The Institute of Directors (IoD) is reviving its Brussels branch to forge connections ahead of Brexit

Courtney Goldsmith
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Britain's business people are already getting on strengthening bonds with partners on the continent (Source: Getty)

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has revived its Brussels branch, proving that, indeed, it is possible to do a quick deal with the EU.

The Brussels arm will work to forge bonds between internationally-focused British and Belgian business people, which will be vital after Brexit, said Stephen Martin, director general of the IoD.

"The EU will continue to be the UK’s single largest export market after Brexit, and it will be even more important that British firms strengthen connections with continental markets," Martin said.

"Brussels is a great springboard for trading in Europe, and giving IoD members access to fantastic premises in the heart of the city will help them to hold meetings, entertain clients, and generally build the bridges that are essential to doing business."

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The IoD has inked a reciprocal deal with De Warande, the Flemish Business Club in Brussels, that will allow members to work or hold meetings in De Warande's Belgian premises while members of the Flemmish club can use the IoD's London headquarters.

"Politicians on both sides of the Channel will be huddled around negotiating tables for the next few years, ironing out the details of Brexit, but business people are already getting on strengthening their own relationships with partners on the continent," Martin said.

Newly appointed chairman, Mark Cunningham, a British-born businessman who has worked in Belgium for 20 years, will be tasked with growing the IoD's membership in the country and providing both British and Belgian business people with opportunities to develop their organisations.

"I would like IoD Belgium members to see us as ‘the’ organisation for networking, learning and having a high level exchange of views with other business people," Cunningham said.

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