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Antwerp is firmly positioning itself as an important player in future mobility with the possible arrival of a Chinese e-truck factory.

An investment that can give the local economy a significant boost of 300 million euros. The city, known for its strategic location and robust infrastructure, attracts according to an article in De Tijd the attention of Windrose, an innovative start-up from China with plans for a first European production facility for electric trucks.

Founder Wen Han, who recently visited Antwerp and met with mayor Bart De Wever and Voka CEO Luc Luwel, among others, emphasized the advanced state of negotiations on establishing a European headquarters and an assembly plant in the city. This step marks a potential turning point for the Belgian automotive industry, which can welcome a major player within its borders again after a long period.

geopolitics

The choice of Antwerp, despite competition from neighboring countries, is driven by geopolitical considerations and the strong position that Flanders occupies on the list of potential locations. This project would not only stimulate local employment but also contribute to the sustainability of the European transport network, through the production and assembly of electric trucks that promise to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

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Bart Groothuis
Photo: © Pitane Blue - Bart Groothuis (VVD)

“Europe stands at a crucial crossroads where the continent's future prosperity increasingly depends on the capacity to maintain and further develop its industries.”

Parallel to the developments surrounding Windrose, a call for caution is being heard in the political arena trade relations with China. Politician Bart Groothuis of the VVD recently criticized the decisions of public transport companies to order buses from the Chinese manufacturer BYD. Groothuis emphasizes the need to consciously deal with unfair competition and the risks to national security and intellectual property rights that may arise from such agreements.

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intellectual property

These concerns are amplified by the continued espionage activities and attempted theft of intellectual property by countries such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. Groothuis advocates a more targeted approach than the current legislation offers, to safeguard the delicate balance between trade interests and national security.

While the discussion about international trade relations and security policy continues, the Windrose project in Antwerp promises a step forward in the transition to more sustainable transport. The company's electric trucks, which are reminiscent of the Tesla Semi in design but promise to offer greater range at a lower cost, could play an important role in reducing the transportation sector's carbon footprint.

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