Pathways to a Competitive Future

for Brussels and Antwerp

Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each has its own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that is it that makes a city competitive?

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM – June 02, 2017: Night view on the illuminated Port House building designed by Zaha Hadid architect in 2009 in Antwerpen city, Belgium

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Belgium through Expat Eyes

Expat Insider Survey 2017 - InterNations

How do expats experience life outside of the office in their adopted home countries? Expat network InterNations surveyed their membership on 43 individual factors that influence an expat’s experience. The survey delves into issues ranging from reasons for moving abroad to how easy it is to make friends in your adoptive country. Ranked in 65 expatriate destinations around the world, respondents were also asked to rate factors on a scale of one to seven. With over 12,500 respondents representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories, the Expat Insider survey provides a unique insight into what life is like abroad. We wanted to know how Belgium fares on a global scale.

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Home: physical place or mental state?

What makes a residence a home?

Home is where the heart is, the cliché tells us. But what is it that makes a residence a home? Each move presents us with the same challenge: turning this new place into a home. A place  that is truly yours, somewhere you can really be yourself. We recognize our home immediately, but find it hard to express in words.

Article by Leen Creve (first published in ReLocate Winter 2014)

how to feel at home in belgium

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The Basic Principles of Exchanging your Driving License

the basic principles of European and non-European driving licenses explained

As a resident of Belgium you are legally required to exchange your national driving license for a Belgian one.  The exchange process can however be more complex than we would like it to be.  Much depends on the license you hold and which country you obtained it from.  We bring you a practical overview of what’s what, and what you can do to help speed up your exchange process.

hints & tips driving license exchange

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Driving License Exchange

relocation committee update

Much to the frustration of expats and relocation agents alike, there is a lot of discussion around the process of exchanging a foreign driving license for a Belgian one. How long should it take? What are the legal requirements? And what can the expat do whilst awaiting their new license? With conflicting reports and advice coming from the various municipalities or communes, our board has been actively trying to seek some clarity on what should be a straight-forward process. We looked at the different types of licenses and spoke with Eric Klitsch of Brussels Relocation and Koen Reekmans of Altair Global for an update on their efforts to ease the process.

driving license exchange process

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Living and Working in Belgium

your visa, immigration and Schengen visa questions answered

Contemplating a move to Belgium is quite a task in itself, however once you have made the decision to relocate, there is then the rather complex exercise of figuring out immigration regulations, spousal rights and customary red tape. Who better to enlighten us on the ins and outs of the Belgian immigration system than the experts themselves, Fragomen. We’ve asked them the burning questions you want to know the answer to – whatever stage of the immigration process you are approaching, they’ve got it covered.

advice on visas and immigration to Belgium

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The Power of Social Media

leveraging the newsfeed for your business’ benefit

The second EuRA conference session that stood out for its relevance to all our members spoke about leveraging social media for our business’ benefit. Entitled “How small companies can use the power of social media” it proved an inspiring session full of practical advice. We’ve spoken about how to turn your stakeholders into brand believers and the tech shift that is driven by millennials, but this issue we bring you easy to follow advice on how to get yourself noticed on social media as growing brand recognition and opportunities to convert new clients increasingly take place online. You may also want to check out what EuRA’s keynote speaker Tony Chapman had to say on selling your brand.

EuRA conference speakers. From left to right: Damien O’Farrell, Principal Relocation; Roberta Mura, MRS Global; Shelley Lloyd, Celsium; Michele Bramstoft, Copenhagen Relocations.

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Twenty First Century Pandemic

managing burnout in the workplace

First coined as a term in the seventies, over the years burnout has not just become widely recognised, but has rooted itself firmly into our society.  To give you an idea of the pandemic proportions it has taken on, the Japanese and Chinese even have terms for ‘death-by-burnout’, caused by the alarming rate of suicides due to stress. It’s easy to blame the employer, but often times contributing factors are not necessarily within the company’s control. Tackling burnout instead means maintaining a careful balance between the professional and personal.

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Hotel Highlights

the movings and shakings of the hotel industry

2016 was without doubt a difficult year for the hotel industry, with Brussels most definitely taking the biggest knock and occupancy rates plummeting by more than 20%. This was largely attributed to terrorist actions and in a smaller part due to the rise of the likes of homestay networks such as AirBnB. Not being one to dwell on the past, ReLocate looks toward a bright and shiny  second half of 2017 which by all accounts will be an upturn kind of year for the hotel industry.  We bring you all the wonderful concepts of the future of hotels, how the hotel industry is going to reshape itself to keep up with the competition, and what we can expect in the year to come.

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Choosing the Right School

readying yourself and your family for relocation
how to choose the right school for your children

An essential part of starting a new life in a new city, a new country, or the beginning of a new phase in education is ensuring that the school you choose for your children is a good fit. In the course of an expat’s school life, they may attend a number of different schools, so ensuring a smooth transition is fundamental to the happiness of your precious sons and daughters and their future academic plans.

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