The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (AmCham Belgium) today released its report about U.S. direct investment in Belgium, disclosing that U.S. investment in Belgium totaled $6.5 billion in 2005, a record annual increase. This is the highest figure of the EU-15 after Great Britain.
"We are delighted with our study's results and we are proud that Belgium has become more attractive for U.S. investment," said Denise R. Rutherford, President of AmCham Belgium. "The Belgian government, the Brussels, Flemish and Walloon authorities, and AmCham Belgium have been doing good work together to make Belgium better for business. Recent measures include the National Interest Deduction, lower salary withholding tax for researchers, the 80 percent reduction of royalty taxation, simplified work permit requirements, and the new Double Tax Treaty with the U.S. We will continue our cooperation to further improve conditions for growth and investment."
U.S. investment plays a major role in the Belgian economy as U.S. affiliates accounted for 129,900 direct jobs in 2004, according to AmCham Belgium. The lion's share of the money went to the pharmaceutical industry, followed by wholesale.
U.S. research and development (R&D) expenditures in Belgium totaled $628 million in 2004, an increase of 67 percent since 1999.
Belgium's stock of U.S. investment more than doubled to $36.7 billion in 2005 since 2000, according to the 2007 study commissioned by AmCham Belgium and conducted by the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.