Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each has its own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that is it that makes a city competitive?
As a result of the 6th state reform in 2014, the legislative competence as regards the employment of foreigners has been transferred to the regional level. The regions have been empowered to develop their own policies on the employment of foreign workers in function of the specific needs of their labour market. Flanders is first amongst the three regions to introduce new policies in this area. Brussels might follow the example in the next legislature while the Walloon region seems not to prioritize this policy area. Fragomen met with the cabinet of Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports, this October and reports back on this topic.
Contemplating a move to Belgium is quite a task in itself, however once you have made the decision to relocate, there is then the rather complex exercise of figuring out immigration regulations, spousal rights and customary red tape. Who better to enlighten us on the ins and outs of the Belgian immigration system than the experts themselves, Fragomen. We’ve asked them the burning questions you want to know the answer to – whatever stage of the immigration process you are approaching, they’ve got it covered.
With so many different days celebrated across Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels, you’d be forgiven for wondering which are actually official bank holidays. With 2017 gradually coming to an end, Pro-Pay provides you with a handy overview of the Belgian public holidays for the year 2018 and a reminder of the rules applicable to replacement days.
Evolution is key to just about everything, and it’s not limited to the natural world either. In business we need to evolve to stay ahead of the market, to develop new trends and to keep the lifeblood of a business flowing. Most importantly, we need to know how to evolve our business practices to retain our most precious present employees, and to attract future employees, filled with fresh energy and new perspectives.
First coined as a term in the seventies, over the years burnout has not just become widely recognised, but has rooted itself firmly into our society. To give you an idea of the pandemic proportions it has taken on, the Japanese and Chinese even have terms for ‘death-by-burnout’, caused by the alarming rate of suicides due to stress. It’s easy to blame the employer, but often times contributing factors are not necessarily within the company’s control. Tackling burnout instead means maintaining a careful balance between the professional and personal.
Let’s make an equation containing three elements: city + international companies + (international) talent. The desired outcome: an attractive environment, wealth, social cohesion. Or, in other words, an attractive brand. You, dear reader, will surely be aware that a happy worker is a happy company is a happy city is a happy resident is a happy worker…. ReLocate has recently focused on a number of things that can contribute to a companies’ wellbeing – and their employees – today we’d like to focus on what cities can do. A survey among 1.264 international workers tells us: a lot.
Just as the US has Silicon Valley, Flanders has Biotech Valley. Or rather ís, because the activities of the Life Sciences and pharmaceutical industry are so dense you need a magnifier to discover every spin-off and start-up. Flanders is Big in Life Sciences, of global stature as a matter of fact, and that, as you might imagine, generates an inflow of knowledge workers, also known as expats.
Fashion designer Dries Van Noten and multi disciplinary artist Koen Vanmechelen, to name just two, are both ambassadors of the Flemish creative industry that will likely ring a bell for most people. Successful examples, not only because of the quality of their work, but thanks to their business-spirit too. The Flemish government cherishes and stimulates this kind of creative entrepreneur and in order to offer them a platform created Flanders DC in 2004. Flanders DC could be considered the ultimate stomping ground for a healthy cross-fertilisation of business, technology and (artistic) creativity. So what’s in it for Belgium? Fertile soil for international companies and a future proof job market.