FRED NIEMANS

PRESIDENT, WORLD TRADE CENTER ANTWERP

" TO GROW, WE HAVE TO LET GO. THE FUTURE IS NOW IT’S TIME FOR A RESOLUTE RUSH FORWARD".

- FRED NIEMANS ,PRESIDENT, WORLD TRADE CENTER ANTWERP

It’s not the strongest species that survives, nor is it the most intelligent one. It’s the species that has the ability to cope with drastic changes. That’s Darwinism in a nutshell.

His ‘survival of the fittest’… also applies to the corporate ecosystem. Agility reduces fragility: the companies and organisations that respond best to a drastically changed economic situation will survive the current crisis. In fact, they could even emerge stronger: what doesn’t kill you…

Cry for help
The coronavirus is unprecedented in the way it has been shaking the foundations of the economic world.

The cry for help by means of government support has been gaining strength in certain sectors. Grants, cheap loans and temporary tax cuts are traditional tools for countering crises. Without substantial support, at least 20% of companies would not have survived the corona crisis.

Recently, the government invested in certain sectors. This turned out to be the wrong approach. This government support resulted in a dramatic increase in public debt and proved to be of little use for society as a whole.

Strong survival skills
Companies and sectors with strong survival skills and a positive perspective deserve our full attention in this economic crisis. These companies embrace technology and innovation in their future-proof philosophy.

Not every story will have a happy ending. We just have to realise that failure is a very real possibility’ simultaneously recognising and softening the gravity of the situation: running towards the future is not about the ability not to fall, it’s about having the agility to get up again. This process of ‘creative destruction’ replaces dated mechanisms with new ones. Economic growth is powered by this energetic engine of continuous innovation. Since we are not experiencing an era of change but a change of era, we have to embrace this idea. The future is now: it’s time for a resolute rush forward.

Those who only face the past always turn their backs to the future. Darwin shows the way: ‘together we face a fine future!’

WORLD TRADE CENTER ANTWERP

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