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Legal innovation

A country’s legal and regulatory framework is an important factor in international companies’ investment decisions. Does it help or hinder business, foster or stifle innovation? To increase Belgium’s attractiveness as a hub for international business, now is the time to re-design regulation and embrace transformation.

It is Minister of Justice Koen Geens’ mission to make Belgium more attractive for business: “Extensive reforms of economic laws are well underway,” he said during AmCham Belgium’s New Year Reception. Together with the recently introduced corporate tax reform, these changes are steps in the right direction to make the country more attractive for business. But, with international competition heating up, Belgium should further innovate its legal and regulatory framework.

AmCham Belgium’s Legal & Taxation Committee recently re-launched its Legal Subcommittee to monitor and share knowledge about significant legal developments in Belgium and to advocate on behalf of the US and international business community in legislative and regulatory matters. The Subcommittee has identified several priorities and upcoming developments to address.

The top priorities for 2018 include the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the impact of Brexit on business and the further development and establishment of new technologies. These are all game changers, reshaping the (legal) world companies operate in. The Government now has the opportunity – and challenge – to differentiate Belgium from competitors.

Two current initiatives should go some way towards making Belgium more attractive for US and other international companies: The new Belgian Company Code will dramatically simplify corporate law (legal forms, incorporation procedures, liability, liquidation, etc.) and the planned introduction of the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC) will offer companies the possibility to settle cross-border disputes in English.

AmCham Belgium looks forward to working with the Government to further drive and develop Belgium’s position as a frontrunner in legal innovation.

More legal news can be found in this month’s issue of AmCham Connect. The Legal Subcommittee is recruiting new members – contact Sue Wheeler at the Secretariat for more information.

Photo credit: Ia Ezwa / Flickr