Under the High Patronage of HRH Princess Alexandre of Belgium
With the support of the Foreign Affairs Federal Public Service
With the support of the European Commission’s DG Growth
In collaboration with:
His Excellency Mr. Jacques Welfring, Luxembourg’s Ambassador in Belgium, Mr. Thomas Antoine, Belgium’s Ambassador in Luxembourg, Mrs Kris Dejonckheere, UNICA General Secretary, Mr. Gunter Gaublomme, BDA/VUB Director, Mr. Jean-Philippe Mergen, BECI Director, the Foreign Affairs Minister for Luxembourg, the Minister of Economy for Luxembourg, Luxembourg’s Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Luxembourg Businesses FEDIL, the International Bank of Luxembourg BIL, FIT, VOKA and FEDRA.
During the DEA Days, delegates from all around Belgium will gather in Luxembourg to meet their counterparts, driven by the same desire for learning and cooperation and to set up new joint initiatives in order to boost business. They will also have the opportunity to listen to prominent speakers and to (re) discover this region, rich in history and culture.
CIDIC was founded in 2010 in order to respond to the concerns of several diplomats who felt greater effectiveness was needed in establishing economic and academic links which are playing a growing role in their work.
The International Diplomatic and Consular Society (CIDIC) targets three complementary fields at the same time: diplomacy, the economy / business and the academic world.
Economic Diplomacy invests diplomatic and consular representations with the task of supporting the government’s effort to boost the economy by acting as an interface between private national operators and those of selected countries in order to find new markets for industrial products and for services, and to attract foreign direct investment.
The CIDIC facilitates meetings between the diplomatic, consular and academic worlds as well as with business men and women and entrepreneurs, in order to establish beneficial relationships in an informal way. The CIDIC fosters mutual interests between decision-makers through targeted events, conferences and receptions.
The European Union’s rotating presidencies provide the opportunity for foreign embassies and Belgium businesses operating globally to make contact. For this reason, each semester, the CIDIC’s board of directors offers the honorary presidency of the Society to the ambassador of the country acting as President of the European Council and invites a non-european country to this important event, as well as ambassadors interested in the current diplomatic and economic context.
This drive is now called ‘Economic and Academic Diplomacy’, DEA.
The permanent honorary presidency of the CIDIC is occupied by HRH Princess Alexandre of Belgium.
A BRIEF WORD ON LUXEMBOURG
National motto:Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn (‘Luxembourgish, we want to remain as we are’)
Official languages: Luxembourgish, French and German
Grand Duke: Henri 1st
Prime Minister: Xavier Bettel
Area: 2,586 km2
Population: 530,000 inhabitants, with 100,390 in the capital
Timezone: UTC + 1 (+2 in summer)
Located at the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is the ideal way into the European market which has more than 500 million consumers. Thanks to its political and social stability, its highly skilled and multilingual workforce, its cutting edge infrastructure, its excellent links to markets as well as it supportive legal and fiscal framework, Luxembourg offers peerless opportunities and advantages for business in Europe.
Luxembourg’s government has always adopted a proactive economic development approach, making Luxembourg a first rate international financial centre and business location.
The government has recently been targeting emerging and innovative activities based on cutting edge technologies such as ICT, e-commerce, the media, car manufacturing, materials, plastics, logistics along with environmental and health technologies.
Today, the outcomes of this approach are undeniable: Luxembourg hosts some of the best performing global corporations.
Top European centre for investment funds (second worldwide behind the US), top centre for private banks in the euro zone and preferred home for reinsurance companies – Luxembourg is now a diverse financial centre which provides sophisticated products and services to international clients.
Financial institutions and investors around the world have been drawn by its great political, economic and social stability, its international outlook, its modern legal and regulatory framework, and the availability of a highly-skilled international workforce.
The Stock Exchange plays a very important specific part in Luxembourg: it specialises in bonds, with more than 3,500 issuers from over 100 countries. Islamic finance is currently emerging.
As a result, it is not surprising that the financial sector plays a key role in Luxembourg’s economy. It directly generates around a quarter of the country’s GDP and directly employs around 47,000 people.
Luxembourg University, established in 2003, is a multilingual, international university focusing on research and is home to 6,200 students and staff from all corners of the world.
The compulsory term overseas as part of the Bachelor degree demonstrates the importance the university places on mobility. Exchange agreements are in place with around 60 universities in 20 countries across the world.
Priority research areas for Luxembourg University are international finance, ICT security, systems biomedicine, European law and business law, as well as education sciences.
International teams of researchers and almost 550 PhD students work in the three faculties as well as in the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB).
Luxembourg has successfully adapted to the IT revolution while strengthening its position in the media industry.
Its two national giants – RTL Group in the media sector and SES in satellite transmission – have been pioneers in these sectors and have opened the way for other multimedia or telecommunication companies.
First rate networks and infrastructure, supported by a business-friendly legal framework and a business culture based on trust and security, make Luxembourg a worldwide nerve centre for the distribution of audio-visual digital content (music downloading, online gaming, on demand video, pay per view television, digital radio and tv broadcasting).
The sector’s heavyweights such as Amazon.com, PayPal, eBay, Innova, iTunes, Nexon, Rakuten, Skype, Vodafone, Kabam, RealNetworks and many others have chosen the Grand Duchy as their base to conquer international markets.
Personalised medicine is becoming a tangible reality for many diseases.
The growing individualisation of care is going to fundamentally change health services and open new opportunities for the sector.
Luxembourg is at the forefront of this sector since 2008, when it joined forces with internationally recognised research institutes to launch three projects as part of a new government-led initiative: an international biological bank, a centre for systems biomedicine and cooperation in research to identify lung cancer’s biological markers. In order to support research and turn the country into a global leader in the integration of personalised medicine in national healthcare systems, Luxembourg created the Personalised Medicine Consortium (PMC) which includes the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL), the State Centre for Research – Health (CRP – Santé) and the Luxembourg Centre for systems biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg.
Since its launch in 2010, the consortium has supported research programmes on personalised healthcare, in particular for cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
The country’s interest in the biomedical sector continues to grow as illustrated by the upcoming launch of dedicated infrastructure such as a business incubator for life sciences start-ups.
The Luxembourgish government has made significant financial and structural investments in order to support change in some sectors. Public support to research and development is focused on innovation in all businesses, including in the service sector, and is allocated as direct subsidies or loans from the National Society for Credit and Investment (SNCI). Innovative start-ups are housed in incubators and backed by public initiatives which smooth their inception and access to the State’s services and grants. While R&D is relevant to the private sector as a whole, it is mostly undertaken by the major players in traditional sectors such as steel and automotive components.
The government has made significant efforts to broaden R&D’s scope and to also include ICT, logistics, health technologies, energy and the environment.
In order to do so, it supports clusters which aim to enable cross-sector cooperation.
One of the main tools to deliver this approach is the industrial business park of the Science City, located on industrial wasteland. From 2015, it will include three public research centres and part of the University of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg can boast an impressive track record in innovation in industry (plastics and materials), as demonstrated by the activities of the three main players in these sectors. The American corporation Dupont de Nemours, expert on materials and services, has been located in the Grand Duchy for half a century, with over 1,200 employees manufacturing polyester films, high tech construction materials, medical packaging and industrial security equipments.
Beyond manufacturing, the factory is also a key regional R&D centre.
Luxpet, a moulding injection business created in Luxembourg in 1998, makes polyethylene terephthalate(PET) for the drinks sector. It was acquired in 2005 by Plastipak, world leader in plastic packaging, which subsequently set up its R&D centre in Luxembourg and increased the production and recycling capacity of the site.
Currently present in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the US, the company records an annual turnover of 90m euros.
It designs and manufactures components, materials and composite tools for a range of sectors, including aviation, aerospace, rail, defence, naval construction, road transport, mechanical engineering and agriculture.
Luxembourg has around 200 eco-businesses operating in renewable energies, green construction, water and waste management. The development of the clean technologies sector is supported by state agencies and research institutes.
As part of the ‘ecotechnologies’ action plan, a private sector initiative supported by the Ministry of Economy, an area dedicated to eco-technologies companies has been built to enable them to set up and have access to infrastructure and services which will allow them to grow.
The sector’s companies located in Luxembourg and operating internationally include: SOLER which invests in hydro and wind energy in Luxembourg and abroad; Epuramat which is developing a revolutionary system for waste water treatment; L.E.E which markets biogas plants in Europe, Asia and Africa; ECRES which reduces its customers’ electricity bills thanks to its LED technology; Rotarex which supplies China with kits to convert compressed natural gas and reduce pollution from older cars and motorbikes; Prefalux which provides the technology heating up Belgium’s Princess-Elisabeth scientific base in Antarctica.
Biogas, waste water promotion and the production of biopolymers are amongst the areas currently explored by the country’s research institutes, including:
The Technologies Resourc e Centre for the Environment (CRTE), leader on lifecycle evaluation, eco-design, eco-building and renewable energies;
NEOBUILD, the first technological innovation centre for the sustainable construction sector, launched in 2012 as a public-private partnership;
Naturhome, builder of high quality housing in wood with low energy consumption;
Dezmotec, supplier of micro-cogeneration engines to enable hotels to reduce the ecological footprint.
The aerospace sector is an example of Luxembourg’s commitment to the diversification of and innovation in advanced technologies.
The country has been involved in this sector since the end of the 1970s, through several policies which resulted in the launch of the European Satellites Company (better known as SES) in 1985, a leading satellite telecommunication company and one of the two largest satellite operators in the world.
The government requested Luxembourg’s entry to the European Spatial Agency (ESA) in order to support the growth of this buoyant sector and, in 2012, the country acted as co-president, strengthening its role in the institution.
Today, the sector counts 25 companies and four research institutes which cover such diverse areas as:
The aerospace section, focused on the production of satellite components (Euro-Composites), microsatellite integration (Luxspace) and electrical propulsion systems (ELWING EUROPE);
The terrestrial section, with land-based stations (SES and HITEC Luxembourg), electrical and mechanical equipments for terrestrial support (GRADEL and SES) and communication networks (Post and Telindus);
The services section, which includes teleport services (SES and Post) and high speed satellite services (management of SES and CRP Gabrial Lippman flooding).
With 9,000 employees in over 30 companies and an annual turnover over 1.5 bn euros, Luxembourg has become a prominent destination for automotive manufacturers.
Almost two thirds of a car’s value are now designed and produced by subcontractors. Thanks to a central location and international workforce, businesses located in the Grand Duchy can build and maintain close relationships with their customers and adapt their products to their needs. The country’s stability and its collaborative approach to industrial relations guarantee the reliability of deliveries. In addition, the Government provides strong support to R&D projects.
Around a fifth of the sector’s activity in Luxembourg is devoted to research and development. There are plenty of examples: IEE which provides detection devices to most cars in the world; the global tyre manufacturer Goodyear; Guardian Industries, a glass manufacturer for the automotive and construction sectors; Delphi Automotive, with the headquarters of its subsidiaries Global Powertrain and European Thermal Division and a clients’ technological centre.
A growing number of large international corporations choose Luxembourg to expand beyond their national borders and target overseas markets. Why choose Luxembourg?
The list of international corporations which already benefit from Luxembourg’s assets: ArcelorMittal, the largest steel producer in the world; SES and Intelsat, leaders of satellite telecommunications; the automotive equipment manufacturer Delphi (Powertrain Systems); the chocolate maker Ferrero; RTL Group, European leader for radio and television; Cargolux International Airlines, the cross-continent air freight company.
Amazon.com, Rakuten, Rovi Corp., PayPal, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, DuPont Teijin Films, Fanuc Robotics and Guardian Industries, amongst others, have recently joined them.
Competition amongst countries is intense to attract corporations’ headquarters and yet, Luxembourg is where they choose to be.
Here are the reasons why:
A supportive fiscal environment and business-friendly legal and regulatory framework, with many exemptions on profit sharing and a large range of agreements aimed at avoiding double taxation;
A strategic central geographical location, with air, rail (high speed) and road (motorways) networks which ensure quick access to the major economic and political centres;
One of the highest standards of living in the world, with optimum security and quality of life which managers, their families and the international highly skilled workforce they want to employ seek;
A qualified and multilingual workforce to meet the needs of businesses, in particular in the legal, financial, accounting, commercial and marketing fields, in supply chain management, R&D and intellectual property management;
High quality IT infrastructure and high speed international connections to meet the growing demand for data and IT services centres.
A stable budgetary and political system, and a country which ranks amongst the most prosperous and business-friendly European economies, enjoying Triple A grading.
Luxembourg’s international airport is one of the top European airports for air freight. It is home to Cargolux, European leader for freight. With China Airlines, Yangtze River Express, Qatar Airways and Panalpina, Cargolux serves several destinations across all continents every day, making Luxembourg an ideal base for access to international markets. LuxairCargo, which move 1.2m tonnes of goods every year with its modern equipment, offers secure (TAPA certified), efficient and fast ground services which allow freight planes to clear through customs and be unloaded in record time. Lorries, located nearby, are then ready to serve a market equivalent to 80% of the European GDP in under a day.
CFL Cargo (traditional rail freight) and CFL Multimodal (combined transport and multimodal logistics services) provide reliable links with continental Europe’s and Turkey’s largest cities as well as to the ports of the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.
Thanks to easy access to governmental and customs authorities, dealing with custom tariffs and VAT is a simple and painless administrative process.
In this way, unlike in many European countries, prepayment of VAT on imports to Luxembourg does not generate any cost because payments are listed on the VAT statement automatically and fully.
Qualified haulage contractors, officers, dispatchers and logistics service providers ensure a permanent link with all European countries.
Intellectual property is a significant source of value and plays a growing role in the economic and commercial development of businesses. Luxembourg, aware of the challenges involved in intellectual property management, seeks to foster a supportive environment in this area. The Grand Duchy’s policies and strategies align with the main treaties and agreements which frame the sector; their aim is to deliver a secure environment for intellectual property, in accordance with European laws and international agreements.
Luxembourg is an exemplar for the development, protection and management of intellectual property, enabling businesses and organisations to place it at the core of their economic model for innovation. Amongst Luxembourg’s unique assets are: tax exemption on 80% of revenues generated by use of these intellectual property rights or on added value from their transfer as well as complete exemption from wealth tax.
Copyrights on software, patents, commercial brands, designs, drawings and domain names are eligible for these exemptions.
R&D costs are fully deductible if no revenue is generated.
The development of intellectual property is supported by national research centres and the University of Luxembourg as well as by incubators and Government-led incentives for R&D.
Although Luxembourg has no direct access to the sea, Luxembourg’s involvement in maritime transport is nothing short of a success story.
By combining financial expertise and attractive commercial, operational and fiscal structures, businesses can flourish on the international scene.
The fiscal regime, for instance, offers accelerated amortisation and tax credits for investments, while load-based taxation is replaced by a basic fiscal system on companies with very beneficial rates.
An independent Luxembourgish maritime cluster allows cargo ships or small cruise boats owners and operators to benefit from the expertise available in other fields (investment funds, asset management, securitisation, private equity, insurance and logistics).
In 2013, no less than 254 ships were listed on Luxembourg’s maritime register, including some belonging to such famous corporations as Jan de Nul Group, Cobelfret, Socatra, Bourbon or Dredging International.