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Open Letter to King Philippe

Your Majesty,

The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (AmCham Belgium) congratulates you on being sworn in as the seventh King of the Belgians.

From its complex political structure to the very atmosphere it creates, Belgium is a unique country in all aspects. We have no doubt that, through your travels and missions around the world, you understand the vital and central role that Belgium holds in the global economy. To become this central player, Belgium has played to its strengths. Its prime geographic location in the center of Europe, multilingual and highly skilled workers and strength in innovation and infrastructure, to name but a few, have all contributed to making Belgium a top destination for foreign investments.

And yet, despite all of these attributes, Belgium has slowly been losing its favor with international investors. The country’s assets have been undermined by difficult operating conditions, such as a high corporate tax rate and one of the highest labor costs in Europe. These act as a deterrent for future investors and limit economic growth and job creation.

Your knowledge of Belgium’s economy and your past experiences in trade missions have given you particular insight into the key issues that must be tackled in order to restore Belgium’s competitiveness. More than ever, companies in Belgium need competitiveness, administrative simplification and predictability. As other nations are actively seeking to attract foreign investments, Belgium cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

The Chamber encourages Your Majesty to reach out within your network and to convince the governments to put Belgium’s competitiveness at the forefront of their negotiations, especially in the context of the upcoming elections.

For 65 years, AmCham Belgium has been the voice of American and international companies that invest in Belgium. The Chamber has always worked closely with its Belgian partners to help make Belgium more attractive for foreign investment, and will continue this tradition in the future.

The Chamber wishes the best for you and Queen Mathilde, as you both assume your new roles and we look forward to working with the Palace.

Yours sincerely,

The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium