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Trip to Belgium Part II

Doing business in Belgium

doing business in belgiumBelgium has traditionally been a thriving marketplace mainly because of its strategic location in the centre of Europe and the ability of its people, businesses and companies to adapt to the needs of the international community.

The capital city Brussels is easily accessible by air from different parts of Europe and the world. Most of the flights into Brussels arrive from London, Frankfurt, and Munich. The city is also a sub-regional hub for Jet Airways. You can get here by high-speed trains too from Paris, London, and Amsterdam, or through the intercity train network running across Europe; you could even travel by ferry.

Belgium: Global Trade

Being one of the most globalized countries in the world, English is widely spoken here. Belgium has a very small domestic market and its exports account for over 80% of its GDP. Belgium hosts the headquarters of the EU and NATO as well as those of numerous multinational companies and leading global players. International businesses have access to a highly skilled Belgian workforce.

Belgium is also your gateway to Europe, connecting you to over 500 million wealthy European consumers. Real estate in Belgium is cheaper and therefore you’ll find the cost of living too is more affordable as compared to other parts of Europe like London or Paris.

Indo-Belgian business relations

Belgium is one of India’s key trading partners in the EU. Trade in gems and jewelry account for around 70% of bilateral trade. India’s Information Technology sector is also well represented in Belgium, with all the big IT companies having their establishments there. Many Indian chemical sector companies have established offices and warehousing facilities in Belgium, particularly close to the port city of Antwerp. Belgian business interests in India cover chemicals, dredging, engineering goods, electronics and software, banking and finance, fertilisers, and biotechnology.

According to official sources, up to the year 2006, the total number of Indians in Belgium was around 16,132, nearly 10,000 of whom had obtained Belgian citizenship. Belgium offers excellent educational facilities to international students and currently around 500-1000 Indian students are pursuing studies in educational institutions in Belgium.

Antwerp diamonds

About 80% of diamonds mined from across the globe are sent to Antwerp, the world’s diamond capital. Antwerp diamonds are reputed for their quality and craftsmanship. Around 2,500 NRIs/PIOs are based in Antwerp, mainly from Gujarat and they are involved in the Antwerp diamond trade. Actually, the orthodox European Jews had established the world’s most famous diamond district in Antwerp. But now they are being replaced by Indian businessmen.

Hotels in Belgium

Belgium has competitive pricing. Real estate, restaurants, hotels… everything is more affordable as compared to major cities in Europe. The hotels in Belgium include international chain hotels as well as other luxury and budget hotels. The Royal Windsor Grand Hotel, Le Meridian Brussels and Conrad Brussels are some of the high end hotels here, while Be Manos and Les Nuits, and Firean are some of the boutique hotels.

Business Meetings in Belgium

Brussels and other cities in Belgium have first-rate facilities for business meetings and conferences. Brussels alone is the site for thousands of international meetings each year. Corporate houses can be sure of having access to a network of professionals experienced in organizing events and conferences to see that their business meetings go off well without any hitch. Add-ons to your business event could include anything from beer tasting at a Belgian brewery to a diamond cocktail party.

Belgium offers hi-tech infrastructure for arranging conferences for up to 500 participants, facilities for translations, trendy restaurants for dinner parties, and everything you need for making your business event and your business trip a success.

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