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
Investment Fact Sheets for US investors
Belgium: Gateway to Europe (CD-ROM)
US investments in Belgium

Top 10 reasons to invest in Belgium

  1. Home to EU and NATO headquarters, Belgium is at the center of economic and political acitivity in Europe
  2. Highly trained, multilingual and productive labor force
  3. Low effective corporate tax rate has led to high US profits in Belgium recently:
    - Reinvested earnings accounted for more than 80% of the total USDI flows to Belgium during the period of 1995-2003, reflecting the high profitability and positive performance of existing Belgian based US subsidiaries.
  4. Belgium is at the center of 60% of EU purchasing power
  5. More than 80% of GDP exported
  6. First-rate international financial marketplace
  7. Excellent transportation and telecommunications infrastructure
  8. Highly developed industrial sites and research parks
  9. One of of the highest global rates of inward Foreign Direct Investment
    Belgium was ranked 5th in the list of the top recipient countries in 2003:
    - US$29 billion of inflows (5.3% of the world total)
    - US$216 billion of stock (2.6% of the world total)
  10. High quality of life

Click on the Invest in Belgium 2003 campaign (http://invest.belgium.be/pdf/press_documentation.pdf) to see 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.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.

Investment Fact Sheets for US investors

- Belgium: a Federal Country -- basic information about the business climate in Belgium, the structure of the Belgian government, federal and regional competences, investment incentives and contacts in the U.S.

- Labor Costs in Belgium -- a fact sheet outlining expenses for labor, social security and other overhead costs and describing labor incentives.

- Business Opportunities in the Biotech. Industry -- a fact sheet describing Belgium's tradition of innovation and levels of current biotech activity, as well as the favorable business environment for biotech companies.

- Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry -- a fact sheet describing the many reasons why the pharmaceutical industry is one of the leading sectors in the Belgian economy.

- Immigration Procedures -- a fact sheet giving an overview of the relevant visa and work permit regulations for US citizens who want to set up a business in Belgium.

- Moving to Belgium for Investment -- gives an overview of the simplified visa and immigration procedure which could apply to major US investors.

- Business Infrastructure -- a fact sheet outlining Belgium's central location and its assets in the areas of transportation and telecommuniction, real estate, labor force, and financial instruments.

- Taxation -- a fact sheet which outlines the recent reform of the corporate taxation regime in Belgium.

- Financing Your Company -- gives an overview of the financial sector in Belgium and funding opportunities for your company.

- Labor law -- Outlines the basic regulatory issues with regard to employing personnel in Belgium.

- R&D -- Outlines the framework for R&D activities and policies in Belgium.

Belgium: Gateway to Europe

Watch Belgium: Gateway to Europe. Testimonials by Business Executives in which American business leaders talk about their investments in Belgium.

Contributions by :

-James E. Carnes, President and CEO, Sarnoff Corp.

-David L. Vercollone, Senior VP, Millennium Inorganic

-Sherwin Greenblatt, President, Bose Corp.

-Ken Moran, Vice President, Pfizer Inc.

-Steven H. Wunning, Vice President, Caterpillar Inc.

-Thomas G. Wattles, Managing Director, Security Capital

To start playing the video below, you will need to have Microsoft Media Player installed. To download and install a free copy, click here

First Choose your connection speed from the following list. Then press play to start watching video trailer:


US investments in Belgium

1. Main Sectors of US Investment in Belgium (2004, investment stock, million $)


Value %
Finance (except depository institutions) and insurance,  8,240 29.7
Manufacturing-chemicals 5,273 19.0
Services (professional, scientific, technical)  4,085 14.7
Wholesale trade  1,129 4.1
Manufacturing-transportation equipment 1,014 3.7
Depository institutions 809 2.9
Manufacturing-food 336 1.2
Manufacturing-computer and electronic products 59 0.2
Total 27,761  100.0

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce Department

2. Reinvested earnings accounted for more than 80% of the total USDI flows to Belgium during the period of 1995-2003, reflecting the high profitability and positive performance of existing Belgian based US subsidiaries.

3. More than 1500 U.S subsidiaries in Belgium represent:

• 6% of employment in the private sector (131,000 employees)
• 11.3% of total assets
• 11.2 % of sales
• 6% of GDP
• 14% of R&D expenditures
• 15%of exports

(American Chamber of Commerce, Survey on US Direct Investment in Belgium 2004-2005)

4. 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 2004-2005 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
Avenue des Arts
bte 5
1040 Brussels
tel. (011 322) 513-6770
fax (011-322) 513-3590
visit www.amcham.be for more information.


Embassy of Belgium and Consulates
Office for Foreign Investors (OFI)
Flanders Foreign Investment Office (FFIO)
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.org
Los Angeles Mr. Ronald De Langhe
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.org
New York Mr. Renilde Loeckx
Consul General of Belgium
ITT Building
1330 Avenue of the Americas, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10019-5422
Tel.: (212) 586-5110
Fax: (212) 582-9657
E-Mail: NewYork@diplobel.org

Flanders Investment and Trade


Chicago Mr. Luc Fabry
Business Development Director
150 Wacker Drive, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 312 251-0622
Fax: 312 251-0624
E-Mail: Luc.Fabry@fitagency.com
Dallas Mr. Jan Offner
Business Development Director
13601 Preston Rd., Suite 707W
Dallas, Texas 75240
Tel. (972) 503-3346
Fax: (972) 503-3362
E-Mail: Jan.Offner@fitagency.com
Los Angeles Mr. Jan Willaert
Business Development Manager
6100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90048
E-Mail: jan.willaert@fitagency.com

Office For Foreign Investors (OFI)

Office for Foreign Investors of Wallonia (OFI)

Chicago 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 Mr. Pierre Leclercq
Director Business Development-Western USA
155 Montgomery Street, Suite 207
San Francisco, CA 94104
Tel.:(415) 391-3111
Fax: (415) 391-3116
E-Mail: pleclercq@investinwallonia.com

Brussels Capital-Region

Brussels Capital Region

New York Mr. Luc Lippens
Economic and Commercial Representation of the
Brussels-Capital Region
1330 Avenue of the Americas, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10019-5422
Tel.: (212) 399-8522
Fax: (212) 399-8517
E-Mail: Brusselsusa@msn.com

Service for Foreign Investments

Service for Foreign Investments
Federal Public Service Economy, Energy, SME’s and Self-Employed

Brussels G. Lemanstraat 60
1040 Brussels
Tel + 32-2-206.58.64
Fax+ 32-2-514.03.89
E-mail: Invest.belgium@mineco.fgov.be


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Belgian Federal Government