2012 has been a very active year for the Belgian Canadian Business Chamber and it is with great satisfaction that I’d like to update you on some of our accomplishments:
- In the last 2 years we have established a very close relationship with the Belgian Diplomatic and Trade Commissions offices in Canada. Their support has been vital to the renaissance of our organization.
- During the past year we have organized several business events such as the“Belgians in Business” seminar series. In these after- work seminars, members of the BCBCpresented their companies to the audience of roughly 30 individuals representing a wide variety of corporate interests. A pilot project for this series include representations by COFELY GDF Suez & Agfa Healthcare (part of Agfa Gevaert). We would like to build on the initial success of this pilot project with a minimum of four seminars throughout 2013, with two presentations at each event.
- We have re-branded our “Invest in Belgium” seminar series as a new “Business with Belgium: Trade & Investment” seminar series. The first of a three-part series occurred on October 25th with the objective to explore the growing opportunities in Belgium, the challenges companies may encounter, as well as the resources and strategies to succeed. More than 45 attendees from a diverse and high-end background came together to hear four interesting presentations that included many practical tips and information on the development of business between Canada and Belgium. Presenters came from Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT),Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and our sponsors Deloitte and Baker & McKenzie. Not only did the event turn out to be a great networking opportunity, the first-class speakers and location made this event a very positive experience for all involved. We hope to see even more of you for our next Trade & Investment Seminar in March 2013.
- Our new sponsors Deloitte, Baker & McKenzie, COFELY GDF Suez & Agfa Healthcare (part of Agfa Gevaert) reinforce not only their business interest in Belgium, but in the Belgian business community in the GTA, which is an indication that we are on the right track and encourages us to continue to be more assertive.
- With this in mind and to further enhance our events and service to our members, we have decided to contract a specialized Executive Director for the BCBC, and some of you may already know her. Idalia Obregon, former ED of EUCOCIT, has join our team and we’re very excited about all the new initiatives she’s already planning.
- Belgians in Business Feb 5th, 6:30 pm, Marriott Courtyard
- We will continue to increase our membership base – with a new Special Offer for Newcomers – $40 discount in their membership for their first year in Canada (email us to apply).
- We will be participating in the “Europe Now – Beauty, Health & Fashion Show” in September 2013, organize more events and attract additional sponsors.
- We will tighten the strings with other chambers, for example we had a Pub Night on Nov 22nd with the British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
- And, we will become members of the network of Belgian-Luxembourg chambers of commerce abroad, giving our members access to a larger network in Europe and Canada.
How’s that for a renewed Belgian Canadian Business Chamber?!
Tell us what you need, we are at your service.
Peter Van Praet
President – Belgian Canadian Business Chamber