the actors in Belgian business, from the smallest SME to large companies.
Only two missions were organised since 2015 instead of traditionally 4. Therefore there is no consistent base to compare the number of participating companies between 2012 and 2016.
Participants per Region
If we examine the regional distribution of economic missions, we notice that most participants are from Flanders. In fact, Flemish companies represent just under half of the total number of participants. This is not an isolated phenomenon; it has been the case for several years and is obviously linked to the fact that the number of exporters in Flanders is significantly higher than in the other Regions.
Another element that needs to be taken into consideration is the regularity of the participation of companies in these missions. It is important to determine whether they frequently participate, which can then be construed as satisfaction about the quality of the organisation.
If we look at all 17 missions organised between 2011 and 2015, we can see that some companies participated up to 17 times. This high loyalty figure shows that the companies have incorporated their participation in princely missions into their trade strategy.
The action plan of the missions is drawn up early, and for a three-year period, which allows CEOs to determine at the beginning of the year in which princely missions their company wishes to participate based on market interest. The fact that big companies as well as SMEs regularly participate in missions proves that these missions meet the requirements of companies of all sizes.
The collaboration between the various stakeholders, the federal level, the regions and other professional organisations and federations, under the coordination of the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency, is a harmonious one. The results obtained prove that this is a successful formula. In the future, we wish to continue to offer companies these undisputed competitive advantages.