This is an open letter signed by a total of 14 international chambers of commerce based in Belgium, in support of investment in the country and providing a voice against the negative media attention that Belgium and Brussels has attracted over the last few months.
In light of the recent security events and misrepresentations in some media, the international business community in Belgium feels it is important to state that Belgium remains an attractive place to invest, a safe place to do business and a great place to live.
As representatives of the international business community, which directly employs some 700,000 people in Belgium, it is important to reiterate that statistically, Belgium is one of the safest countries in the world.
The underlying fundamentals which attracted our companies to set up subsidiaries and branches in Belgium have not changed. The more than 1000 companies which our chambers together represent have a long history of over 100 years of successful, sustained business activities in this country, and we feel it is timely to recall Belgium’s unique selling points as an investment destination.
The people: Belgium’s workforce is talented, highly skilled, multilingual and diverse.
The location: Belgium is ideally situated geographically with a strong transportation and
logistics infrastructure providing access to key markets.
Innovation: Belgium’s state‐of‐the‐art research universities, clusters and R&D centres – for example, in food & drinks, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive, nanotechnology and clean tech – put it at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. Belgium is also a very interesting market to test new ideas and products.
Quality of life: Belgium has world‐class healthcare and education systems, dining and cultural options.
And lastly, Belgium has an open, internationally‐oriented and stable economy, anchored by the presence of many international institutions and company headquarters.
All of this combined makes for an ideal environment to conduct business very effectively.
With its modest national character, Belgium seldom boasts about its own successes. Yet, Belgium is quietly progressive and many examples in the dredging, flooring, clinical trials, frozen foods, nuclear medicine and other industries attest to this.
The reality is we enjoy comfortable, safe and professionally stimulating lives in Belgium, day in and day out. We work, our children go to school, we take public transport, we dine in high quality restaurants, we enjoy easy access to a vibrant cultural life, entertainment and nature, and we benefit from a wide range of high standard housing options.
Speaking on behalf of the international business community, we continue to say YES to Belgium and are committed for the long term.