IBM has just published its annual analysis of foreign investment in Belgium. Hainaut and the province of Liège feature among the 3 most attractive provinces, while Liège and Charleroi appear in the top 6 cities that have attracted the most projects.
2014 was slightly unusual for Wallonia: the number of jobs created was less than the average of the last 10 years. This was despite a higher number of projects and Coubertin’s investment in Nivelles, which was one of the year’s largest in Belgium and created 150 jobs. Compared with the previous year, the increase is, however, still considerable and means that Wallonia is to a large extent contributing to the improvement nationally, in terms of the number of jobs as well as the number of projects. However, the total level of job creation has still not returned to pre-crisis levels.
Decisions made by the government to reduce salary costs (non-indexation of salaries and 25% reduction in employers’ social security contributions) should enable Belgium to reduce the gap with its major competitors such as Germany, France and the Netherlands. It is also noted that the productivity level is considerably higher in Belgium than in other countries, where salary costs are lower.
Belgium remains a key investment area for the logistics and research and development sectors together with high value-added production requiring a qualified workforce.
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