City of Ghent back to partners

Parner's name : City of Ghent 

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With its 252,000 inhabitants, Ghent is the second largest city in Flanders. The city is located in the economic heart of the European Pentagon (Milan-Paris-London-Hamburg-Munich) and at the crossroads of other economically strong areas such as the Randstad Holland in the north, the Ruhr Area in the east, London in the west and the big French cities Paris and Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing in the south.


It offers a rare combination of an intimate compact city and the openness of a metropolis.

It is a versatile city, historic and yet contemporary at the same time. With numerous museums, cultural centers, festivals, monuments and the title of ‘UNESCO creative city of music’, it is a genuine city of culture.


Ghent aims to be an open, sustainable, smart and child friendly city, pursuing an ambitious goal to become climate neutral by 2050. To achieve this, Ghent set up the Climate Alliance, comprising a comprehensive set of activities, from consciousness-raising and knowledge sharing to new tools and incentives to encourage citizens to adopt a greener lifestyle.


Ghent is also a city, for and by smart citizens, with several large-scale innovative initiatives promoting citizen participation and co-creation. Smart technology and collaboration between inhabitants, industry, the academic world and the city take centre stage. The result? The inhabitants of Ghent are now jointly responsible for their city.


Over 70,000 students make Ghent the largest student city in Flanders, including Ghent University that ranks 71st on the ‘2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities’. The young heart of the city boosts innovation and creativity. Ghent is a city that combines a strong logistic and industrial complex and hi-tech knowledge activities. The city’s seaport provides over 60,000 jobs and generates a surplus value of 6,7 billion euros.


The city is developing a pro-active approach to attract activities of world-leading companies that strengthen the existing industrial clusters in the cleantech, biotech, materials and ICT sector.

Attracted by a climate of entrepreneurship and innovation and by a pool of creative young talent, investors and companies have since long discovered Ghent. In 2014, the influential business newspaper Financial Times mentioned Ghent as the only Belgian city in its overall ranking of ‘cities of the future 2014-2015’, as city boasting interesting investment opportunities.


Ghent is linked with China in various ways:

  • In November 2013 Ghent ( and the Chinese city Weihai ( ) signed an agreement within the context of the China-EU Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization (

The collaboration focusses on:

1/ Urban planning; 2/ Environmental protection, energy efficiency, climate actions; 3 / Hi  Tech industries and 4/ Cultural tourism.

  • Various companies in Ghent do business with China. Volvo Car Gent is one of the biggest employers of the Ghent region. The factory is part of the Volvo Car Cooperation, owned since 2010 by Geely Automobile from China.
  • Ghent is an attractive city for Chinese tourists to visit.
  • The City of Ghent, together with Ghent University, the Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce and Port of Ghent form the China Platform, a central point of contact for all matters relating to China. It directs, coordinates and supports initiatives in education, research and business.