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EU’s conference trips to Germany up 5%, hit 3.7m in 2014

BRUSSELS: Conference trips from Europe to Germany increased by 5 per cent last year – helping it take the crown as the continent’s top country for business. The number of business trips from Europe to conferences and events in Germany has grown for the past five years – from 2.3 million in 2009 to 3.7 million in 2014. A total ... Read More »

European Commission releases 100 mln euros for internal energy market project

BRUSSELS: The European Commission (EC) here on Thursday said about 100 million euros (or 111 million U.S. dollars) would be made available for projects aimed at completing the European energy market. According to an EC press release, it opened the call for proposals to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. With a total of 650 million euros for grants ... Read More »

BELGIUM: EU car market up 7.3% as recovery continued in February

BRUSSELS: Car sales in the EU continued their long and gradual recovery in February with the market up 7.3% on last year. European carmakers’ association ACEA said that February’s 7.3% gain to 924,440 units marked the eighteenth consecutive month of rising sales. The latest data confirmed that issued earlier this month for Western Europe by LMC Automotive that showed sales ... Read More »

EU main economies announce plans to join China-led development bank

BRUSSELS: The 50 billion dollars AIIB has been feted by Beijing as a way of financing regional development, but it is seen as a potential rival to US-based institutions such as the World Bank. Washington, Tokyo and Seoul have declined to become founding members — but within a week, Europe’s four biggest economies have signaled plans to join. Britain announced ... Read More »

EU, Switzerland to exchange bank data to tackle tax evasion

BRUSSELS: Bern and Brussels have clinched a deal to exchange bank account data in an effort to tackle tax fraud. The agreement comes after a recent report exposed the global economic damage caused by offshore accounts. Switzerland and the European Union are teaming up to crack down on tax cheats, officials in Brussels announced after signing a preliminary deal that ... Read More »

Belgium Southampton Airport, VLM Airlines announce new daily service to Antwerp and Hamburg

BRUSSELS: Southampton Airport and Belgian operator VLM Airlines will be launching daily scheduled flights each weekday between Southampton (England), Antwerp (Belgium) and Hamburg (Germany) from Thursday April 23. VLM Airlines joins the airport at a time of growth, with Southampton Airport reporting passenger numbers as 21% up in February 2015 versus 2014. Flights between Southampton and Hamburg will be linked ... Read More »

Belgium, Qatar move to strengthen bilateral economic and business ties

BRUSSELS: Belgium and Qatar have taken concrete steps at further reinforcing their robust bilateral economic relations through the awaited visit of a high-level Belgian trade delegation presided over by HRH Princess Astrid, Representative of His Majesty the King. Composed of 223 companies, 22 federations, two universities and 20 public organisations, the 400-people and 267 organisation-strong economic mission is expected to ... Read More »

Eurozone inflation rate stands at -0.3% in Feb

BRUSSELS: The eurozone’s inflation rate has been confirmed at minus 0.3 per cent in February, up from the low of -0.6 per cent touched in January but still dangerously low as the European Central Bank battles the threat of deflation. The ECB this month began its €60bn a month bond buying programme to ward off the spectre of deflation in ... Read More »

HSBC sneaks out details of £4m windfall for 11 executives, £500,000 for under-fire boss Stuart Gulliver

BRUSSELS: HSBC sneaked out details of a £4 million windfall for 11 executives, including more than £500,000 for under-fire boss Stuart Gulliver. The scandal hit lender released the details at 4.45pm, when stock market trading had finished and many City workers would have gone home for the weekend. The awards represent the final tranche of an annual shares bonus awarded ... Read More »

Euro zone factories’ output dips 0.1% in January

BRUSSELS: Euro zone factories fell slightly in January, but Thursday’s data also showed evidence to support hopes that the bloc’s fragile economy may be recovering. Industrial production in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell 0.1 percent from December, the EU’s statistics office Eurostat said, compared to the 0.2 percent rise forecast by economists polled by Reuters. Still, on an ... Read More »

European Union to scrutinise compatibility of Belgian tax provision with EU state aid rules

BRUSSELS: The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation regarding the compatibility of a Belgian tax provision with EU state aid rules, which prohibit the granting to specific companies of selective advantages that distort competition in the Single Market. The provision under investigation concerns section 185§2, b) of the Belgian Income Tax Code (Wetboek Inkomstenbelastingen/Code des Impôts sur les Revenus) enabling ... Read More »

EU’s Court of Justice to decide fate of Belgium’s ‘fairness tax’

BRUSSELS: The Act of 30 July 2013 introduced a so-called “fairness tax”, aimed at taxing distributed profits (dividends) which are not effectively subject to Belgian corporate tax due to application of the notional interest deduction and/or carried-forward tax losses. The Constitutional Court requested a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on the question of ... Read More »

Shipping Week becomes largest shipping event ever held in Brussels

BRUSSELS: European Shipping Week has been heralded a massive success with the cream of shipping’s decision-makers rubbing shoulders and networking with officials from the European Commission, European Parliament and EU member states at over 40 industry events held throughout the week. Just short of 1 million tweets about ESW were sent in the five days to Friday March 6th with ... Read More »

Belgium police seize cocaine worth £32 million in sea

BRUSSELS: Police found a whopping tonne of cocaine – valued at £32m – floating just off the coast of Belgium. Belgian maritime police hauled in 16 massive containers that had been dropped in the sea from a ship by smugglers earlier this week. The daily Het Nieuwsblad reported the seized drugs have a street value of 50 million euros. Officers ... Read More »

Greece set to begin €7b of outstanding funds bailout talks in Brussels

BELGIUM: Greece is to begin technical talks with its international lenders, as it seeks to unlock more than €7 billion of outstanding funds under its bailout programme. It comes amid increasing frustration in Brussels about the pace of negotiations between Athens and its lenders since the Greek election six weeks ago. Euro zone finance ministers agreed at Monday’s euro group ... Read More »

Belgium, KBC Bank hold talks for €3 million water supply system

BRUSSELS: Government is in negotiations with the KBC Bank of Brussels for taking €3.5 million as supplementary funding for the Essakyir Water Supply system in the Central region. Members of the Finance Committee in Parliament are expected to finalise their deliberations and present their report to Parliament for approval before the deal is struck. Parliament last year, approved a mixed ... Read More »

DP World to take full control of 100 hectares container terminal at Liege Port in Belgium

BRUSSELS: DP World will take full control of the planned container terminal at Liège Port in Belgium as it strengthens its stake in the transport arteries of northern Europe. The Dubai-based company said that it would take over the shares owned by Euroports in Trilogiport, the facility. The container terminal will cover 100 hectares along the Albert Canal, a small ... Read More »

ECB likely to approve €1tr stimulus programme to boost eurozone growth

BRUSSELS: The European Central Bank will press the button on Monday on a €1.1tn stimulus programme that will play a major role in putting the eurozone back on track for sustained growth, its president Mario Draghi said. The ECB will pump the €60bn a month into the euro economy as the first phase in its quantitative easing programme that Draghi ... Read More »

Petrol up by €1.39, diesel €1.28: Labour Party points out 5th consecutive rise for fuel prices in Europe

BRUSSELS: Labour Party points out fifth consecutive rise in fuel prices across Europe while prices in Malta dropped by 7c. Statistics published by the European Commission indicate a fifth consecutive rise for prices of petrol and diesel across Europe. In a statement issued by the Labour Party, it said that the price of petrol increased by 2c (€1.39) while diesel ... Read More »

WCO announces safety certification program training session on March 20

BRUSSELS: The Wisconsin Custom Operators is organizing its inaugural Safety Certification Program training session this spring. Custom farmers from across the state are being invited to Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton on March 20. The purpose of the program is to train WCO members and their employees in occupational safety and health in order to reduce incident rates. Participants ... Read More »