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The governments of Flanders, the Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have been working closely together since September 2017 to further develop the chemical industry, which has a strong presence in these regions. To this end, the three partners launched a joint strategy in which the local chemical sector is to become the driving force in the transition to a sustainable global economy. essenscia vlaanderen, the federation of the chemical, plastics and life sciences industry, fully supports this clear focus on one of the key sectors of the Flemish economy.

Employing more than 350,000 people and with a combined turnover of 180 billion euros, accounting for 20% of the European chemical sector, the chemical industry in Flanders, the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia is home to one of the most important chemical clusters in the world. The chemical companies in these three regions are strongly interconnected, providing essential building blocks for many other sectors and offering innovative solutions to the global economic and ecological challenges of today and tomorrow.

The objective of this cooperation is to ensure this unique chemical cluster in the heart of Europe remains attractive for new investments as a foundation for jobs and prosperity. To this end, a trilateral cooperation will be set up between government, industry and academia in the three regions. They must work together for a successful future for the chemical sector within a context of increasing global competition and the transition to a sustainable society. To this end, twenty or so priorities have been set in four areas: Innovation, Energy, Infrastructure and Political Policy.