" ANTWERP: CAPITAL OF THINGS".- BART DE WEVER, MAYOR OF ANTWERP
Antwerp brings together the best the world has to offer: it is home to a world-class port and its international trade opportunities; it is the cultural capital of Flanders and a strong creative sector with a long tradition in design.
Furthermore, Antwerp has a particularly strong track record when it comes to innovation. The city’s historical drive for innovation has made Antwerp a gateway to one of the world’s most prosperous regions. Today, the city is consolidating its position, with digital innovation, over 500 start-ups and scale-ups, circularity and creativity forming the pillars on which its future economy will be built.
ANTWERP AND ITS ECONOMIC STRENGTH
Antwerp’s excellent connectivity by land and sea, together with the strong business drive of its people, has made it an important economic centre for more than five centuries. The “Port of Antwerp” – the second largest in Europe – is also home to the largest maritime-industrial complex in the world. The top 10 chemical producers such as BASF and Total are present in Antwerp, and the city is attracting a growing number of major international investments. The city made it into fDi Intelligence’s ‘Global Rankings of the Future 2021-2022’ on the basis of both economic potential and connectivity.
Antwerp also plays a particularly important role in encouraging innovation. For many years now, the city has been firmly committed to stimulating ecosystems for innovation by bringing together capital, large and small companies, and specialised knowledge institutions in the fields of digital innovation, sustainable chemistry and creative industries.
These powerful ecosystems develop innovations for the traditional Antwerp business clusters such as the port, the chemical industry, and by helping to achieve new successes in various social fields such as mobility, health and safety. This solid foundation together with strong ambitions and an open innovation culture, have made Antwerp the ideal starting point for innovative companies.
Bart De Wever has been the mayor of Antwerp since 2013.
De Wever was born in 1970 into a politically engaged family. He studied History in Antwerp and Leuven. He became an assistant at the university and wrote columns for several newspapers.
He interrupted his academic career to devote himself full-time to political activities. In 2004, he became party leader of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) and a member of parliament.
Today, he lives with his wife and their four children in Deurne. De Wever is passionate about Classical Antiquity and has never shied from using Latin quotations.