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It goes both ways: US-Belgium trade and investment

A string of recent acquisitions on both sides of the Atlantic highlights the importance of the US-Belgium bilateral trade and investment relationship

US companies have made no less than five strategic investments in Belgium in the last few weeks, culminating in Eastman Chemical’s blockbuster $2.8 billion acquisition of Taminco, an AmCham Belgium Patron member.

Other recent M&A deals include:

  • Platform Specialty Product Corp. acquired Agriphar for €300 million.
  • HIG Capital, a private investment firm, purchased Aviapartner from 3i.
  • In the burgeoning field of 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing), 3D Systems snatched up LayerWise.
  • In financial services, FIS acquired Clear2Pay for around €375 million.

Doing the sums, US foreign direct investment in Belgium has easily exceeded €3 billion in the last two months alone.

Let’s not forget the reciprocal nature of this relationship, as Belgium continues to invest heavily in the United States. Solvay recently acquired Ryton PPS, the polymer manufacturing branch of Chevron Phillips for $220 million. This follows their earlier acquisition of Plextronics Inc. in March. And last week, Betafence, a spin-off from Bekaert, acquired SecureUSA, a leader in intelligent perimeter security.

This recent M&A activity tells us not only that confidence in the economy is growing, but also and more importantly, that US and Belgian companies see each other as innovators and leaders in their respective fields and that the US and Belgium remain important markets for each other.