Market Opportunities

An Expert's View about Foreign Direct Investment in Belgium

Last updated: 11 Apr 2011

The leading Belgian sectors for U.S. export and investment are: biotechnology, chemicals, energy, environmental technologies, green building, dental equipment, medical devices, and travel and tourism. As the host of NATO and EU headquarters, and hundreds of other international organizations, Belgium also offers opportunities for specific projects.
Belgium’s central location in the wealthy region of Europe makes of the country an ideal gateway for exports to Europe. Within a radius of 300 miles, 140 million EU consumers can be reached (almost 50% of the U.S. population) representing 60% of Europe’s purchasing power.

Belgium is also seen as a test market. Indeed, Belgium contains a few distinctly separate socio-demographic groups such as the Germanic Flemings and the Latin Walloons, governed by the same legal system. The Belgian economy largely reflects the overall European economy and consumer, a mini-Europe that is easier to enter them starting with larger European markets.

Moreover, Belgian productivity levels are the result of high investment in the quality of its labor force. Because of its location and history, the educational system in Belgium is highly oriented towards the instruction of foreign languages.
The Notional Interest Deduction (NID) of 2005 introduced an annual deduction on taxable income and is very attractive for foreign businesses as it reduces the taxable base. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Belgium) has tracked the impact of NID on U.S. companies operating in Belgium. See:

Read the complete guide to Doing Business in Belgium

Posted: 10 April 2011, last updated 11 April 2011

See more from Foreign Direct Investment in Belgium

Expert Views    
Market Opportunities   By U.S. Commercial Service
Investment Climate   By U.S. Commercial Service