Belgium is the third most globalized country in the world according to KOF’s Index of Globalization 2017, measuring a country’s level of globalization on 24 criteria, including international trade flows and foreign investment.
Despite its relatively small size, Belgium is a trading nation and one of the world’s largest exporters. The country is a major exporter of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cars, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs and textile products. Belgium is the world’s largest exporter of diamonds and carpets.
Located at the heart of Europe Belgium is a gateway to the rest of the European market – 80% of its purchasing power and more than 500 million consumers lie within 800km of Brussels. The port of Antwerp is the second largest cargo port in Europe and, together with the ports of Zeebrugge and Ghent, Belgium is a transport and logistics hub of the European continent.
€ 3,9 billion – Belgium boasts the second highest value of pharmaceutical exports per million population in the world
More than 2,000 multinationals, notably from sectors such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, media, have established their European head office or branch in Belgium. Companies enjoy a range of advantages for their business: a quick procedure for setting up a new business, an entrepreneur-friendly environment, excellent transportation and telecommunications infrastructure.
More than 500,000 small and medium enterprises have established in Belgium, generating €115 billion of added-value.
Belgium offers a number of tax incentives, including incentives for R&D and innovation, investment in capital goods (including accelerated depreciation) and a patent income deduction. Executives posted to Belgium may apply to benefit temporarily from a special expatriate regime.