With U.S. chemical, biotech, information technology and automotive supply companies on the top of his wish list, Jan Offner has been spending more time in Atlanta lately.

      As business development director of the Flanders Foreign Investment Office (FFIO) for the U.S. South, Mr. Offner is based in Dallas but travels here several times a month these days looking for companies that want to consolidate their European operations or enter for the first time into what he calls the new reality of the European Union (EU).

      This new reality, he said during an interview with GlobalFax, would receive a further boost this January when the euro is introduced.

      Mr. Offner restrained from immediately reviewing the tax benefits and incentives for locating a business in the Flanders region of Belgium and reviewed the advantages of setting up shop in the European Union (EU) more generally.

      But he added that he was in the process of arranging on behalf of FFIO a seminar to be held here on Tuesday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with Arthur Andersen LLP. That would go into specifics of the tax implications of consolidating operations in the new Europe.

      Besides promoting itself as a site for European headquarters, Flanders also is actively engaged in developing its biotech sector through research at the well-known Flemish Biotech Institute and through assisting emerging companies, he said.

      Meanwhile, the well-established chemical and automotive sectors are looking for partners interested in expanding sales in Europe, he added.

      Mr. Offner may be reached by calling (972) 887-9933; fax, (972) 887-9934.  His e-mail address is ffiodallas@earthlink.net FFIO’s web page may be found at www.ffio.com