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First Belgian investment in Heilongjiang

Kortrijk (Belgium), 19 June 2009 Delaware realizes first Belgian investment in Heilongjiang

Last Saturday 16/06/2007, Delaware Consulting celebrated the veryfirst Belgian foreign investment in Heilongjiang, a province in the north east of China (with the size of Spain). Its new subsidiary HKD (Harbin Kepler Delaware Software Development) was officially launched with an impressive ceremony with large government and business delegations from Belgium, Romania and China:

  • Belgium was represented by a large delegation of 18 people, led by Governor Bernard Caprasse of the Belgian province of Luxembourg. A remarkable Belgian guest was also Mr. Patrick Nothomb, who in 1972 was the very first Belgian diplomat in China. 
  • As HKD is a 50/50 joint venture with the Romanian company Kepler-Rominfo, there was also a 45 person delegation from Romania, led by Mr. Radu Zaharia (General Director of General Directorate for Foreign Relations in Ministry of SME'S, Commerce, Tourism and Liberal Professions) and Mr. Aurelian Gogolescu (President of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Prahova).
  • The province of Heilongjiang was represented by 28 people, lead by Mr. Shen Liguo (Vice Governor of the province of Heilongjiang) and supported by mr. Zhang Gaochao (Director, Foreign Affairs Office Government of Heilongjiang Europe & America pision).
  • Delaware Consulting was represented by Luc Van Aelbroeck (managing director), Jan Delaere (chairman of the Board of Directors) and Tijl de Zegher (general manager Delaware Information Consulting Suzhou).
  • Kepler-Rominfo was represented by Jean-Claude Silvestre (president) and Gérard Luçon (general manager HKD).

Delaware Consulting’s decision to further invest in China was a natural consequence of the evolution of Delaware during the last years: 
Delaware was founded some 26 years ago in Belgium.
Delaware was acquired in 1989 by Bekaert, the worldwide market leader in steel cord products.
In 1999, Delaware was acquired by a big five audit and consulting firm, which later became part of the audit and consulting giant Deloitte.
In 2003, 3 partners decided to perform a MBO of Delaware, with at that time 124 employees in 2 offices in Ghent and Kortrijk, both in Belgium.
Delaware Consulting is an ICT-consulting firm, focused on front- and back-end solutions for medium sized and large enterprises: ERP, CRM, SCM, BI on SAP and Microsoft.  
Most of Delaware’s customers are Belgian headquartered, international manufacturing companies.
Today, Delaware Consulting is a proud and ambitious company with some 220 people, with an annual growth rate of 20%.
It is still headquartered in Belgium with 2 offices in Kortrijk and Antwerp.
2 years ago Delaware opened the first office abroad in Suzhou, near Shanghai.
End of last year it opened a new office in Atlanta in the United States of America.
Last but not least, in January Delaware started its venture in Harbin.

So, why did Delaware Consulting start in China?
Demand Supply Intellectual property
Worldwide trend of globalization and delocalization 
Delaware was forced to follow its customers in order to provide support and services in the different major time zones.
Worldwide trend of global sourcing + limitation of resources in Belgium 
forced to find resources in other places in the world 
Trend of a world becoming more and more knowledge driven, not in the least in Delaware 
risks of outsourcing to companies that are outside Delaware’s control.
despite China’s reputation on the domain of Intellectual Property, Delaware to decided to further invest here in order to protect its IP!
All of these factors together lead Delaware to China, at first in the Shanghai area, because many of its customers have subsidiaries over there.

Then, why did Delaware add a venture in Harbin?
Intellectual capital Partnership
Source of intellectual capital: the Harbin office is located in the middle of 3 universities, which guarantees a supply of qualitative people.
Delaware’s relationship with Kepler-Rominfo, a French-Romanian company that it got to know and trust as off-shore partner for software development.

How does Delaware Consulting see the future in its daughter company in Harbin?
HKD now already has some 20 people on its Harbin payroll. They successfully perform software development for SAP, .Net and Java.
HKD continuously invests to improve their IT and project management skills and to ensure qualitative deliverables.
Delaware and Kepler-Rominfo have high ambitions as they want this team to further grow and expand, working for their European, US and Chinese customers.

Kepler-Rominfo is the number one software developing company in Romania, with customers in 35 countries all over the world. It employs 350 IT professionals. In February 2007 it was selected by Global Services among the 100 most creative IT Services companies worldwide, and the top 10 in Central Europe.


Press contact
Elke Weytens
Tel: +32 (0) 473 30 05 72
Email: elke.weytens@delawareconsulting.com