U.S. investment in Belgium
Top 10 reasons to invest in Belgium
- Economic location: at the center of a large and prosperous EU customer base
- Access to European centers of decision making
- A tradition of trade: more than 2/3 of Belgian GDP exported
- One of the most popular destinations for foreign investment
- Access to high quality labor force
- A center of knowledge
- Modern & efficient business infrastructure
- Low real estate costs
- High quality of life
- Attractive tax regime
How we can assist you
The Embassy is a point of contact and 'help desk' for US companies considering setting up operations in Belgium as part of their European expansion plans.
To this effect, the Embassy
- assists investors with relevant information on the taxation, legal, human resources, incentive and business aspects of their investment plans
- prepares programs of contacts in Belgium
- provides general and tailor-made information on aspects about the Belgian investment climate, upon request
The office works in close cooperation with the Belgian Consulates General, and the Regional Investment Offices of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia in the U.S.
U.S. Foreign Direct Investment in Belgium
Foreign investment has contributed significantly to Belgian economic growth since the 1960s. In particular, U.S. firms played a leading role in the expansion of light industrial and petrochemical industries in the 1960s and 1970s. Today, the value of foreign investment between the U.S. and Belgium exceeds $100 billion.
U.S. investment stakes in Belgium at the end of 2015 -$45 billion- exceeded U.S. investments in India, Italy or Sweden. Belgium is the 18th overseas market for U.S. foreign investment, the 7th market for the U.S. in the EU.
U.S. companies are heavily represented in the chemical sector, automotive assembly, petroleum refining, and pharmaceutical sectors. A number of U.S. service industries followed in the wake of these investments, such as banks, law firms, public relations, accounting, and executive search firms. Overall, most of the U.S. investment has been in the finance and insurance sector, and in chemical manufacturing. But investment in the service industry, including law firms, accounting firms, advertising agencies, and computer and management services, has more than tripled since 2000.
U.S. companies employ about 130.000 in Belgium, or 3,5% of all private employment in Belgium. The U.S. is the second most important foreign employer in Belgium. Almost half the employment is in manufacturing, particularly in the chemical and transport industries. Investment in R&D by Belgian affiliates of U.S. companies represent 19% of total R&D investment by businesses in Belgium.
Overview of U.S. Corporations in Belgium
More than 1500 subsidiaries of U.S. companies have been established in Belgium, many of them with European headquarters.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (www.amcham.be) releases an annual directory of US companies. Copies of the directory can be ordered from the Chamber at the following address:
American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium
rue du Trône 60/6 Troonstraat
Phone +32 2 513-6770