Press release

US companies in Belgium are ready for the rebound

Brussels, July 1, 2015 – The US Top 50, the largest US companies in Belgium as measured by employment, directly employed 85,702 people in 2013, the latest year for which official data are available, according to new research carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium (AmCham Belgium).

“Despite the challenging business environment, US investment continues to flow into Belgium,” said Marcel Claes, Chief Executive of AmCham Belgium, “and we are confident that there are ample growth opportunities here, especially as competitiveness improves.”

Employment among the US Top 50 companies declined by 4.8% compared to the previous year, the largest annual drop since the Chamber started to collect this information. We continue to witness the gradual erosion of jobs. But for the period covered by this data, we also observe a number of corporate spin-offs, which has the effect of reducing overall employment among the US Top 50 companies without resulting in actual job losses – in other words, there are more but smaller entities which don’t make the listing. Total US employment in Belgium remains above 130,000.

Belgium’s longstanding competitive handicaps and, in particular, the high cost of labor, are still a factor. US companies in Belgium are cautiously optimistic about the plans of the new Belgian Government. The reduction of labor costs, a government priority, will help to preserve jobs and create the conditions for economic growth and job creation. This is an important step of the wider re-orientation of the Belgian economy toward the future.

“With their leading position in research & development and innovation, US companies in Belgium are well-placed to meet the opportunities presented by the digital transformation of industry and other future trends,” continued Claes.

In addition to creating 85,702 jobs in Belgium, the US Top 50 companies contributed more than €1.6 billion to the Belgian State in taxes and social security in 2013.

US Top 50 Companies in Belgium

Rank

3 Year Rank

US Company (Belgian affiliates)

Employees (2013)

Industry

1

1

ManpowerGroup1

13,386

Human resources

2

3

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica)

4,990

Healthcare products, pharmalogical research

3

2

Caterpillar1

4,768

Machinery manufacturing

4

4

Ford1

4,542

Automotive

5

6

McDonald’s2

3,122

Quick-service restaurants

6

8

Coca-Cola

2,651

Non-alcoholic beverages

7

7

Mondelēz International1

2,562

Food manufacturing

8

9

Hewlett-Packard1

2,435

IT equipment and services

9

11

Robert Half1

2,327

Human resources

10

11

ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical

2,325

Petroleum and petrochemicals

11

13

Baxter3

2,217

Pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing

12

8

Procter & Gamble

2,205

Consumer goods

13

15

Temco2 (Euroclean)

2,138

Facility services

14

14

Paccar (DAF Trucks)

2,132

Automotive

15

18

Mohawk (Unilin)

1,934

Flooring manufacturer

16

9

Pfizer

1,921

Pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing

17

15

Nike1

1,822

Sportswear and equipment supplier

18

18

IBM2

1,783

IT equipment, software and services

19

20

TE Connectivity1

1,349

Electronics

20

21

Johnson Controls1

1,230

Automotive, building systems

21

22

Tenneco1, 3

1,181

Automotive

22

22

Merck & Co (MSD)

1,154

Pharmaceuticals

23

24

UPS1

1,121

Parcel and express delivery, logistics services

24

28

Pepsico1

1,036

Beverages

25

28

Cargill2

1,025

Agriculture, food products

26

25

Accenture

1,000

Consulting, technology, outsourcing

27

28

Aleris1

952

Aluminum manufacturing

28

29

Estée Lauder1

927

Cosmetics, perfumes

29

24

DuPont Belgium

914

Agriculture, chemicals, applied biosciences

30

34

FedEx1

856

Parcel and express delivery, logistics services

31

32

General Electric1

793

Electric and electronic equipment, diversified

32

32

Carlson (Radisson, Carlson Wagonlit Travel)

782

Business travel management, hotels

33

29

CEVA1

781

Logistics services

34

41

Berkshire Hathaway1 (Chemtool, Heinz, Lubrizol, Roxell...)

778

Conglomerate holding

35

35

Monsanto1

777

Chemicals

36

--

Kellogg’s2 (Pringles)

769

Food manufacturing

37

36

VF Europe1

763

Clothing

38

38

The Bank of New York Mellon1

731

Investment management and services

39

39

Starwood1 (Sheraton, Aloft)

712

Hotels

40

43

ON Semiconductor1

710

Semiconductors

41

40

Cisco Systems1

683

IT equipment

42

41

Bemis-Mactac1

673

Packaging and press-sensitive materials

43

44

Honeywell1

649

Engineering services, diversified

44

46

3M

647

Chemicals, diversified

45

46

UTC1, 3 (Carrier, Otis, Pratt & Whitney...)

638

Diversified

46

44

Dow Corning

628

Chemicals, silicon-derived polymers

47

43

Aramark

618

Catering

48

--

CSC1

579

Consulting, technology, outsourcing

49

--

Federal-Mogul1

561

Automotive

50

50

Axalta1

555

Coating systems

Reference source is the National Bank of Belgium and confirmed by the company, except where noted.
1 Unconfirmed by company or partial confirmation
2 Information provided by company
3 Incomplete data

 

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