As the year comes to an end, AmCham Belgium would like to thank its members for their hard work and their involvement in our committees, events and publications, and congratulate them on their accomplishments. Let’s have a look at the year in review.
At the start of the year, the Communications Committee launched the #Yes2Belgium open letter, co-signed by 13 other foreign Chambers of Commerce. This campaign led to the successful #Yes2Belgium Event in June, where more than 360 distinguished guests, among which Prime Minister Charles Michel, gathered to re-affirm the international business community’s trust in Belgium as a place to live and do business.
In May, the Human Resources Committee organized an event on the impact of data privacy on HR practices with keynote speaker Anthony Gardner, US Ambassador to the EU. In June, two position papers were released. The Human Resources Committee urged the Government to further reform Belgium’s labor market, while the Legal and Taxation Committee released the timely Tax Horizon 2020 paper, advocating a corporate tax rate of 20% and other reforms. The Membership Committee, always looking to improve the membership experience at the Chamber, carried out a membership engagement survey over the summer. The information collected will be used to improve services to members.
In addition to their popular YP @ noon series of intimate lunches with high-level business leaders, the Young Professionals Committee organized the VIP Reception this year with keynote speaker Bart Verhaeghe, who shared his best tips for a fulfilling career. The Innovative Healthcare Committee continued to strengthen its cross-industry membership and finalized its mission statement over the summer.
September marked a fruitful collaboration with AT Kearney and the international business community, when AmCham Belgium released the 2016 Business Barometer which looks at the confidence of the international companies’ in Belgium as a business and investment destination. This month also marked our last Joint Gala Dinner with US Ambassador to Belgium, Denise Campbell Bauer, as guest of honor and keynote speaker.
In October, Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt endorsed the recommendations of our Legal & Taxation Committee on Pan-European Pension Funds. In a letter, this committee had addressed the concern that withholding tax was debited from pension payments of beneficiaries who do not reside in Belgium and who have never worked in the country. Our members also shared their knowledge and promising solutions during a Business@Breakfast session on mobility and logistics in Belgium.
The Antwerp Chapter organized an event on the importance of transatlantic trade at the iconic new Antwerp Port House, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumers, Kris Peeters, and Director of Outreach at the World Trade Institute Dr. Koen Berden. In December, AmCham Belgium published The Importance of US companies: Manufacturing, which included many excellent contributions from members active in the manufacturing sector. As with all AmCham Belgium’s positions, we are grateful that the Government Relations Forum will continue to advocate our priorities to key stakeholders.
These highlights are just a snapshot of what we have accomplished together this year. The year 2016 saw many more position papers, events, meetings and activities. More detailed committee reports will be featured in our 2017 Yearbook, to be published in February 2017.
We also wish to thank our partners who helped us organize events or spread a message, and of course, our Strategic Sponsors. Their three-year commitment and support enables us to strengthen the positioning and long-term impact of the Chamber.
AmCham Belgium thanks its 2016 Diamond Sponsors:
We would also like to thank our 2016 Gold Sponsors:
3M • Alpha Card • AWEX • Brussels Invest & Export • Cisco • Conac • Donaldson • DuPont • ExxonMobil • EY • Flanders Investment & Trade • Isabel Group • KPMG • Management Centre Europe • Mastercard • McKinsey & Company • Pfizer • Port of Antwerp • PwC Belgium