Exactly forty years ago, Daikin Industries Ltd. opened its European headquarters in Ostend (Belgium). Since 1973, the site has served as a key hub in the international activities. From Ostend, Daikin Europe N.V. serves the European market, Africa and the Middle East. The headquarters in Ostend has grown to become an important site for research, development and production. The past forty years, Daikin Europe N.V. has developed to become a leading player in the European climate-control market. At the same time, the company has firmly embedded itself since 1973 in the economic life of the Ostend region. Daikin Europe N.V. in Belgium now boasts some 1,600 employees. Some 1,000 workers and 500 administrators work in Ostend. In addition, the company has another 100 employees in Brussels. The production branch in Ostend has grown to become one of the most advanced of its type. Production – spread over a site that covers 150,000 square metres – focuses mainly on advanced heating and cooling systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The expertise that Daikin Europe N.V. has accumulated throughout the years in Ostend subsequently formed an excellent basis for the Daikin Group for the EMEA Development Center (EDC). The decision in 2011 to embed a development centre in Ostend gave the company a significant push. The EDC plays an essential role as a conceiver of innovative, energy-efficient alternatives to traditional heating solutions. Daikin Europe N.V. is a major, respected employer in the region. The company received the Top Employer 2013 certificate. The strong ties between Daikin and the city of Ostend can now be recognised from the streetscape. The city and company collaborated to complete the Japanese garden Shin Kai Tei in Koningspark. The Noriyuki Inouepad in Zandvoorde, part of the green belt around Ostend, is named after the CEO of Daikin.