Many Canadians think of Flanders as a place where poppies grow. Since the end of the WWII, Flanders has emerged as a thriving and industrious region of Europe and the economic heart of Belgium.
Flanders is located at the center of the wealthiest and most populated area of Europe. Its neighbours are France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and, across the Channel, the UK.
Flanders covers 44.8% of Belgium’s 30,528 km2. With a population of 6.1-million inhabitants, Flanders accounts for some 60% of Belgium’s total population of 10.5-million people.
Flanders provides 60% of the national GDP and for 70% of all of its exports. The leading sectors in the Flanders economy are chemicals and plastics, automotive, life sciences, logistics and food.
Flanders has four ports, including Antwerp the world’s fourth largest, Europe’s 5th ranked freight airport, inland waterways, and one of the world’s highest density networks of road and rail.
Brussels is the capital of both Flanders and Belgium as well as the administrative capital of the European Union.
Flanders’ official language is Dutch. The population tends to be multilingual and English is commonly spoken.