An economic security policy: a balancing act between transparency and security


From vineyards in France to a port in Greece, from a football club in Roeselare (Belgium) to a high speed train between Budapest and Belgrade, from Volvo Cars and Trucks in Sweden to the electricity supply in Portugal… Chinese investors have their fingers in many pies. Not so in Eandis though. A proposal by the Chinese state-owned enterprise ‘State Grid’ to buy 14% of the Eandis shares caused quite a stir in 2016. A memo from Staatsveiligheid (the State Security Service) concerning possible espionage and a decision by the Antwerp town council to oppose the merger of the distribution network operators eventually blocked the deal. In the final analysis the Eandis saga didn’t cause that much of a stir. The key question, however, is how we look upon foreign investment in terms of our economic security.

This report from visiting fellow Cind Du Bois is available in Dutch and French.