Ghent hosts biennial summit Flanders – the Netherlands
On 7 November, Minister-president Bourgeois met with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte for the biennial Flemish-Dutch summit in Ghent. The Ministers-president and several members of their governments discussed broadening and deepening the cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands. The emphasis was on developing concrete cooperation projects on technological innovation, infrastructure, cooperation between ports and exchange of good practices in education.
Minister Muyters and State Secretary Van Dam agreed on an enhanced high-tech cooperation in six innovative themes: renewable energy, the manufacturing industry (Factories of the Future), flexible electronics, photonics, life sciences and health, and finally, new materials and 3D printing.
Ministers of Mobility Weyts and Schultz discussed the progress of ongoing cross-border infrastructure projects such as the transport of goods to the Ruhr region and the New Lock Terneuzen. They agreed to keep each other informed on new initiatives in the fields of mobility and infrastructure. In their presence, the CEOs of the Port of Ghent and Zeeland Seaports signed a letter of intent preparing a merger between the two ports.
The Ministers-president discussed the overall political situation in both countries and exchanged views on a number of European themes such as the Brexit. The single market is of great importance for the economy of the Low Countries which is traditionally closely associated with the British.
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