Belgium is attractive to foreign investors led by US multinationals. This is evident from the adviser EY’s annual barometer, which comes out on the day the unions take action in the public sector.
You may not expect this due to the rumors about the US multinational 3M and the alarming reports about higher wage costs in Belgium, but Belgium is still a relatively large foreign direct investment country (Foreign direct investmentOr FDI).
The EY counter for 2021 is coming to 245 projects, which is 8 percent more than a year ago and is decently ranked sixth in the European rankings. Leading players in that rankings are France, one of the countries significantly larger than Belgium.
“The growth of FDI projects reflects a strong increase in the activity of foreign investors in Belgium. The consultants added that 6,968 new jobs will be created through 245 projects.
Encouragingly, the majority (80 percent) are investments in a completely new project, not expansion investments. Traditionally, foreign interest has been focused mainly on four areas: logistics, business services, information technology and medicine.
“Logistics has always been a pillar of Belgium’s appeal to the LTI, and this is reinforced by the general tendency for companies to re-enter and re-approach companies that want to better protect their supply chain from global disruptions,” said EY Belgium partner Tristan Tond.
After a surprising decline in 2020, the United States will resume its role as the most important foreign investor for our country (46 projects), while China is falling sharply, especially in Wallonia.
However, US-Belgian economic relations were severely affected by the scandal surrounding the 3M factory in Zwijndrecht. 3M is one of the few American multinationals operating in our country for decades. Although Google announced a major investment in Walonia, most US investments were made to Flanders.
It is also worth noting that the United Kingdom is in second place (37 projects) despite Brexit. The secession between Great Britain and the European Union did not lead to the removal of British companies from Belgium as their European base.
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