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Open letter to the newly elected

To the future policy-makers of Belgium,

Congratulations on your well-fought election campaigns. As you begin to translate words into actions, AmCham Belgium stands ready to work together with you to strengthen the country’s economy and to increase prosperity, now and for future generations.

After Sunday’s vote, Belgium is hopefully facing a period of five years without elections. We urge you not to squander this opportunity and hope you will be able to form governments as quickly as possible at federal and regional levels. There is still a lot of work to be done.

Building a more competitive Belgium should be on top of everybody’s agenda. To make our country more attractive for international companies, we have set the challenge and ambition for Belgium to achieve a top ten ranking in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index within the next ten years. We are currently ranked 21st, well behind our neighboring and competitor countries and nowhere close to our true potential. Now is the time for Belgium to step up its game.

The recent socio-economic reforms aimed at improving the business climate and stimulating job creation have yielded positive results and increased companies’ confidence in the country. However, to overcome the current competitive disadvantages, Belgium cannot stand still!

Earlier this year, we released our 2019 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium (#PPB19), which calls on you to invest in Belgium:

  • Invest in people, to build a 21st century workforce;
  • Invest in public sector efficiency, to create budgetary room for maneuver;
  • Invest in infrastructure, to allow the swift movement of people, goods and services; and
  • Invest in business, to ease the cost and complexity of operating in Belgium.

We also raised our concerns about Belgium’s long-term prospects in respect to healthcare and logistics. These policy areas have a direct impact on some of the country’s strongest assets: our dynamic bio-pharma ecosystem and our position as a gateway to Europe and the world, thanks to our geographic location and state-of-the-art logistics facilities. Future governments need to remain committed to these sectors and increase public investments.

Our country must climb the competitiveness rankings so that more companies can say #Yes2Belgium! In order to implement the necessary socio-economic reforms, we need ambitious governments which can collaborate on a long-term and future-oriented strategy. Belgium has the potential to break into the top ten most competitive economies, and we will work with you over the next years to achieve this goal.

Sincerely,

Marcel Claes
Chief Executive

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