by Alana Fitzpatrick, Policy Coordinator, AmCham Belgium
AmCham Belgium is proud to present our new ‘Yes2Belgium’ website, which was officially launched last week in the presence of Belgian parliamentarians and international business representatives at our ‘Breakfast with Parliament’ event. The website is a new platform to showcase Belgium as an excellent place for international investment. What better way to do this than through the individual stories of AmCham Belgium’s member companies, which continually choose to invest in Belgium.
Whether it’s in research and innovation, logistics or manufacturing, foreign investment plays a major role in Belgium’s economic growth. So far, 11 of the largest international companies in Belgium have told us their Belgian story on our website, with more to come as the project grows.
The #Yes2Belgium Project
The #Yes2Belgium project began in early 2016 as the international business community’s response to the negative attention Belgium received following the Paris – and later, Brussels – terrorist attacks. AmCham Belgium, together with other foreign Chambers of Commerce, wanted to reiterate our commitment to Belgium and what makes the country unique not only as a place to invest but also to live and work.
With our #Yes2Belgium testimonials, we wanted to go beyond the figures and the international brand names to really find out about the activities of these companies in Belgium. We looked into their locations, their operations and their next big projects – all happening here in Belgium. What we see is a large diversity and scale of operations, with European headquarters, logistics hubs and large production sites all over Belgium. We also see a drive for innovation and research, with many companies drawing on Belgium’s pool of talent to engage highly qualified scientists, engineers and researchers. This is particularly evident for biotech and pharmaceutical companies, many of which have their whole supply line – from research to production, packaging and distribution based in Belgium.
Improving Belgium’s attractiveness
Belgium is an attractive investment hub for a number of reasons: its location at the heart of Europe, talented and multilingual workforce, internationally-orientated and stable economy, excellent healthcare system and high quality of life. In addition, Brussels is home to key decisionmakers and international institutions.
However, there are areas where Belgium could do better in order to continue to attract foreign investment and compete with its European neighbors. AmCham Belgium’s member companies are constantly working to improve the investment climate in Belgium, particularly in areas of taxation, human capital, healthcare, infrastructure and mobility. These are explained in further detail in our 2019 Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium (#PPB19).
In our PPB19, we set out the policy recommendations that we see as the most important to help Belgium enter the top 10 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Ranking by 2030. These issues need to be addressed to avoid Belgium being left behind as the competition for international investment heats up.
Why say #Yes2Belgium?
AmCham Belgium’s new Yes2Belgium website is about sharing the advantages of Belgium as a great place to invest, told through the stories of international companies which continue to say yes to Belgium in many different ways. Belgium stands out as a small, open economy at the heart of Europe with much to offer international investors, from the location and education to innovation and quality of life.
Our project is only just beginning – we would like to gather as many stories of international investment in Belgium as we can, to continue supporting investment in Belgium. If you would like to get involved and find out more about sharing your company’s #Yes2Belgium story, please contact me at the email below.
About the author
Alana Fitzpatrick is the Policy Coordinator at AmCham Belgium. She works to develop and implement AmCham Belgium’s policy plan.
Have a policy question? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org