René Branders, President
Chemical and civil engineering studies civil AirBr 1986
Production Engineer at Metallurgie Hoboken
Research Engineer at FIB Belgium (ex Four industriel belge)
CEO FIB Belgium, President of the group IP of AGORIA, President of the European Committee of Industrial Furnace and Heating Equipment Associations (CECOF), President of the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Brabant wallon
The family business being focused on international export of industrial equipment goods, I have always been dealing with international affairs. With the 57 countries I visited professionally, my negotiation experience, with the strong dimension of intercultural dialogue; I was able to understand as the advantage for our Belgian firms to act internationally as the barriers or challenges they face, even on a purely regional level.
“The Chambers of Commerce network is an extraordinary tool to ease trade, but it is also a sounding board to meet together the challenges that the regional, national and international entrepreneurship of today and tomorrow faces.”
Hobbies: Astronomy, History, Geopolitics, Archeology – President of Archeolo-J Service des Jeunesses archéologiques
Wouter Van Gulck, General Manager
Master of Laws at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Business Management at the Vlerick Management School. Trade Commissioner for Flanders Investment & Trade in Johannesburg and New York between 1995 and 2004. Passionate about foreign countries, cultures, people.
“What always strikes me when I meet a colleague from a local Chamber abroad, is the sense of being with family.”
Christophe Coulie, Legal Affairs Manager
Responsible for certificates of origin, ATA Carnets and digital certificates. Master of Laws at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Fascinated by what Belgians realize abroad.
“Exporting companies conduct a daily battle with ‘red tape’. My job is to look with them for simplifications and to digitize where possible.”
Veerle Geeraerts, Project & International Affairs Manager
Master in Translation English – Spanish at Vlaamse Economische Hogeschool (VLEKHO), Brussels
Assistant in the Economic and Commercial Department of the Embassy of Uruguay in Brussels, 1991 – 2001
“Through projects, Chambers can diversify their services and learn from each other. I find the personal contact with Chamber staff very rewarding. An important element in project operations is working together to achieve a common goal. Collaboration makes people grow.”
Kevin Mertens, Management Assistant
Masters in translation and conference interpretation (English-Dutch), at UMons. Employed in a translation agency from 2016 to 2018, then made a detour to New Zealand and its fjords for a working holiday visa.
“Coming from the world of translation, I first saw the chambers of commerce as a terra incognita. In reality, the gap to bridge is quite narrow. Here too, we are trying to erase borders – be they linguistic, administrative or technical – preventing you from carrying out your projects in the four corners of the globe.”
Géraldine Reintjens, Advisor Export Formalities
Bachelor in Foreign Trade at EPHEC Brussels, Master in Commercial and Financial Sciences at ICHEC Brussels. Agoria (technology federation) from 2001 to 2005, active in the Chamber network since 2006.
“A Chamber of Commerce always reaches out to the entrepreneurs.”
Cindy Peeters, Advisor Export Formalities
Bachelor in Logistics Management at Thomas More in Mechelen. Various functions in the export departments of Solvay and Dupont de Nemours, of which five of the last years as Customs and Export Compliance Leader.
“A Chamber of Commerce is a guide with a varied expertise, for each company and in every step of the entrepreneurship.”