Its location at the heart of Europe, its superb transport infrastructure and unique workforce make Flanders the designated environment for all business purposes. The biggest asset of the Flemish economy is the people of Flanders. They not only rank among the world’s most highly educated and productive workforce, but they are also well-known for their linguistic skills. Because the people of Flanders live at a point where Europe’s three major cultural groups meet, many speak up to four languages, English included. Furthermore, Flanders’ workforce has one of the world’s highest rates of loyalty to an employer.
It’s not just its location at the heart of Europe that makes Flanders the perfect location for businesses; it’s also the quality transport infrastructure that allows for fast transportation of both goods and people. Although Flanders is rather compact, it has four world-class ports, the most concentrated waterway network in northern Europe, three airports for cargo and passengers, and an extensive rail network for national and European destinations. Last but not least, Flanders also has a high density of toll-free roads.
Furthermore, the Government of Flanders is committed to creating an optimal business climate for companies that settle here by offering a wide range of tax benefits and financial grants, ranging from tax exemptions to beneficial tax regimes for R&D and pension funds. Companies using their own capital to finance their activities can lower their effective corporate tax rate even further. In addition, a special ruling commission guides foreign investors through the fiscal aspects of their investment project in Flanders. The sum of these tax incentives leads to one of the lowest effective corporate tax rates in the European Union. And finally, Belgium — and Flanders as a region — has the second most open economy in the world, according to the 2014 KOF Index of Globalization.
Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) promotes international enterprise in Flanders in a sustainable way as a key factor in the social and economic development of our region. FIT does so by supporting the international activities of Flemish companies and by attracting foreign investors to Flanders.
FIT assists, supports and stimulates companies in international business, and offers tailored advice and guidance. Companies can call on its networks of contacts both in Flanders and abroad. FIT also gives financial support and information on a wide range of financial incentives.
The Southern African office of FIT is based in Johannesburg and covers South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. You can reach the FIT office through the following contact details:
T: +27 11 783 47 32
Flanders Investment and Trade
Fredman Towers (8th floor)
13 Fredman Drive
Flanders Investment & Trade
Private Bag X9