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Investing in Belgium


Investing in Belgium

Top 10 reasons to invest in Belgium

1. Economic location: at the center of a large and prosperous EU customer base
2. Access to European centers of decision making
3. A tradition of trade: more than 85% of Belgian GDP exported
4. One of the most popular destinations for foreign investment
5. Access to high quality labor force
6. A center of knowledge
7. Modern & efficient business infrastructure
8. Low real estate costs
9. High quality of life
10. Attractive tax regime
Click on the Invest in Belgium campaign( to see why investing in Belgium is now more attractive than ever.

How we can assist you

The Investment Office at the Embassy is the federal point of contact and ‘help desk’ for US companies considering setting up operations in Belgium as part of their European expansion plans.

To this effect, the Office

• assists investors with relevant information on the taxation, legal, human resources, incentive and business aspects of their investment plans
• prepares programs of contacts in Belgium
• provides general and tailor-made information on aspects about the Belgian investment climate, upon request and through publications as ‘Fact Sheets from Belgium’ , ‘Business Memo’ and ‘Setting Up in Belgium’

The office works in close cooperation with the Belgian Consulates General, and the Regional Investment Offices of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia in the U.S.

Setting up your business in Belgium
To request a free hard copy:
Phone (202) 625-5810
Fax (202)625-7567

Pocket Guide to Investing in Belgium

Setting Up in Belgium (Acrobat PDF file) a pocket guide with answers to frequently asked questions about establishing a business in Belgium.

Investment Fact Sheets for US investors
– Belgium: a Federal Country — basic information about the business climate in Belgium, the structure of the Belgian government, federal and regional competences, investment incentives and contacts in the U.S.

– Labor Costs in Belgium — a fact sheet outlining expenses for labor, social security and other overhead costs and describing labor incentives.

– Business Opportunities in the Biotech. Industry — a fact sheet describing Belgium’s tradition of innovation and levels of current biotech activity, as well as the favorable business environment for biotech companies.

– Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry — a fact sheet describing the many reasons why the pharmaceutical industry is one of the leading sectors in the Belgian economy.

– Immigration Procedures — a fact sheet giving an overview of the relevant visa and work permit regulations for US citizens who want to set up a business in Belgium.

– Moving to Belgium for Investment — gives an overview of the simplified visa and immigration procedure which could apply to major US investors.

– Business Infrastructure — a fact sheet outlining Belgium’s central location and its assets in the areas of transportation and telecommuniction, real estate, labor force, and financial instruments.

– Taxation — a fact sheet which outlines the recent reform of the corporate taxation regime in Belgium.

– Financing Your Company — gives an overview of the financial sector in Belgium and funding opportunities for your company.

– Labor law — Outlines the basic regulatory issues with regard to employing personnel in Belgium.

– R&D — Outlines the framework for R&D activities and policies in Belgium.

Belgium: Gateway to Europe
Watch Belgium: Gateway to Europe. Testimonials by Business Executives in which American business leaders talk about their investments in Belgium.

Contributions by :

-James E. Carnes, President and CEO, Sarnoff Corp.

-David L. Vercollone, Senior VP, Millennium Inorganic

-Sherwin Greenblatt, President, Bose Corp.

-Ken Moran, Vice President, Pfizer Inc.

-Steven H. Wunning, Vice President, Caterpillar Inc.

-Thomas G. Wattles, Managing Director, Security Capital

To start playing the video below, you will need to have Microsoft Media Player installed. To download and install a free copy, click here

First Choose your connection speed from the following list. Then press play to start watching video trailer:

US investments in Belgium
+ Investment by U.S. companies in the Belgian economy in 2004: over $ 1.3 billion

+ In 2005, U.S. companies accounted for 27.2% of all foreign investment projects in Belgium, more than companies from any other country.

+ In 2005, the cumulative value of U.S. direct investment in Belgium was 36.7 $ billion. This makes Belgium historically the 8th destination for U.S. investment in Europe.

+ Proportionally most of the U.S. investment in Belgium (26.1%) is in finance and insurance companies (except banks), chemical manufacturing (18.1%), non-bank holdings (12.7%), services (12.0%), and wholesale trade ($ 10.6%).

+ Belgium attracts 36.1% of all U.S. investment in chemical manufacturing in the EU, and 16% of all U.S. investment in services.

+ U.S. investment in professional, scientific and technical services has more than tripled since 2000. Companies in this category include law firms and accounting firms, advertising agencies, and computer and management (HR) services.

+ Investments in finance and insurance have gained in importance as well, having more than doubled in nominal terms
US investment stock in Belgium, 2005
Main Sectors

$ billion

finance, insurance (except banks) 9.6
manufacturing (chemical) 6.6
holding companies 4.7
services (professional, scientific, technical) 4.4
wholesale trade 3.9
Total 36.7
Data Bureau of Economic Analysis
U.S. foreign direct investment in Belgium
+ U.S affiliates in Belgium represent:
• 5.3% of GDP, 2.8% of total employment (145,900 jobs)
• 11.3% of total assets, 11.2 % of sales
• 14% of R&D; expenditures, 15% of exports

+ U.S. affiliates are the second most important foreign employer in Belgium.

+ In the chemical sector, U.S. affiliates represent one third of value added, 27% of total employment.

+ In the pharmaceutical sector, U.S. affiliates represent 61% of value added, 48% of total employment.

+ U.S. manufacturing firms control about 30% of total assets of Belgian high-tech manufacturing, generated 44% of its added value, and created 24% of its employment .

(AMCHAM Belgium, US Direct Investment in Belgium 2006).

Overview of U.S. Corporations in Belgium
More than 1500 subsidiaries of U.S. companies have been established in Belgium, many of them with European headquaters. The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium has released the latest edition of its annual directory of US companies.

Copies of the directory can be ordered from the Chamber at the following address:

American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium
Avenue des Arts
bte 5
1040 Brussels
tel. (011 322) 513-6770
fax (011-322) 513-3590
visit for more information.

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