THE GREATER BRUSSELS AREA: THE SMARTEST GATEWAY TO EUROPE
THE CAPITAL OF EUROPE
Belgium is a country of natural-born diplomats. For ages, Belgium has been considered neutral terrain. Belgium’s status as a neutral player has seen the greater Brussels area become the seat of almost all of Europe’s institutions: from the European Parliament to the European Commission, from NATO to the permanent seat of the President of the European Council. Belgium is considered to be a country built on compromises, a country of enablers and of honest brokers. Belgium is open minded, pragmatic and collaborative.
A second big advantage of the greater Brussels area is the presence of its critical infrastructure. Institutional infrastructure such as NATO, the European Commission and the European Parliament are crucial in today’s testing economic, political and geo-strategic times. Being close to where the laws are drawn up opens up several advantages. Furthermore, Brussels also hosts critical physical infrastructure in the financial sphere: be it Bank of New York Mellon for custody, Euroclear for clearing and settlement or SWIFT for financial messaging services.
cENTRAL LOCATION - HIGHLY CONNECTED
The greater Brussels area is centrally located within Europe. Amsterdam, London and Paris are less than 2 hours by plane, train or car. Eurostar and Thalys have their central hubs in Brussels. Not being Frankfurt and not being Paris - hence being neutral terrain - gives Brussels an extra advantage as a central gateway to the European Union and the Eurozone.
Open economy in the heart of Europe
Gateway to 500 million European consumers - 75%+ of the EU GDP
Located in the heart of one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in the world, Belgium has always played the role of a test market for foreign companies. In fact, a staggering 80% of Europe’s purchasing power lies within a radius of 500 miles (± 800 km) from Brussels. The blue banana: Belgium is situated at the center of the "blue banana," a corridor of urbanization often considered to be the economic backbone of Western Europe, with its 111+ million customers.
According to the latest WTO data, Belgium is the 10th largest exporting country in the world. The region builds on a very strong reputation of being an honest broker in its relationships with counterparts and is famously renowned for the quality of its diplomacy. Furthermore, Belgium is a world-class open economy, whose multi-cultural roots inherently welcome collaboration rather than confrontation.
The place to be and to grow
Belgium is multilingual and multicultural – with more than 38% of its inhabitants speaking English as a first, second or third language – further facilitating the integration of foreign nationals. Furthermore, we can find the ideal work/life balance of attractive features.
- 140 000 EU foreigners live in Brussels
- Cost of living is lower than in most of the other EU capitals
- Wide range of international schools
- High quality of the healthcare system
- No permissions needed to set up a company
- 100% foreign ownership is possible
- No limitations on repatriation of capital and benefits
- Approximate incorporation fee (for a SA/NV): 1 500 €