A country renowned for its brewing history, with over 1100 varieties of beer being produced in the country as well as Belgian brand ‘Trappist’ consistently rated the world’s best beer, along with its confectionary culture that sees it famed for chocolate and waffles as well as having some of the most highly lauded restaurants in the world, it is no wonder many like to visit the country. Sitting at the heart of the European Union (EU), Belgium may not just be a great place to holiday but could well be the ideal country to start a business in.
With a relatively relaxed approach to foreign investors, Brussels is where the European Union sits and as such Belgium gains a lot of interest, and thus trade, from the rest of Europe. One of the most prosperous countries on the continent it is an extremely cosmopolitan country which may go some way to explaining its strong free market approach when it comes to foreign investors and start-ups.
Bordering France, Holland, Luxembourg and Germany means that Belgium has very strong trade links with Western Europe and its transport infrastructure reflects this. Beyond Europe, the rest of the economy is very much globalised and so it can act as a gateway into other worldwide market places. As such, banking facilities are world class and are easily accessible due to the need for international trade, transfers of money and foreign investment. Likewise, communication technologies are also at their peak in Belgium and the country is highly industrialised.
Split into various regions, the country offers a myriad of financial incentives for business within the country but they do vary greatly depending on each region. For example, in Flanders there is aid available for those setting up shop in already established industrial zones and for biotech companies whilst, in Wallonia, help can be found for the purchasing of land, building and equipment. Brussels, being extremely Eurocentric, may provide grants for language training and employment of certain categories of jobseeker. Investment grants and certain tax exemptions may also be on offer.
Despite its regional and linguistic divisions, Belgium is a country united in common folklore as well as sporting prowess which contributes to its amazingly diverse cultural tableaux. With a strong emphasis on cycling, football and tennis the country is quite successful in terms of sports and boasts many recognised sports personalities. Alongside this it is also considered an artistic hub within Europe as it was at the centre of the baroque movement and continues to produce many pieces of fine arts today.
The country has relatively low unemployment but, with an advanced recruitment sector and open borders with neighbouring EU countries, it is not particularly hard to find staff. Again, employment factors tend to be regional with there being a higher demand for unskilled jobs in French speaking Wallonia whilst Dutch speaking Flanders need has a higher demand for skilled employees.
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