Belgium remains attractive to foreign investors, led by American multinationals. This is evidenced by the EY advisor’s annual metric, which appears on the day unions take action in the public sector.
You might not expect that with the hype around the US multinational 3M and disturbing reports about high wage costs in Belgium, but Belgium remains a country with a relatively high amount of foreign direct investment (foreign direct investmentor foreign direct investment).
The EY counter for 2021 comes to 245 projects, which is an 8 per cent increase over the previous year and good for a decent sixth place in the European ranking. The top players in this ranking, France in first place, are countries much larger than Belgium.
“The growth in FDI projects reflects a strong increase in the activity of foreign investors in Belgium, following the downturn in the Belgian economy in 2020, although the number of projects remained below the pre-pandemic level in 2019,” EY said. to. The consultants added that 245 projects create 6,968 new job opportunities.
It is encouraging that the vast majority (80%) are investments in a completely new venture, not expansionary investments. Traditionally, foreign interest can be observed mainly in four sectors: logistics, business services, information technology, and pharmaceuticals.
“Logistics has long been a pillar of Belgium’s attractiveness for foreign direct investment, and this is reinforced by the general trend towards re-supply and convergence by companies seeking to better protect their supply chain from global disruptions,” said Tristan Dundt, Partner at EY Belgium.
After a sudden decline in 2020, the United States will resume its role as the most important foreign investor for our country (46 projects), while China will decline sharply, especially in Wallonia.
However, US-Belgian economic relations were severely damaged by the scandal surrounding the 3M plant in Zwijndrecht. 3M is one of the American multinational companies that have been active in our country for decades. Most US investment is heading to Flanders, despite Google announcing a major investment in Wallonia.
It is also remarkable that the UK ranks second (37 projects), despite Brexit. It appears that the separation of 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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