Brussels, April 27 2023 - To give recognition to an export company, a foreign investor and a startup that make Flanders shine far beyond its borders: such is the aim of the first edition of the Flanders International Business Awards on 20 September 2023. With this new event, FIT underlines the importance of synergies and ecosystem thinking. Registrations for ‘Exporter of the Year’, ‘Foreign Investor of the Year’ and ‘Startup of the Year’ are open until 31 May 2023 on

One award show, one stage, one moment

With the Export Lion Awards (21 editions), which crowned exceptional export companies from Flanders, and the Foreign Investment Trophy (10 editions) for remarkable foreign direct investments in the region, the Flanders International Business Awards have two illustrious predecessors. But from now on FIT wants to honor exporters, investors and startups via one competition, because together they strongly determine the dynamics of Flanders’ economy.

FIT wants to make its one-of-a-kind global network even more accessible to Flanders’ internationalizing business environment. This network identifies synergies and connects Flanders’ ecosystems with ecosystems worldwide in ever-smarter ways.

"High-tech, the digital and green transition, startups moving into the wider world at an ever-faster pace… The time is now: international business is evolving at lightning speed and the geopolitical challenges are considerable. With the Flanders International Business Awards, FIT underscores its unique connecting power in a complex and competitive world, strengthening its brand identity. One awards show, one stage, one moment: it’s a logical step for FIT and the ideal moment to unite all facets of Flanders’ internationalizing business environment."
Joy Donné
CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade

A final jury of economic experts

Starting today, companies can compete for an award by registering in one of the three categories. After registrations close on 31 May 2023, the professional jury will select three nominees with strong international credentials in each category. This means companies with a proven robust strategy and collaborating beyond company walls and borders.

In early September, the nine nominees will defend their candidacy before a final jury of business leaders and economic experts.

Award ceremony on 20 September

The denouement will follow on 20 September in the iconic Skyhall at Brussels Airport during an exciting awards ceremony that has insights, entertainment and inspiration at its core. There, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon and FIT CEO Joy Donné will announce the Exporter of the Year, Foreign Investor of the Year and Startup of the Year.

Highlight of the Flanders International Business Weeks 2023

The presentation of the Flanders International Business Awards on 20 September takes up a central spot in the Flanders International Business Weeks organized by FIT for the first time. These inspiring weeks are packed with one-on-one meetings, networking opportunities, seminars and other initiatives on internationalization and innovation. W

hat’s more, the experts and Science & Technology Counselors from FIT’s global network will be coming to Flanders to connect with international entrepreneurs and provide them with tailored advice. FIT is potentially aiming for 4,000 matches in two weeks.  

"Both our provincial representatives and the country experts from our global network will be present in every province of Flanders. This is how we make sure to unite tons of expertise through a series of unmissable events, packed with top advice on international business."
Joy Donné
CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade

The Flanders International Business Weeks run from 11 to 15 September and from 25 to 29 September. Registration is open at

FIT: amplifying international success

FIT supports and guides Flanders-based export companies to achieve international success. Talented startups receive special attention. With their innovative products, services or technology, they often face a prodigious international future. From abroad, FIT also attracts potential investors who strengthen Flanders’ economic ecosystem.