Belgium in Brief: Who says we're not great?

Belgium in Brief: Who says we're not great?
Credit: Belga/Pixabay

Is Belgium too modest? Alexander De Croo certainly seems to think so and is on a PR drive to highlight the country's suitability for innovation and cooperation.

Not wanting to limit opportunities, the campaign has gone for a catch-all headline "Embracing openness", a slogan I can imagine my English teacher calling "wishy-washy" and definitely not one that would stop you in your tracks. Fortunately the tagline is an improvement: "We don't say Belgium is great, others do".

Now the PM is encouraging not only domestic industry but also trend-setters and mediators to speak up a bit; don't take it from everyone else, come and have a Belgian hug. Embracing openness...

It's true that Belgium historically seems meek compared to its neighbours. Reasons for this are obvious and I would argue are a good sign. Making your name on the international stage is more often a result of rocking the boat rather than quietly keeping it afloat. For its relatively modest stature, Belgium surely makes a sizeable impression on global affairs, considerably swelled by the status of EU and international organisations.

Then again, it's fair to say that the nation that major institutions have come to call home can easily slip out of view. There's certainly more to find than chocolate and chips. So perhaps it's no bad idea to remind the world that Belgium is open to business. In the context of creaking national coffers and constant alarms from financial regulators, it wouldn't do any harm to put out the call for foreign investment.

Singing the country's praises is part of De Croo's job description, though not before making sure that Belgium really is the fertile space for collaboration (read: investment) that he swears it is. The schemes worth appealing to will require more than word of mouth to settle on Belgium as the place to be.

So long as others keep saying Belgium's great, De Croo shouldn't have to.

What do you think Belgium does best? Let @Orlando_tbt know.

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