According to Ernst & Young’s “2013 Barometer of Belgian Attractiveness”, Belgium now ranks as the 5th most attractive European country (versus 6th in 2011), on the basis of the number of foreign investments in Belgium, which increased from 153 to 169 (+10.5%) between 2011 and 2012.
As has been the case for many years, the United States remains the leading source of investment in Belgium with 41 projects (38 in 2011), ahead of our direct neighbours, including France which stands out with 21 projects.
Although the number of investment projects has increased from 74 to 80 in Flanders, the increase in the national score can mainly be attributed to Wallonia, since the number of projects in the region has risen from 39 to 52 (+ 30%), which represents the region’s second best score over the last ten years (after the record year of 2009). In terms of employment, the two regions are neck and neck, with an average of 22 jobs created per project in both cases.
The province of Liège accounts for half of the projects and the number of its investment projects has risen strongly from 9 to 23. Hainaut is the second most attractive province with 19 projects in 2012. “These two provinces are mainly competitive in terms of logistics and production, although they are fairly diversified since the 6 sectors of the competitiveness clusters are represented there”, notes Philippe Suinen, CEO of the Wallonia Foreign Trade & Investment Agency (Awex).
Moreover, our two contacts are upbeat about the Marshall Plan 2.Green. “The sectors of the competitiveness clusters account for more than half of our exports”, notes Philippe Suinen, whilst Herwig Joosten, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young points out that: “we are seeing the first quantifiable results of the Plan in terms of impact on Wallonia’s attractiveness”.
According to LE SOIR – 7/06/2012