Embassy of Belgium in Washington, DC

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Investing in Belgium

Top 10 reasons to invest in Belgium
How we can assist you
Setting up your business in Belgium
U.S. foreign direct investment in Belgium
Overview of U.S. Corporations in Belgium

Top 10 reasons to invest in Belgium

1. Economic location: at the center of a large and prosperous EU customer base
2. Access to European centers of decision making
3. A tradition of trade: more than 85% of Belgian GDP exported
4. One of the most popular destinations for foreign investment
5. Access to high quality labor force
6. A center of knowledge
7. Modern & efficient business infrastructure
8. Low real estate costs
9. High quality of life
10. Attractive tax regime

Click here to see an overview of the most beneficial tax rules for foreign investors.

Click here to see a powerpoint presentation why investing in Belgium is now more attractive than ever.

How we can assist you

The Investment Office at the Embassy is the federal 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 Office

• 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 and through publications as ‘Fact Sheets from Belgium’ , ‘Business Memo’ and ‘Setting Up in Belgium’

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.

Setting up your business in Belgium

To request a free hard copy:
Phone (202) 625-5810
Fax (202)625-7567
E-mail Bart.Deelen@diplobel.fed.be

Pocket Guide to Investing in Belgium

Setting Up in Belgium (Acrobat PDF file) a pocket guide with answers to frequently asked questions about establishing a business in Belgium.

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 U.S. is Belgium’s third largest foreign investor, and the value of foreign investment between the U.S. and Belgium exceeds $100 billion. In fact, U.S. investment stakes in Belgium at the end of 2009 (figure 5) were on par with the combined U.S. investment position in China and India. Over the last decade, Belgium has been the 11th overseas market for U.S. foreign investment.

Figure 5 (click on graph for a large view)

Today, U.S. companies in Belgium account for approximately 6% of the total work force. They are heavily represented in the chemical sector, automotive assembly, petroleum refining, and pharmaceutical sectors (figure 6). 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.

Figure 6 (click on graph for a large view)

U.S. foreign direct investment (stock) in Belgium totaled about $ 70 billion (cumulative) in 2009, which is almost 50% more than U.S. investments in China. Since 2005, the U.S has consistently been the origin of the most foreign investment projects throughout the regions of Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. US Direct Investment (USDI) flows to Belgium have increased rapidly after a steep decline during the economic crisis. Inflows into Belgium have been on the rise again since mid-2009 to reach $9.1 billion in 2010, compared to about $5 billion in 2008-2009. The 2010 level exceeded the pre-crisis level of $7.5 billion in 2007. U.S. firms invested more capital in Belgium ($7.9 billion) than either Brazil, China, or India in the first nine months of 2010.

As of 2008, U.S. companies employed 129,000 in Belgium, making the U.S. the second most important foreign employer in Belgium. Almost half the employment was in manufacturing, particularly in the chemical and transport industries. Investment in R&D by Belgian affiliates of U.S. companies represented 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 headquaters. The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium has released the latest edition of its 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 Commerce 41 - Handelsstraat 41
1000 Brussels
tel. (011 322) 513-6770
fax (011-322) 513-3590
visit www.amcham.be for more information.


Embassy of Belgium and Consulates
Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX)
Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT)
Brussels Capital-Region
Service for Foreign Investments

Embassy of Belgium and Consulates

Washington, DC Mr. Bart Deelen
Business Development Manager
Embassy of Belgium
3330 Garfield St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel.: (202) 625-5810
Fax: (202) 625-7567
E-Mail: Bart.Deelen@diplobel.fed.be
Los Angeles Mr. Rudi Veestraeten
Consul General of Belgium
6100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel.: (323) 857-1244
Fax: (323) 936-2564
E-Mail: LosAngeles@diplobel.fed.be
New York Mr. Marc Calcoen
Consul General of Belgium
ITT Building
1065 Avenue of the Americas, 22nd floor
New York, NY 10019-5422
Tel.: (212) 586-5110
Fax: (212) 582-9657
E-Mail: NewYork@diplobel.fed.be

Flanders Investment and Trade


Chicago Office 150 Wacker Drive, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 312 251-0622
Fax: 312 251-0624
E-Mail: Chicago@fitagency.com
Los Angeles Office 6100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: 323-857-0842
Fax: 323-938-4024
E-Mail: losangeles@fitagency.com
New York Office New York Times Building
620 8th Avenue, 44th floor
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212-664-0930
Fax: 212-664-0944
E-Mail: newyork@fitagency.com
Atlanta Office Peachtree Center North Tower, Suite 810
235, Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: 404-659-9611
Fax: 404-659-9461
E-Mail: atlanta@fitagency.com

Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX)

Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX)

Chicago Office Mr. Jean-Pierre Vasaune
Director Business Development-North America
333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 905
Chicago, IL 60601-4186
Tel.: (312) 357-6349
Fax: (312) 357-6407
E-Mail: Jpvasaune@ewallonia.com
San Francisco Office 155 Montgomery Street, Suite 207
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel.:(415) 391-3111
Fax: (415) 391-3116
E-Mail: sfo@belgiantrade.org

Brussels Capital-Region

Brussels Capital Region

New York Mr. Luc Lippens
Economic and Commercial Representation of the
Brussels-Capital Region
1065 Avenue of the Americas, 22nd floor
New York, NY 10019-5422
Tel.: (212) 399-8522
Fax: (212) 399-8517
E-Mail: Brusselsusa@msn.com
San Francisco Mr. Eric Gabrys
Trade & Investment Commissioner
155 Montgomery Street Suite 815
San Francisco CA 94104
Cell: (415)866-4022
Tel.: (415) 291-0130
Fax: (415) 291-0125
Skype: eric.gabrys
E-Mail: california@brusselsinvestexport.com Web: www.brusselsinvestexport.com

Service for Foreign Investments

Foreign Investment Office, FPS Economie

Brussels Vooruitgangsstraat 50
1210 Brussels
Tel + 32-2-277.69 13
E-mail: Colette.Vanstraelen@economie.fgov.be


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