We sat down with Glenn Vaughan, Chief Executive of the British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium and he told us 15 interesting, historical and weird facts about the chamber.
- The British Chamber has been around since 1898.
- The chamber was called the Anglo-American Chamber of Commerce for a while.
- Our oldest member, Law Square – PWC joined as the Cooper Brothers in 1920.
4. Our first Strasbourg visit was in 1986.
5. Superdry, the company that everyone thinks is Japanese is actually a British company. Its first export market was Belgium. They opened stores in Antwerp, Brussels and Knokke. Superdry’s annual turnover between 2016-2017 was £453 million.
6. GSK is the single largest foreign investor in the Belgian economy.
7. Members of our members employ 120,000 people in Belgium, 1.2 million people in the UK and even more in the rest of the EU.
8. Only 30% of our members are British companies.
9. BMW is the third largest industrial employer in the UK.
10. We have over 4,000 visitors per year at our events.
11. The UK is the fourth largest foreign investor in Belgium.
12. 1 million cars are exported to the UK from the Port of Zeebrugge.
13. Belgium is a top 10 export market for the UK. It wasn’t until recently that Belgium was overtaken by China as an export market.
14. 70% of UK – EU trade is with just six countries. Those countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.
15. West Flanders is a major centre for deep frozen vegetables supplying English supermarkets.
Belgium is a major exporter of carpets to the UK. If Brexit makes you feel like “chewing the carpet,” bit might well be from Belgium.