As 2017 comes to an end, AmCham Belgium would like to thank its members for their support and dedication to our committees, publications and events, and to congratulate them on their accomplishments. We could not have done this without our members. Let’s have a look at our year in review.
The year started off with our traditional New Year Reception, welcoming Johan Van Overtveldt, Minister of Finance as keynote speaker. He noted the urgency of corporate tax reform and this was later included in the Government’s ‘summer agreement’ reached in July. Corporate tax reform was and continues to be a key priority for the members and for the Legal & Taxation Committee.
The Communications Committee launched a new video, AmCham Belgium in 100 seconds, illustrating what our members value most about the Chamber. This successful concept will be repeated in the future. The Innovative Healthcare Committee worked on a position paper on Real World Evidence, a key topic for the future of healthcare, which will be presented in early 2018.
In June, the Chamber presented its report Belgium as a Hub for Regional Headquarters, exploring the different reasons to say #Yes2Belgium for regional headquarters. Belgium is well placed to re-establish itself as an RHQ hub, especially in the context of Brexit. Yet this goal will be hard to achieve without addressing companies’ concerns which were outlined in this report.
The Chamber’s commitment to improve the business environment and encourage investment in Belgium was praised by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and of the Interior Jan Jambon during his speech at the Annual Dinner in June, when he thanked AmCham Belgium for the positive impact of the successful #Yes2Belgium campaign which it ran in 2016.
The 7th edition of our Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium, the Chamber’s flagship policy publication, was launched in September, dedicated to ‘Embracing Transformation’. The #PPB2017 highlighted our member companies’ main concerns about investing and doing business in Belgium, focusing on country governance, labor market, corporate taxation and mobility. We were again grateful to the Government Relations Forum for their continuous and ongoing efforts to advocate our positions and priorities to key stakeholders.
— AmCham Belgium (@AmChamBE) September 28, 2017
The Antwerp Chapter hosted a lunch with Phillipe Muyters, Flemish Minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports in September, to discuss US investment in Flanders and the importance of innovation and collaboration in the region. A company visit to Pfizer in Puurs was organized in November, providing a unique insight into the Pfizer’s largest European manufacturing and packaging unit and one of the largest and fastest growing units worldwide. In its continuous effort to increase engagement with the international business community in Belgium, the Membership Committee looked at alternative ways to engage with member companies and provide services which met their expectations.
In addition to its popular YP @ Noon lunches with high-level business leaders from McKinsey, 3M, Aon, Jones Day and UPS, the Young Professionals Committee organized another speed networking night with CEOs in June, a unique opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow to meet the leaders of today. The Cross-Chamber collaboration on a Young Professionals event continues and the 5th edition will take place early next year.
The Human Resources Committee published two position papers urging reforms enhancing the labor market flexibility and urgent actions on ensuring business-friendly immigration policies.
The Chamber started three new event series: The Lunch & Learn series, with informative sessions on blockchain, R&D and innovation, effective compensation, GDPR and cyber security; the Women in Business series, with Laura Ahto from The Bank of New York Mellon, Tineke Van Hooland from AbbVie and a special session dedicated to Women in Tech; and finally a number of webinars, including one looking at the political labyrinth called Belgium.
These highlights are just a fraction of what we have accomplished together in 2017. More detailed committee reports and information will be featured in our 2018 Yearbook, to be published in February 2018.
We also wish to thank our partners who helped us organize events or spread our messages, and of course, our Strategic Sponsors. Their commitment and support enables us to strengthen the positioning and long-term impact of the Chamber.
AmCham Belgium thanks its 2017 Diamond sponsors:
We also thank our 2017 Gold sponsors:
3M • Alpha Card • Brussels Invest & Export Agency • Cisco • Donaldson • ExxonMobil • EY • Flanders Investment & Trade • Isabel Group • KPMG • Management Centre Europe • Mastercard • McKinsey & Company • Pfizer • Port of Antwerp • Wallonia Export & Investment Agency