Record number of self-employed in Belgium
The number of people owning their own business in Belgium reached a record high last year.
Despite the economic crisis, their number rose to 720,000 in 2009, according to figures supplied by the national account systems.
Last year, the number of self-employed was 3,000 up on the figure of 2008, and 14,000 up on the figure of 2007. It's the sixth successive annual rise.
The rise is mainly due to the arrival of immigrants from the new European member states. Jan Smets, director of the Belgian National Bank, points out that the red tape people have to go through before they can start their own business was reduced. Mostly people from new European member states have seized the opportunity.