The Kingdom of Belgium is situated in the west of Europe, neighboring to England, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Covering an area of 30,000 square kilometers with a population of about 10 million, Belgium is one of the most developed industrial countries in the world and enjoys a reputation of the political and cultural center of Europe. Turnhout is located 45 kilometers northeast to Antwerp. It covers an area of 56.06 square kilometers with a population of 40,000. Turnhout is also the capital of Kempen District, one of three districts of Antwerp. It is also the economic, cultural and educational center in this district. Turnhout enjoys oceanic climate with plenty of rainfalls, humid weather and fresh air all year long. A canal runs its way from the center of the city. Together with picturesque parks, green lands, bicycle lines and hiking routes, Turnhout owns unique tourism resources.
Turnhout has the reputation of famous historical city in Belgium with a history of more than 1000 years. There are rich cultural attractions and historical sites remained in the city, such as the 12th century castle of the Dukes of Brabant, the gothic church of St. Peter, the beguinage (begijnhof) dating from the 13th century, which is the cultural heritage on the list of UNESCO and so on.
42 kilometers north to Antwerp, one of the 10 largest harbors in the world and one of the most important cities in Belgium, industry and transportation in Turnhout are quite developed. Its printing industry is not only the main industry of Turnhout, but also makes Turnhout the printing center of Europe. Several companies here take leading position in this industry. Cartamundi is the world"s largest manufacturer of playing cards, and Van Genechten the number one cardboard packaging manufacture of this industry in Europe. It also houses the largest graphic research institute. Thanks to its convenient transportation condition and preferential investment environment, Turnhout is also the home of the world famous Philip Light Company. At the same time, it is the main agricultural base of Antwerp. Agriculture accounts for about 20% of GDP while agriculture population is only about 5%. Main agriculture industry is planting and breading industry.
As the capital of Kempen District, Turnhout is the home for some public service institutes for this region, such as local government, local court, finance center, job service center and more than 50 schools. De Warande Culture Center is not only a leading culture center in Flanders but also a theater where presents cultural fists from all over the world to the audience of the region. The dancing of Tang Dynasty from Xi’an was invited to five its debut abroad in this center in 2002. Turnhout also serves as medical service center for north of Kempen Region. There are two hospitals with 1100 beds, which offer good medical service for local people in the whole region.
Turnhout and Hanzhong have established friendly relationship already. Besides, it has found sister-city relationship in Germany, Hungary and Romania as well.