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Government support for businesses strongest in Belgium

Of all EU member states, Belgium – which has Flanders as its northern region – gives the highest net subsidies to support the business world in terms of innovation, employment and more. That’s according to a study by economist Eric Dor of France’s IESEG School of Management.

Generous project subsidies

In Belgium, a total of EUR 15.74 billion in project subsidies was granted in 2021 (not counting the financial industry). “These subsidies include targeted reductions in social contributions and reduced withholding tax for researchers, among various other incentives,” explains IESEG researcher Eric Dor.

The total amount corresponds to 7.35% of the companies’ net value added, the second highest rate in the EU after Austria.

The government support is very generous and aims to offset labor costs, attract new companies and support the creation of jobs.

Eric Dor
IESEG researcher

Highest net government contribution

Meanwhile, the sum of the whole – subsidies minus taxes – expresses the net government contribution to businesses. According to Eric Dor’s study, this figure clocks in at EUR 14.9 billion for Belgium and Flanders as a region, representing 6.96% of the net value added. As such, net government contribution to businesses is higher in Belgium than in every other EU member state.

More info

Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO)
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
24 February 2023

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