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The chemical industry in Flanders

Feel the chemistry of Flanders’ thriving chemical industry in the heart of Europe, and discover the benefits for your business.

Home to Europe’s largest petrochemical cluster. Number one in the world when it comes to sales of chemicals and plastics per capita. The main location of 10 out of the world’s top 20 chemical companies… There are many ways to describe how Flanders and the chemical industry are a definite match, and they all involve well-deserved superlatives. But you shouldn’t just take our word for it: feel the chemistry for yourself and discover how your business can benefit from it.

The industry at a glance

  • 10% of all employment in Flanders
  • ±50%of all R&D expenditure in Flanders
  • 30%of all industrial investments in Belgium
  • 32.1%of Flanders’ exports

The industry at a glance

of all employment in Flanders
of all R&D expenditure in Flanders
of all industrial investments in Belgium
of Flanders’ exports

Flanders’ chemical ecosystem at your service

Flanders’ chemical business and knowledge ecosystem generates numerous opportunities for your chemical business. Some major local players and go-to organizations in the field include Catalisti, BlueChem, Blue Gate Antwerp and essenscia Flanders.

Central location in European mega-cluster

Flanders is located at the heart of the Antwerp-Rotterdam-Rhine-Ruhr Area (ARRRA) – Europe’s strongest industrial mega-cluster. Through a dense network of roads, railways, inland waterways and pipelines, the region connects your chemical business to the major European industrial centers, with 80% of Europe’s purchasing power located within a radius of 800 km.

Smart financing for your chemical enterprise

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

Specific incentives

Flanders offers several incentives that are particularly relevant to research-intensive sectors like the chemical industry. Examples include:

  • Investment deduction for R&D – 13.5% of acquisition value/qualifying asset or 20.5% of the depreciated amount;
  • Exemption of payment of 80% – of the personal income withholding tax of researchers in certain scientific fields.

All the talent at hand

Flanders offers specific education and training programs to foster promising talent in the chemical sector. One of the most prominent examples is the Training Lab Kunststoffen in Genk, where around 1,000 students and professionals per year learn how to work with the latest plastics production technologies.

Did you know…

  • … Flanders represents 70% of the chemical industry in Belgium?
  • … Belgium is the #1 chemical country in the world when it comes to sales of chemicals and plastics per capita?
  • … Belgium is one of the 8 countries that together account for 90% of the production of chemicals in Europe?
  • … 80% of Flanders’ chemical production is destined for export?
  • … Flanders’ chemical sector represents more than half of all the R&D expenditures in the region’s private sector?

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).

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