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Welcome to Belgium: the right place to do business

Prime Minister Charles Michel reaffirmed Belgium’s economic progress and aspired to put Belgium on the map for international investors during the annual Belgian Power Reception at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Two years later I can say we have kept our promise”, Prime Minister Charles Michel stated in a room full of investors and political stakeholders, referring to Belgium’s economic progress. Following his first appearance at Davos in 2015, the government’s business-friendly measures paid off:

·        More than 100,000 jobs were created by the private sector;

·        Unemployment rate decreased to its lowest level since 1992;

·        Highest number of start-ups in 10 years;

·        Higher levels of business confidence; and

·        Productivity index among the highest in the world.

These encouraging outcomes are due, to a great extent, to measures taken by the government – particularly in the area of labor costs. Success in reducing tax on labor and ongoing efforts to lower Belgium’s wage handicap inspire business investment and promote competitiveness, echoing AmCham Belgium’s recommendations.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister emphasized he wants to support business and offer stability. The government is launching a 15-year investment plan, aiming to invigorate Belgium’s infrastructure, digital agenda and energy transition. It is also developing a strategic vision with regards to ‘Brexit’, as “Brussels can compete with other cities when it comes to financial technology or pharmaceutical research”, the Prime Minister commented.

In short, Belgium’s economic recovery, coupled with the country’s hard-working nature, promises a positive future for the country. The international business community now hopes that the government’s next steps will improve Belgium’s corporate taxation regime.

AmCham Belgium warmly welcomes Prime Minister Charles Michel’s remarks and looks forward to working with all levels of the Belgian Government to ensure we can put Belgium on the map.

The full text of the Prime Minister’s speech is available here.

Photo credit: Flickr/mdic.gov.br

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