Testimonial from his Excellency Jaap Werner, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Romania

I was grateful to receive an early invitation from the 'Belgian Connection'. The new and aspiring business club strikes me as a modern and open community of able business people, who take an interest in doing business, but also in making their personal best of their stay in Romania.

I believe that is the best, and in fact the only, recipe for success in this challenging country.

As representative of the Netherlands, which has a marked economic footprint in Romania already for some time, I am pleased to note the open attitude of our Belgian friends, also here in Romania. I believe it opens up multiple opportunities for working together. And for drinking together. Not only business, also culture and language. There is more that we share than we are sometimes willing to admit.

With a positive mind set, geared at promoting synergy between our countries where possible, I believe we can accomplish, and enjoy, a lot, also here in Romania.

All the best to the Belgian Connection.

Jaap Werner
Ambassador of the Netherlands in Romania
November 2008

Economic & Commercial Attaché for Romania and Moldova : Romania- a country with a promising future

You will not hear me say that Romania is the Promised Land, but in my opinion it is for sure a country with a promising future.

Since Flanders Investment & Trade opened its office in Bucharest last year, I discovered not only that small problems can turn into long lasting frustrations that affect our every day life, but also the countless opportunities to do business and to invest in a fast growing market, for those willing to take the challenge.

And a lot of our companies did, which is proven by our rising exports and the Flemish presence all over Romania.

The Belgian Connection may be instrumental for more and valuable contacts with the Romanian and international business community.

Dirk Timmerman
Economic & Commercial Attaché for Romania and Moldova
Embassy of Belgium
Flanders Investment & Trade

Romania, Bucharest....A world of opportunities

Compared to 1998, the very beginning of our activities in the country, today Bucharest is an entirely changed city. Where the Belgian pioneers called the city and country (with all due respect) ‘the Wild East’, today the place is still ‘wild’ and ‘East’, but reforms and the market economy have hit hard. Enthusiasm and hard work no longer are sufficient to succeed here.

Which is why we have set up the ‘Belgian Connection’: we aim at getting the Belgian expat community in direct contact with our peers from other countries and, in the first place, with our Romanian business colleagues.

We offer you our monthly drinks, where you have the opportunity of meeting with your peers in a top location in Bucharest Centre (the Novotel Direction and its chef take very well care of us).

Want to meet again while offering your foreign colleagues another flavour of ‘Belgian hospitality’, ‘savoir vivre’ and ‘savoir faire’? Our Cheese and Wine event, our mussels dinner and our concert offer you the possibility!

I have seldom had more (professional) satisfaction than when seeing CEO’s or MD’s exchanging business cards and making appointments after having had a nice meal and a good glass of wine in a classy environment – whereas the only thing they had needed to do was to subscribe to our activity!

Hearing that these contacts have helped many an invitee – be it at expat starter level or at the ‘finesse’ stadium of for example accounting or legal stuff – in getting better results, is a reason to continue doing what we do and to continue asking you all to support us in the future – if only by attending our activities.

All of this because we can offer a perfect attendee mix of diplomats, Flanders Investment and Trade representants, Vlamingen in De Wereld representants and business people from any industry or service you can imagine… (in our section ‘galery’, you will find pictures from a number of our events – both in Romania as in Belgium).

For all our activities in the coming year, I invite you to check the ‘activities-section’ of this web-site. Do have a look and make sure to block the dates in your agenda: you don’t want to miss this!

Looking forward to seeing you,
Luk Vangansbeke, Pentamid Group srl

Belgian Connection offers a unique networking concept

When the French ACCOR Group asked me to run the first Novotel property in Romania I refused. Until they called again after 14 days and invited me to Bucharest ... I saw this unique project downtown Bucharest and the outline we have with Accor Hotel Romania in secondary cities. Today I have no regrets and I'm happy I took the right decision. Romania has a lot of opportunities and almost unlimited possibilities for all industries. I moved to Bucharest in February 2006 and opened the first Novotel in Romania on 1st of September 2006 with 258 rooms and 217 employees. In one year the Novotel has consolidated his position on the hotel market and is one of the leading Novotels' of the brand worldwide. The building with the neo-classical facade and a hyper modern desigin in the back is again a landmark as it was many years ago in the interbellum period of "Little Paris".

In the first months after the opening we gathered with Belgians often in the bar of Novotel and almost one year later we established "Belgian Connection" followed with a succssful mussel dinner with over 240 people attending. It offers networking possibilities beyond the existing business clubs in Bucharest. Belgian Connection is unique in its approach.

Frederik Deman,
Novotel Bucharest City Centre