In this year’s update to our Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium (PPB) publication, which was released this morning, AmCham Belgium conveys the importance of collaboration between the international business community and local policymakers to put Belgium on the road to recovery and long-term economic growth. Our memorandum presents new policy recommendations for the Belgian federal and regional governments, based on the input of industry experts from our member companies.
Just as in other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on Belgium with devastating economic consequences leading to increasing uncertainty for both companies and individuals. Although most recommendations proposed in our 2019 PPB remain relevant, we believe that the current situation also has to be taken into account. If the crisis is addressed correctly, it can even lead to new opportunities for Belgium.
Before the 2019 elections, we set the challenge and ambition for Belgium to achieve a top 10 ranking in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index within the next 10 years. The country fell one position in the most recent ranking – and that was before the pandemic hit. To turn crisis into opportunity, the business and economic fundamentals which inform the WEF’s Competitiveness Index need to be addressed urgently in Belgium.
Despite all current challenges, Belgium can excel by joining forces with international companies operating in the country. Through close collaboration, we will tackle this crisis and prepare for a better, affordable and even more prosperous Belgium.
- Marcel Claes, Chief Executive of AmCham Belgium.
Businesses thrive in stable, predictable environments. As the voice of the international business community, AmCham Belgium calls on the incoming Federal Government to work together effectively to provide the certainty companies need to make investment and employment decisions. More specifically, AmCham Belgium’s recommendations focus on five key areas: taxation, labor market, healthcare, country governance and infrastructure. Among others, the Chamber calls on the next Federal Government to:
- Simplify the governance structure of the country;
- Make the tax environment more predictable and competitive;
- Invest in transport, energy and digital networks;
- Develop effective patient-centered and integrated healthcare policies;
- Increase the flexibility of the labor market.
These are determining factors for companies when making investment decisions, and they are therefore crucial to improve Belgium’s competitiveness.
At AmCham Belgium, we strongly believe that international companies should be part of the solution if we want Belgium to quickly recover from this crisis and achieve sustainable economic growth. We stand ready to work with all levels of government, whatever their political affiliations, to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between the international business community and policymakers, on the basis of our Priorities for a Prosperous Belgium, in pursuit of our common goal of a better and more prosperous future.