Belgian’s rocky political situation deters US investors

22nd May 2008, Comments 0 comments

US investors say political instability in Belgium is among one of the reasons why they are hesitant about investing in the country.

22 May 2008

BELGIUM - AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium is voicing growing concerns about the low level of US investments in the country.

The US investments are important as American companies employ nearly 130,000 people in Belgium. Many are pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKlein.

Following a record in 2005, investment figures fell by half in 2006. Investment figures did not pick up in 2007.

The Vlerick Management School quizzed 85 American companies at the request of AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

They identified high wage costs and difficulties in dismissing workers as the main disincentives. Today, the unstable political situation is also playing a role.

Political instability is particularly affecting decisions by companies involved in logistics, distribution and services.

Investments are still being made by American companies like in Ghlin where EUR 300 million is being invested by Google, but uncertainty about the future is deterring some people.

The country is being seen in a negative light, because there are no indications that regulations will stay the same for the next five years.

Investors who are planning major investments need to be able to see what the big picture will be for the next ten years.

[ / Expatica]

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