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Setting up manufacturing activities in Flanders

Can manufacturing activities in the heart of Western Europe be profitable? Over 5,700 high-tech companies in Flanders will tell you: yes, they can.

It’s all thanks to the region’s advantageous combination of a central location, productive workforce, logistics expertise and a tight ecosystem of suppliers and competence centers. Why not join this thriving industry in the heart of Europe?

The manufacturing industry in Flanders in facts and figures

15.9%
in Flanders’ total employment
80%
of Flanders’ total exports
8%
of worldwide turnover in additive manufacturing

Four reasons to set up manufacturing activities in Flanders

1. We have the best logistics location

Getting the right components and raw materials at the right time, and getting the product to the customer with maximum efficiency are crucial to your business. For decades now, Flanders has used its central location in Europe to its advantage – and so can you. 

2. Our people are multilingual, highly educated and among the world’s most productive

Successfully running your (advanced) manufacturing operations also requires highly productive and motivated employees. In Flanders, you’ll find a workforce that is smart, well-educated and multilingual, along with flexible labor conditions. 

3. We excel in innovation, thanks to a tightly-knit business ecosystem

Several years ago, Flanders made innovation a priority in order to drive its advanced manufacturing industries forward. Close collaboration between the R&D and engineering departments of manufacturing companies, academic institutions and the government has resulted in an ecosystem of industrial competence centers. 

4. We offer attractive financial support for your manufacturing operations

Operating in a cost-effective manner is crucial for any manufacturing plant. Businesses looking to set up their advanced manufacturing operations in Flanders can benefit from numerous tax advantages and cash grants. These include:

  • Strategic Transformation Support (STS) – Up to EUR 1.25 million for enterprises that make sizeable commercial investments and training efforts in Flanders to support strategic transformation projects;
  • Ecology Premium Plus (EP-Plus) – Grants of 5 to 25% of the value of ecological investments in Flanders, with a maximum of EUR 1 million;
  • Temporary economic unemployment – Employers who cannot employ their workmen on a normal basis for economic reasons do not have to pay wages for the unemployment days. The Belgian Federal Employment Agency gives employees a payment for those days of inactivity;
  • Fiscal advantages for night or shift work – Employers are excused from paying part of the advance tax payment that he or she has deducted from the employees’ wages. This exemption amounts to 22.8% of the total taxable wages, including the bonuses for working in shifts or night work.

Companies with or deciding to set up their activities or headquarters in Flanders can reap the rewards of:

Interested in doing business in Flanders?

Let us help you!

  • We can introduce you to other companies, banks and regulators
  • We organize site visits to real estate locations
  • We assist with all legal aspects of setting up a business
  • We're an official government agency
  • Our services are completely free
  • We are a team of international experts

Receive our handbook to growing your business in Flanders

  • It's completely free.
  • Get an overview of all incentives relevant to your company.
  • Tax system explained in-depth.
  • Learn how to set up your business quickly.
  • Discover the benefits of Flanders (in addition to the chocolate).