This week, Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt, crossed the channel to actively promote Brussels as a destination for financial services companies considering opening an EU-operation in the wake of Brexit.
Several sessions were organized at the Belgian Embassy, as well as bilateral meetings, for different segments of the financial industry, e.g. for law firms and advisory firms, for venture capital and investment firms, for the insurance sector and for the payments sector. B-Hive was happy to assist in co-organizing and preparing some of these sessions.
The goal was twofold: promoting Brussels and Belgium as a possible landing spot for companies setting up a new office or hub in Europe in the context of Brexit, and at the same time explaining the substantial changes in the corporate tax legislation and regulatory environment that have been launched by the current government, which further increase the appeal of Brussels as a financial hub.
For the more detailed, technical presentations, experts from KPMG (fiscal), Clifford Chance (legal & regulatory framework) and the National Bank of Belgium (how to obtain a license) gave a interesting presentation.
During the session focused on payment service providers, our COO, Niek De Taeye, gave a presentation on the payments landscape in Belgium, highlighting both the presence of strong incumbents, and the vibrant ecosystem of fintech’s.
We had live testimonials from companies who have already decided to set up shop in Brussels, e.g. Lloyds of London and MoneyGram – that recently moved their EU presence to Belgium (read more here ). Ebury explained how Belgium came out as a clear winner, after comparison with Ireland, Spain and The Netherlands, as a go-to location in the context of Brexit largely thanks to the pragmatic approach of the regulator and other institutions.
The feedback of attendants was very positive, specifically on the deep knowledge of the experts and the personal commitment of the Minister of Finance, Johan Van Overtveldt to spread the message that Belgium is open for business.
“The testimonials of companies that have gone through the decision process of comparing several EU jurisdictions and in the end concluding that Belgium is het best location for them, obviously is the strongest selling argument one can have. It will help convince many other companies to follow in their footsteps.” Thomas Depuydt
In addition to this, B-Hive is proud to jointly participate with Flanders Investment and Trade at their stand during IFGS 2018 in London. We have five free tickets available for members to join us for those interested in expanding to the UK. Get in touch if you are interested.
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