Foreign businesses create record number of jobs in Flanders


Overseas companies created a record number of new jobs in Flanders last year, with the United States and the Netherlands responsible for most of the job creation

5,000 new jobs

New figures released by the Flanders Investment & Trade agency, the Flemish government agency promoting export and foreign investment, reveal that overseas companies created 5,377 new jobs in Flanders last year – the highest number in 15 years.

Divided over 215 projects, the total investment in 2017 came to 2,08 billion euros. Companies in the US, together with those in neighbouring countries like the Netherlands, Germany and France, were responsible for most of new investment projects and related jobs.

Manufacturing, logistics as well as research and development represented the most popular business activities in 2017, while sales and marketing ventures also accounted for a large portion of the foreign investment projects.

Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois, whose portfolio also includes overseas trade, welcomed the new investments in research and development in a statement posted to his website. "This is really important," he said. "Research and development are a way of grounding" companies in Flanders, he said, particularly when foreign companies partner up with local research institutes.

The new figures represent a marked uptick from 2016, when foreign investments slumped following the March 22 terrorist attacks.
© Belga_handout

Flanders Investment & Trade

Flanders Investment & Trade (Fit) is the Flemish government agency for international enterprise. It represents the region to the world’s investors.
In and out - Fit assists Flemish companies in their business ventures abroad, and helps foreign companies set up shop in the region.
Export Lion - Each year, Fit awards an “Export Lion” to two Flemish companies with exceptional export achievements.
Merger - Fit was born from the merger of the former Flanders Foreign Investment Office and Export Vlaanderen.

offices around the world


percent of EU purchasing power lying within a 600km radius of Flanders

2 005

year created