According to the 2012 EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard, the European Union (EU) is an attractive location for research and development investments. This is evidenced by the fact that US firms invest ten times more in R&D in the EU than in China and India combined. Within the EU, Belgium has a strong reputation for R&D and innovation, primarily due to the high quality of its education and research facilities, the availability of skilled workers and numerous fiscal incentives for R&D ventures. As a result, many companies continue to prosper within Belgium’s borders.
The pharmaceutical sector is an example of a thriving field based in R&D and innovation. Employing over 30,000 people and accounting for over €36 billion in exports a year, it is clear that this industry has a vital influence on the country’s economy. The chemical and life sciences sector is also a champion of innovation. According to Essenscia, the industry association, R&D investments in this sector rose from €1.85 billion in 2002 to €2.75 billion in 2012. This accounts for 50% of total R&D expenditure by the private sector in Belgium.
Belgium’s R&D Tax Incentives
These significant investments in R&D are no coincidence. As the country’s long-term prosperity and growth rate are closely linked to innovation, the government has introduced R&D tax incentives, which aim at encouraging companies to invest in top talent and/or innovation. These incentives include, but are not limited to, the following measures:
- Partial withholding tax exemption for researchers
- Patent income deduction
- Investment deduction for R&D investments and patents
- Expatriate tax status in R&D
Read full article on: AmCham Belgium