In 1722-1723, Emperor Charles VI, Count of Flanders and Duke of Brabant, granted the charter of the Imperial East India Company in Ostend. The company's shares were traded on the Antwerp Stock Exchange. Its ships went to China and India. International pressure brought the Emperor to suspend (1727) and retract (1731) the charter, although clandestine activity continued until a lot later in the eighteenth century. The Belgian Royal Marine Society and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) organise an international conference in Ostend, 23-24 November 2023.