Press release

Good intentions of government must be translated into results

Brussels, May 19, 2015 – Despite the positive steps taken by the Federal Government to date, the high cost of labor remains the primary concern of the international business community in Belgium, according to new research carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (AmCham Belgium).

“The Government has sent an important signal to investors that their concerns have been heard, but has been slower out of the starting gate than would be preferable with reforms that will have a meaningful impact in the short term,” said Marcel Claes, Chief Executive of AmCham Belgium. “Good intentions alone are not enough.”

AmCham Belgium identified six priorities of the international business community in the lead up to the May 2014 elections: labor costs, corporate taxation, R&D and innovation, energy, mobility and talent. A follow-up survey of our member companies this spring – one year after the elections and six months after the government formation – reveals that while labor costs remain the first priority, mobility, energy and talent are gaining in relative importance.

“The Government has to act on two fronts at once,” added Claes. “This means doing more, faster to reduce labor costs, while also taking measures to address long-term competitiveness with regard to issues such as mobility and energy.” A small, export-driven economy, such as that of Belgium, has to do more to be able to compete effectively in the global marketplace.

AmCham Belgium is prepared to work in partnership with the Federal and Regional Governments to help them deliver on their agenda of jobs, growth and competitiveness, and help make their intentions a reality.

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About AmCham Belgium

The American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (AmCham Belgium) is a dynamic non-profit organization dedicated to improving business and investment opportunities for the US-Belgian business community. With approximately 900 US groups in Belgium, AmCham Belgium plays a pivotal role in an evolving business environment by focusing on three key areas: advocacy, knowledge-sharing and networking. To learn more about AmCham Belgium, visit www.amcham.be