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47 foreign companies invest in Flanders due to Brexit uncertainty

An additional 150 Brexit-related investments are currently in the pipeline

Following the election victory of British PM Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, nothing stands in the way of Brexit on 31 January 2020. But in spite of the deadline now being fixed, businesses still face uncertainty when it comes to doing business in and with the UK after Brexit.

Since the UK formally requested to leave the EU in 2016, a total of 47 companies have already decided to set up business entities in Flanders – Belgium’s northern region – to safeguard their European activities after Brexit. Even more, an additional 150 businesses have currently expressed their interest in investing in Flanders due to Brexit uncertainty.

Approximately 60% of these pending investment projects come from British companies. The other 40% originate in a variety of countries – mainly the US, India, Canada and Japan. “For one fifth of these companies, we have already organised site visits in Flanders”, says Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment & Trade. “Just like the number of interested companies, the number of site visits has only increased in the last few weeks since the early elections in the UK.”

Secure gateway

“While we regret the UK’s departure from the EU, Flanders offers a number of clear advantages to companies that seek to mitigate the negative impact of Brexit”, Claire Tillekaerts adds. “Our region, its seaports and dense logistics network are located in the midst of Europe’s major commercial and industrial centres, connecting companies to 60% of the EU’s purchasing power in a matter of hours.

“Meanwhile, Brussels – the capital of both Flanders and Belgium – is Europe’s lobbying capital”, Claire Tillekaerts continues. “Add to that Flanders’ R&D-friendly tax system and available benefits for expatriates, and it quickly becomes clear why our region appeals to companies seeking a secure gateway to the European market and innovation ecosystem.”

22 January 2020