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 professionals in the global mobility sector, we know all about managing culture shock, helping our assignees adapt to new environments, and spend a lot of time considering matters such as cost of living allowances and hardship locations. But what about those who move halfway across the globe with no help whatsoever? The people who leave their homes behind for entirely different reasons than a (temporary) foreign assignment? ReLocate spoke with freelance journalist and millennial Deborah Seymus, whose monthly column on living with a young refugee is published by Knack online and republished here with their permission. We look forward to bringing you her column over the coming issues as we explore a brand new view on life in Belgium.
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.
How do expats experience life outside of the office in their adopted home countries? Expat network InterNations surveyed their membership on 43 individual factors that influence an expat’s experience. The survey delves into issues ranging from reasons for moving abroad to how easy it is to make friends in your adoptive country. Ranked in 65 expatriate destinations around the world, respondents were also asked to rate factors on a scale of one to seven. With over 12,500 respondents representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories, the Expat Insider survey provides a unique insight into what life is like abroad. We wanted to know how Belgium fares on a global scale.
Home is where the heart is, the cliché tells us. But what is it that makes a residence a home? Each move presents us with the same challenge: turning this new place into a home. A place that is truly yours, somewhere you can really be yourself. We recognize our home immediately, but find it hard to express in words.
Article by Leen Creve (first published in ReLocate Winter 2014)
As a resident of Belgium you are legally required to exchange your national driving license for a Belgian one. The exchange process can however be more complex than we would like it to be. Much depends on the license you hold and which country you obtained it from. We bring you a practical overview of what’s what, and what you can do to help speed up your exchange process.
Much to the frustration of expats and relocation agents alike, there is a lot of discussion around the process of exchanging a foreign driving license for a Belgian one. How long should it take? What are the legal requirements? And what can the expat do whilst awaiting their new license? With conflicting reports and advice coming from the various municipalities or communes, our board has been actively trying to seek some clarity on what should be a straight-forward process. We looked at the different types of licenses and spoke with Eric Klitsch of Brussels Relocation and Koen Reekmans of Altair Global for an update on their efforts to ease the process.
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.