International business in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is the most southern part of Zeeland.
Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is surrounded by the North Sea, the Western Scheldt and
Belgium (Flanders).

The canal zone is an important strategic area for both Belgium and the Netherlands. Living in the canal zone offers space, lots of nature & water, affordable house prices, jam free traffic, centrally located plus safe and international sectors.

International Presence

The municipality of Terneuzen has a large international presence

Terneuzen borders in the north on the Western Scheldt. This 6 KM wide tidal river is important for international transport. In the south, the municipality of Terneuzen borders Belgium with its major cities of Brussels (European Parliament), Antwerp (largest seaport in Belgium and the 2nd port in Europe) and Ghent.  The canal Ghent-Terneuzen connects Ghent to the Western Scheldt. It provides a direct connection with the North Sea and  the channel flows throughTerneuzen.

The municipality of Terneuzen has approximately 55,000 inhabitants. Chemical and process industry, logistics and maintenance have always been strongly represented.


Why choosing Zeeuws-Vlaanderen?

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is connected to the rest of the Netherlands and to Belgium via the N62. This is an important road between the seaport and industrial areas of Ghent, Terneuzen and Vlissingen. Terneuzen is connected to the heart of Paris and six other European ports by waterways, including the Schelde-Seine connection. (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Rouen and Dunkirk).

In the municipality of Terneuzen a new large sea lock is currently being built for 2022 and will be one of the largest in the world. The new sea lock will be 427 meters long, 55 meters wide and 16.44 meters deep. The dimensions correspond to those of the new Panama Canal locks and New Panamax vessels can use this new sea lock.

Terneuzen is a central transport junction. Important cities can be reached by water, road and freight rail. Export areas all over the world. You can download the Fact Sheet, which gives you the distance information.

Ambitions & Opportunities

A good living environment is characterized by excellent facilities and the space and peace to enjoy these advantages. The ‘Westerscheldetunnel’ connects the area with the rest of the Netherlands.

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen offers a variety of housing possibilities and favorable house prices. In addition, the region is safe and spacious with lots of nature and water. The Zeeland beaches are part of a beautiful nature. The region has good primary and secondary schools and has the number 1 regional hospital in the Netherlands. There is also high economic growth in the region and the labor market is healthy with a low unemployment rate. Important arguments to settle!

Culturally, Zeeland is unique for its star restaurants. Zeeland is also connected to Belgium and cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges are beautiful historic places to visit.

Labor force information for Zeeland

Workforce in Zeeland  counts 283.000 people.
191.000 people perform paid work. Of these, 36.000 people are self-employed and 155.000 people are employed.

The unemployed labor force is 6.000 people. Just over half of the employed labor force works at least 35 hours a week (full-time). The non-working population includes 7.000 people.

Start-up in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen

Invest in Zeeland / Business development, a part of Impuls Zeeland, likes to develop a  business from a good idea. Whether it is a project-to-be, a growth step or international ambition. They support the entire process from ideation, business modeling and prototyping to market introduction. They use their own expertise and establish their network. That way you quickly have what you need: a sound plan, financing, a permit, a suitable location, R&D facilities or, for example, a launching customer. The four strong factors of Zeeland where Invest in Zeeland  focuses on, are:

  • Circular Economy
  • Smart Delta Resources
  • Logistics & Energy
  • Leisure Economy


Economy & Innovation in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen/Zeeland

Smart Delta Resources is a unique partnership of 11 large energy and raw material intensive companies in Zeeland, West Brabant and the Ghent canal zone.

SDR realizes residual flow connections between companies and carries out projects that Dutch businesses can use. This will strengthen the international competitive position and contribute to the National Energy Agreement.

The municipality of Terneuzen has the following cooperation examples:

Maintenance Value Park: Cooperation is aimed at developing, un-lock and spread knowledge and service for maintenance in the process industry

Biopark Terneuzen: companies use residual flows and by products

Steel2Chemicals: As a joint initiative; the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), together with Dow, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, TNO.ECN and Ghent University, are joining forces to develop a circular carbon chain with the steel industry. They aim to do this while greening grid-supplied electricity at the same time. This system integration project, title Steel2Chemicals (S2C), is based on high-end technology and will be kicked off in the Netherlands and Belgium.

ValuePark Terneuzen: Chemical companies together deliver sustainable benefits on WARMCO2: reuse of residual heat and CO2 from the industry

Polystyrene Loop: this is realized at ICL-IP


Setting up a business

When starting an own business, the first step is to determine whether it is legally entitled to do so in the Netherlands. Nationals of one of the EU member states or the EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss citizens are free to live and work on a self-employed basis in the Netherlands. Although not legally required to register with the IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service), it is advisable to do so because documentation may be requested, for example, by an insurance company. If you are neither a Dutch national nor EU citizen and do not have permanent residency, you should check carefully with the IND concerning your individual situation and residency rights.
Please read Start up entrepreneur

For any further questions and assistance ->  please contact
Invest in Zeeland

Who is here?

Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is home to a number of international companies. For example, in the petrochemical, agro/food, offshore/logistics, paper and innovation sectors.

Portiz - Port & Industry Zeeland -  is an association of industrial (national & international)  harbor companies. It aims to promote all common economic and social interests for the benefit of business in general and for the affiliated partners in the Sloe area, the canal zone of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and the adjacent areas in Zeeland in particular.

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