Marcel Claes

We want more companies to say #Yes2Belgium as a business and investment location.

Marcel Claes
Chief Executive, AmCham Belgium

Labor Market

Our recommendations

A well-functioning labor market should be driven by supply and demand, with the right people in place to meet the needs of the company. The legal and administrative framework should facilitate the ease of attracting, rewarding, training, reskilling (lifelong learning) and retaining employees.
Introduce a ceiling for employer social security contributions

Introduce a ceiling for employer social security contributions

  • Introduce a ceiling for employer social security contributions to attract more highly qualified people to Belgium, in line with neighboring countries
Improve the flexibility of work organization and remuneration

Improve the flexibility of work organization and remuneration

  • Increase the possibility to organize work in a flexible manner, especially in terms of night, weekend and seasonal work. Combine with a simplification of employee timekeeping
  • Relax the rules on the lending of personnel
  • Create a platform economy credit
Simplify talent acquisition

Simplify talent acquisition

  • Invest in reskilling employees
  • Stimulate dual-learning
  • Increase the number of STEM graduates
  • Support cooperation between universities and companies
  • Further expand the partial exemption of the wage withholding tax for qualified researchers and reduce the administrative burden
  • Facilitate the immigration of qualified talent through an efficient implementation and execution of European immigration directives
Adjust automatic wage indexation

Adjust automatic wage indexation

  • Adjust the automatic wage indexation to apply only up to an agreed salary level

Country Governance

Our recommendations

To attract more foreign investments to Belgium, the country needs to be governed in an efficient and transparent way. The government should position itself as a business-friendly and efficient partner to investors, throughout the whole investment process.
Manage government spending more efficiently

Manage government spending more efficiently

  • Focus on developing and implementing a coherent and efficient government operating model across all government levels
  • Revise the allocation of the government budget to make more room for investing in investments
  • Enhance collaboration between federal and regional governments to reduce complexity and costs for companies
  • Increase public revenues by increasing the employment rate (e.g. through activation, reskilling and healthy living)
Cut administrative burdens

Cut administrative burdens

  • Simplify the processes for obtaining permits
  • Facilitate the overall framework for companies to do business in Belgium
  • Address sector-specific complexities, e.g. energy, healthcare, mobility

Mobility and Infrastructure

Our recommendations

Companies need to be reassured they can efficiently move their people, products and services, physically and digitally, when making investment decisions.
Invest in mobility

Invest in mobility

  • Invest in infrastructure to improve the quality and efficiency of all aspects of the transport network and reinforce multi-modality
  • Tackle congestion with creative and coherent solutions, by using new technologies and focusing on improved collection and processing of data (e.g. road charging, city access policies)
  • Promote a variety of transport modes using fiscal incentives
  • Encourage collaboration between the regions and the federal level, and simplify processes
Invest in digital infrastructure

Invest in digital infrastructure

  • Invest in digital education, training and reskilling of the current and future workforce while promoting lifelong learning
  • Refrain from gold-plating EU and international requirements and create a level playing field (e.g. for the current Belgian radiation norms) to allow the development of innovative technologies
  • Incentivize mobile operators to invest in their networks by lowering the taxation for mobile network infrastructure

Corporate Taxation

Our recommendations

Foreign investors need a simple and stable legal and fiscal framework to operate in an efficient and cost-effective way. A country’s corporate taxation system will often be a decisive factor when a company is looking to invest, especially when locating their headquarters.
Create a best-in-class tax environment and reduce the cost of labor

Create a best-in-class tax environment and reduce the cost of labor

  • Lower the corporate tax rate to below 20% to be competitive with other countries
  • Encourage companies to invest in Belgium through tax incentives for capital investments
  • Reduce labor costs through introducing a cap on employer social security contributions and offer companies the ability to grant tax-friendly incentives to highly skilled and internationally mobile employees
Provide a simple and stable fiscal framework, using digital technology and standardization

Provide a simple and stable fiscal framework, using digital technology and standardization

  • Ensure certainty for businesses to operate in Belgium through a stable tax environment and a well-functioning Ruling Commission
  • Simplify tax legislation and lower administrative burdens, and implement international taxation standards without gold plating
  • Implement automatization and standardization in the tax administration processes, following international standards
Enhance collaboration with tax authorities, promoting mutual respect

Enhance collaboration with tax authorities, promoting mutual respect

  • Establish a transparent collaboration model to enhance cooperation between businesses and tax authorities, in a spirit of mutual respect

Healthcare

Our recommendations

Investment in effective healthcare policies, ranging from prevention policies to access, treatment, early adoption, innovative solutions and the management of (chronic) disease is essential to maintaining and improving economic growth.
Work towards an ambitious government program to anticipate future healthcare needs

Work towards an ambitious government program to anticipate future healthcare needs

  • Simplify and modernize collaboration and coordination between regional and federal governments and administrations
  • Reform healthcare financing systems: need for transversal financing, across the silos to facilitate integrated, transmural care (including prevention)
  • Eliminate waste in the system to create headroom for innovation
Foster a true innovative healthcare valley

Foster a true innovative healthcare valley

  • Simplify, broaden and speed-up reimbursement and access processes, further expand innovative funding mechanisms
  • Further stimulate an R&D ecosystem for pharma and MedTech through a favorable policy framework
  • Fund and create “test/pilot” settings for accelerated innovation development (Sandbox principle)
Establish ‘value based’ healthcare

Establish ‘value based’ healthcare

  • Increase the number of Centers of Excellence and speed up consolidation of hospital networks to improve outcomes and quality of care, thereby optimizing patient pathways
  • Allocate sufficient resources to establish findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) public databases to foster innovation, promote benchmarking and improve quality of care
  • Embed the patient’s voice in healthcare decision-making and unlock the potential of personalized healthcare via real world data
Invest in lifelong health: from prevention and lifestyle to cure and care

Invest in lifelong health: from prevention and lifestyle to cure and care

  • Accelerate investments in an integrated digital health infrastructure for all healthcare actors including the patient, resulting in improved overall health
  • Enable accelerated investments in better health promotion and education, thereby improving health literacy and promoting healthy behavior
  • Invest in the development of new skills and competences, and in technology to support health workers