2020 FDI in Wallonia

Foreign investment in Wallonia: US top job creator in 2020

  • US companies created 340 new jobs in Wallonia in 2020 – 18.8% of the total
  • New investments announced by Mastercard, Cargill, Google and Mohawk, among others

According to the most recent data from the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX), foreign companies invested €667 million and generated 1,801 new jobs in Wallonia in 2020, divided between 85 projects, despite the pandemic-induced economic decline.

China was the largest investor in terms of new projects (16 projects started), while the United Kingdom invested the highest amount (€218 million) and the US was the most important job creator (340 new jobs) in the region.

Examples of new US-driven investment in Wallonia announced last year include: Mastercard’s first European Cyber Resilience Center in Waterloo, Cargill’s new House of Chocolate in Mouscron, Google’s fifth data center in Saint-Ghislain and Mohawk’s €11 million investment in a new laminate flooring production line in Vielsalm.

In 2020, foreign companies mainly invested in Wallonia’s food industry (€194 million and 194 jobs), biotechnology (€162 million and 175 jobs), the chemical industry (€109 million and 10 jobs) as well as the logistics sector (€80 million and 918 jobs).

13 investment projects were put on hold due to the crisis. The region hopes these projects – worth an estimated €1.063 billion and 2,017 new jobs – will still be implemented this year or next.

Foreign investments are key drivers for the Walloon and Belgian economy, not only by spurring job creation, but also by bringing new expertise and know-how to strengthen the economic fabric. With these investments, US and other international companies demonstrate their commitment to Wallonia and Belgium.

In our updated Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium (PPB), AmCham Belgium sets out recommendations in five key areas (country governance; mobility & infrastructure; taxation; healthcare and the labor market) where we think further improvement will help Belgium, including Wallonia, attract even more foreign direct investment (FDI). There is one common denominator across all five areas: collaboration between the international business community and policymakers.

We strongly believe that international companies are part of the solution, and we fully support all efforts to improve Belgium’s attractiveness for foreign investment. Let’s work together to get even more companies to say #Yes2Belgium!