Brussels

Brussels has acquired an important place in European economy. It is considered to be the political capital of EU and is the headquarters of many important European institutions. Brussels also figures in the list of world’s leading business center because it is located right in center of an open economic market having a size of more than 450 million people.

Different factors have favored Brussels to acquire an important position in EU. First and the most important factor is the workforce in Brussels in well educated, multilingual and highly productive.

Facts:

Brussels is a city with around one million inhabitants belonging to different nationalities, cultures and styles. The city is big enough to be called a cosmopolitan. The economical and geographical advantages provided by Brussels are many.  The combination of both gives it an exceptional quality of life style.  The location of Brussels in EU has encouraged many foreign investors to set up their business head quarters in Brussels. The Brussels capital region consist of 19 municipalities with a surface area of 162 km2 .The city has a well developed rail and road network. Besides, this it also has a good number of ports and air connectivity with main cities in EU.

Trends:

Brussels ranks third in the list of richest regions in the EU. The per capita income of a Brussels residents stands at €59,400 which is quite impressive in comparison to global averages. The GDP estimates for 2007 for Brussels were predicted to be around $378.9 billion. The Brussels economy has been consistently rising with country’s economy.  The economy of Brussels is expected to rise steadily as the Capital region makes a huge contribution towards overall GDP. The capital Region accounts for 9% of Belgium exports and the service sector contributes another 9%.

Growth and FDI Figures:

Though Brussels houses only 9% of country’s population, it contributes around 19% of GNP (Gross National Product).  Brussels’ economy is service oriented and some parts of the Capital region also have industrial activities. Brussels accounts for around 10% of Belgium’s total exports.

Market Size:

The city of Brussels accounts for about 9% of the total Belgian national population. With such a huge population residing in the city, it represents a huge market base for foreign investors to exploit and enhance their business base.

The economy of Brussels is primarily dominated by the service sector and it accounts for the 88% of the employment opportunities generated in the city and about 89% of the value added services produced by companies that supply services to other companies. Foreign investors can greatly benefit from investing in this sector.

The capital city also has a significant volume of industries. The industrial sector in the city also contributes significantly to the country’s GDP output. The industrial activities of the city accounts for 12% of the jobs opportunities available in the city, besides the city’s industrial sector contributes for the 15% of the added value generated by the sector.

Business experts suggest that Brussels plays a key role in generating around 10% of the total national exports. This is a huge factor to consider for foreign player who are looking for investment opportunity in the city.

Key Investment Sector in Brussels:

Many large manufacturing companies are based in Brussels.  Some of the foremost areas where there is scope for foreign investment include clothing, food industry, aircraft construction, chemicals and electronics.

The ICT sector in Brussels has around 2000 companies having a total annual turnover of €4.5 billion. The city has a highly developed infrastructure and presence of technology potential of local universities increases the scope for growth in future.

The health sector of Brussels is also big, with around 600 companies involved in pharmacy, medicine and hospitals. Many multinational companies are based in Brussels and their activities are mainly focused on sectors such as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and bio technology.

Brussels also comprises an active automotive sector. The automotive companies are mainly focused on areas such as R&D, industrial production, ICT, logistics engineering and services.

Special Incentives provided to investment in Brussels:

Investors investing in Brussels and in Belgium gain from the special tax declaration from Belgian Tax Authorities. The ruling provides the investor offers legal security to investments that facilitate the planning process.  The advance tax ruling assumes importance because it allows the investor to evaluate the possible net profit that can be earned through the investment project.

Besides the advance tax ruling, an investor investing in Brussels also enjoys several tax incentives such as Notional interest deduction, Depreciation, Loss carry forward, capital gain on shares, informal capital ruling and many more such incentives.  The regional authority has the powers to give grants to industries investing in different sectors.  The grants offered by the regional investment agency are primarily given in research and development, training and employment.

Resources:

The Brussels Enterprise Agency is a regional agency that guides investors in every step of investments. The agency helps the investor to set up and establish an enterprise in Brussels capital region.  The Brussels Enterprise Agency offers a unique welcome package to investors investing in the capital region. It provides a location to investor free of charge for three months so that investor can make a study of all aspects of setting up an enterprise in Brussels.

The Welcome Package includes free use of office, reception services in Dutch, French and English, 1-3 work stations, internet, fax and phone services and conference room. Besides it also provides assistance in company registration, tax and legal matters, contacts with local authorities, hiring staff, assistance to find suitable location and help in studying the market.
 

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