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Media canberra invest in belgium (australia long)

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  • 1. Invest in Belgium 2008
  • 2. 10 reasons to invest in Belgium
    • 1. Economic location: at the center of a large and prosperous EU customer base
    • 2. Access to European centers of decision making
    • 3. A tradition of trade: more than 85% of Belgian GDP exported
    • 4. One of the most popular destinations for foreign investment
    • 5. Access to high quality labor force
    • 6. A center of knowledge
    • 7. Modern & efficient business infrastructure
    • 8. Low real estate costs
    • 9. High quality of life
    • 10. Attractive tax regime
  • 3. Economic Location
    • Belgium lies at the very heart of an area where 60% of Europe’s purchasing power and 30% of EU consumers are concentrated.
    • Belgium sits at the heart of the largest concentration of wealth in the world.
    • Within a radius of 480 km 140 million consumers can be reached.
  • 4. Spain France Italy Germany Denmark United Kingdom Ireland The Netherlands Brussels London Belgium Switzerland Dublin Barcelona Rome Paris Frankfurt Milan Bern Luxembourg Amsterdam The economic power base of Europe
  • 5. Economic Location
    • Distances from Brussels:
    • London 319 km
    • Paris 265 km
    • Amsterdam 170 km
    • Luxembourg 186 km
    • Frankfurt 312 km
    • Travel time by High Speed Train (HST) from Brussels
    • London 1h51
    • Paris 1h22
    • Amsterdam 2h40
    • Cologne 2h30
    • Geneva 5h15
    • Brussels Airport :
    • -73 airlines carry passengers to 131 destinations
    • -40 cargo airlines fly to 81 destinations
  • 6. Easy Access to Decision Makers
  • 7. Easy Access to Decision Makers
    • Home to EU, NATO, and 1400 governmental & non-governmental international organizations
    • Brussels is:
    • - first for number of diplomats (3800)
    • - first for number of foreign journalists. The city hosts about 2400 lobbyists
    • -the second international conference center in the world (number of meetings per year)
  • 8. A Tradition of Foreign Trade
    • Bruges, almost 2000 years of trade
    Brussels, Town Hall (1712, with sections Antwerp, financial and trade centre since the 14 th century dating back to 1402) Ghent, trade centre since the 11 th century
  • 9. A Tradition of Foreign Trade
    • Australia is Belgium’s 31th export destination and 29th import source.
    • Belgium is the 25 th export destination and the 23rd import source for Australia.
    • Belgian exports to Australia were worth €1,241m in 2007; Australia exported €1,299m to Belgium in 2006.
    • Bilateral trade was worth about € 2,540m.
  • 10. A Tradition of Foreign Trade
    • Belgian exports in 2006 amounted to € 294 billion in value, more than 85 % of Belgian GDP.
    • According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Belgium was the 10th exporter of goods worldwide in 2006, and the 15th exporter of services.
    • 80% of exports go to the EU, about 2/3 of which goes to the neighboring countries UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
    • Because of the European orientation of its economy, the Belgian business cycle serves as a leading indicator to extrapolate developments in the European economy .
  • 11. A Tradition of Foreign Trade
    • Main Belgian Export Products, 2006 (%)
    • 1. Chemical & Pharmaceutical 22.7
    • 2. Transport Equipment 12.2
    • 3. Machinery & Appliances 11.9
    • 4. Metals 10.1
    • 5. Plastics & Rubber 8.5
    • 6. Mineral products 8.5
    • 7. Precious Stones & Precious Metals 4.9
    • 8. Textile & Textile articles 4.1
    • 9. Foodstuffs & Beverages 4.0
    • 10. Vegetable Products 2.1
    • Source: Agency for Foreign Trade, Belgium
  • 12. A Tradition of Foreign Trade Belgium’s top trading partners 1.5 10. Sweden 0.39 31. Australia 1.6 9. India 1.9 8. Luxembourg 3.7 7. Spain 5.2 6. Italy 6.1 5. U.S.A. 8.0 4. UK 12.0 3. The Netherlands 17.0 2. France 19.9 1. Germany % of total exports Belgian Export Destinations (2006) 2.1 10. Sweden 0.43 29. Australia 2.4 9. Japan 3.4 8. Italy 3.6 7. China 5.3 6. U.S.A. 5.8 5. Ireland 6.6 4. UK 11.3 3. France 17.5 2. Germany 18.4 1. The Netherlands % of total imports Belgian Suppliers (2006)
  • 13. A Tradition of Foreign Trade
    • Belgium and Australia have a diversified trade relationship
    Agency for Foreign Trade-data 2007 3.95 Metals 6.04 Plastics 12.64 Machinery 19.53 Transport equipment 36.52 Chemical and pharmaceutical products Export to Australia (%) Product 2.21 Machinery 2.48 Pearls 4.71 Products of the food industry 28.54 Metals 56.35 Mineral products Imports from Australia (%) Product
  • 14. A Major Recipient of Foreign Investment
    • Global FDI capital inflows in 2006
    • $ US billion
    • 1 . U.S. 175
    • 2. U.K. 139
    • 3. France 81
    • 4. Belgium 72
    • 5. China 69
    • 6. Canada 69
    • 7. Hong Kong 43
    • 8. Germany 43
    • 9. Italy 39
    • 1 0. Luxembourg 29
    • Source: UN World Investment Report 2007
    Belgium is among the top 10 destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide
  • 15. A Major Recipient of Foreign Investment
    • Australian direct investment in Belgium
    • Investment by Australian companies in the Belgian economy in 2006: over A$ 2.6bn
    • In 2006, Australian companies accounted for about 3 % of all foreign investment projects in Belgium.
    • In 2006, the cumulative value of Australian direct investment in Belgium was A$ 24.5bn. This makes Belgium historically the 9th destination for Australian investment in Europe.
    • Source: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/
  • 16. A Major Recipient of Foreign Investment
    • Belgian investments in Australia
    • Belgian companies invested over A$ 185m in Australia in 2006
    • The total value of Belgian investment in Australia is estimated to be $ 1.8bn. This makes Australia historically the 8th destination for Australian investment in Europe.
    • To date, EU countries represent 32.33 % of all foreign direct investment in Australia.
    • Source: http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/
  • 17. High Quality Labor Force
    • Belgium’s workforce is highly productive, educated and multilingual
    • Productivity :
    • - The World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks Belgium’s workforce 6th in the world for productivity/hour.
    • - The Conference Board’s 2006 report ranks Belgium’s workforce 3 rd for productivity/hour.
    • Language skills and education:
    • Belgium’s Ranking
    • Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2006-2007, World Economic Forum
    • World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2005
    9th Quality of scientific research institutions 8th Quality of education 9th Language skills of workforce 7th Quality of management schools 3rd Quality of math and science education
  • 18. A Center of Knowledge
    • Belgium offers 16 university centers and an extensive community of world-renowned scientific institutes such as IMEC, the Institute for Tropical Medicine, or the Institute for Cellular Pathology (ICP) at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
    • R&D activities employ about 80,000 people, including some 50,000 researchers. 60% of R&D personnel works in the private sector, 33% in education, 7% in the public sector.
    • Belgium was voted ‘Best country in the world for academic research’. (The Scientist, November 2007)
    • Close to the leading university centers, innovation and incubation centers and science parks provide new innovative businesses, shared facilities, equipment and services.
    • The World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks Belgium consistently among the top 10 countries worldwide for the productivity and the skills of its labor force, its scientific infrastructure, its educational system and the quality of education at university level.
    • Belgium is the best performing country in the OECD in terms of innovation and biotech industry development, based on biopharmaceutical patent applications, drugs under development, venture capital invested, and the number of biotech companies per capita. (OECD, Innovation in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2006)
    • Proximity of Brussels allows direct monitoring of EU biotech regulations, direct access to information on obtaining EU R&D grants.
  • 19. A Center of Knowledge
    • Case study: Pharmaceuticals
    • Belgium employs more than 26,000 in the pharmaceutical sector, in over 150 pharmaceutical companies
    • Belgium is ranked 2nd for pharmaceutical exports per capita in Europe ( European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations )
    • More than 5,000 researchers work in clinical testing, 80% financed by the pharma industry.
    • Belgium has the largest number of clinical trials per capita in Europe, evidence of the close interaction between research labs and medical schools
    • The OECD Study ‘ Innovation in Biopharmaceutical Technology’ (March 2006) ranks Belgium nr.1 in terms of innovation and industry development. Factors included: patent applications, drugs under development, venture capital, number of companies.
    • Belgium produces more than 5% of all new medicines worldwide: New recent examples include:
      • new drugs against epilepsy, bipolar disorder, allergies, obesity, reproductive medicine, tuberculosis
      • vaccine against malaria
      • new chemotherapy against blood cancer
      • preventive molecule against AIDS
  • 20. Business Infrastructure
    • 1 . Belgium scores among the top 10 worldwide for
    • World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2005/ Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2006-2007
    5 Quality of port infrastructure 9 Low electricity costs for industrial clients 8 Broadband subscribers per 1000 5 Rail density 2 Low broadband costs ($ US per 100 kbit/second per month 1 Road density Ranking
  • 21. Business Infrastructure
    • 2. Rail transport
    • With 3,536 km of track, Belgium’s rail infrastructure is among the highest-density networks in the world.
    • The Belgian railway freight system B-Cargo offers daily transport to Europe’s major economic zones, with no border stops and speeds op to 60 mph.
  • 22. Business Infrastructure
    • 3. Water transportation
    • 4 major seaports (Antwerp, Ghent, Zeebrugge, Ostend), and 2 major riverports (Liège and Brussels), provide the biggest port concentration in Europe
    • Antwerp is the 5th port in the world (2nd in Europe), and the 2nd chemical cluster in the world.
    • The port of Antwerp participates in the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI).
    • More than 1500 km of inland waterways and canals provide the world’s densest inland waterway network, connecting to all major Belgian cities, France, the Netherlands, the Rhine-Main-Danube network and Central and Eastern Europe; Liège is the 2nd riverport in Europe.
  • 23. Business Infrastructure
    • 4. Air transportation
    • Brussels has the 5th cargo airport in Europe (Brucargo), only ten miles from the city
    • Europe’s largest highway interchange is only 2 minutes from Brussels Airport
    • Every 15 minute a passenger rail service provides services to the city center and the HST High Speed Train Network.
    • Brussels was named Best Airport in Europe by Airport Council International (ACI) for 2005
    • Liège, Charleroi, Ostend, and Antwerp offer regional airports
  • 24. Low Real Estate Costs
    • Belgium offers one of the lowest real estate costs in Europe
    • In the world ranking of most expensive office locations, Brussels occupies only the 35th spot. London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, and Luxembourg are all in the top 10 (2006 Global Office Occupancy Costs Survey, DTZ).
    • Brussels occupied the 71th spot for cost of living in the 2006 ranking of 144 cities by Mercer Human Resources Consulting. London (5), Geneva (7), MIlan (13), Paris (15), Amsterdam (41), and Luxembourg (56), and Frankfurt (61) were all more expensive.
    • Source: Jones Lang Lasalle, 2005
    1775 Copenhagen 888 London 700 Paris 511 Dublin 500 Milan 400 Luxembourg 384 Frankfurt 320 Amsterdam 301 Manchester 291 Barcelona 290 Brussels 240 Warsaw 228 Prague 222 Budapest Office rent costs (€/sq.m./year) 121 Dublin 78 Luxembourg 47 Antwerp 500 Copenhagen 130 London 102 Barcelona 85 Amsterdam 70 Budapest 70 Frankfurt 66 Warsaw 61 Prague 60 Brussels 57 Milan 55 Paris Warehousing rent costs (€/sq.m./year)
  • 25. Quality of Life
    • International studies constantly show that Belgium offers
    • excellent quality of life outside the business environment.
    • In the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005 Belgium was ranked among the top 10 for
    • Ranking
    • Pupil/teacher ratio (secondary education) 2th
    • Health infrastructure 5th
    • Education system 9th
    • Quality of university education 10th
    • A recent comparative study by KPMG in thirty European countries cites Belgium as having one of the best health care systems.
  • 26. Quality of Life
  • 27. Attractive Tax Regime
    • Notional interest deduction (NID)
    • Lower taxes, higher profits
    • Expat regime
    • Extensive network of double tax treaties
    • Ruling practice: legal certainty for investors
    • New tax measures to stimulate research
    • New law on patent income
    • Pension funds
  • 28.
    • Notional Interest Deduction (NID)
    • the notional interest deduction is a new tax deduction for all Belgian companies and Belgian branches of foreign companies applicable since January 1, 2006
    • it introduces an annual deduction on taxable income equal to the interest that would have been paid on the aggregate equity amount in the case of long-term debt financing, reducing the taxable base of the company.
    • the deduction is based on the ‘equity capital’ as stated in the company’s opening balance sheet of the taxable period. Increases or decreases of the equity during the taxable period will be taken into account on a pro rata basis.
    • the notional interest rate will be set each year and will follow the average annual 10-year government bond rate. At this time, that rate is 4.307%. The law sets a maximum deviation of 1% from one year to the next and a maximum percentage of 6.5%.
    • to the extent that the interest deduction does not have a direct tax effect (e.g. in loss situations), the interest deduction can be carried forward for the next seven years.
    Attractive tax regime
  • 29.
    • Notional Interest Deduction (continued)
    • the NID is unique in the world in the area of corporate taxation.
    • the NID encourages capital intensive investments, and provides an incentive for multinationals to allocate activities such as intra-group financing, central procurement and factoring, to a Belgian group entity.
    • it is a viable alternative to the current Belgian coordination center regime, which will be phased out between 2006 and 2010.
    • Belgium also abolished the 0.5% registration duty on capital contributions as of January 1, 2006. Therefore, the equity of companies in Belgium can be increased without any further tax burden.
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 30.
    • Lower Taxes Lead to Higher Profits
    • Estimates are that the notional interest deduction cuts the corporate income tax rate on average to around 25% , but this figure could be even lower for highly capitalized corporations.
    • US tax magazines like Tax Notes have pointed out that for U.S. companies, the effective tax rate in Belgium was only 12% in 2002 , only slightly higher than the rate in low-tax Ireland (8%).
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 31.
    • Expatriate regime
    • Foreign executives assigned temporarily to Belgium within an international group of companies may qualify for a special ‘expat’ taxation regime.
    • The expatriate will be treated for tax purposes as a non-resident, liable to Belgian personal income tax only on income related to the activities in Belgium. Days spent outside Belgium will not be taxed in Belgium under the so-called ‘travel exclusion’.
    • Non-taxable allowances apply, such as allowances or reimbursements made to cover the extra expenses caused by the assignment in Belgium.
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 32.
    • Extensive network of double tax treaties
    • Belgium has a very extensive network of double taxation treaties, including the Double Taxation Convention between Australia and Belgium (1977). The treaty went into effect on 13.10.1977.
    • The double tax treaties often provide for reduced or 0% withholding tax rates (for example on dividends and interests on company loans), and exempt (under certain conditions) foreign source profits.
    • Belgium was the first country to conclude a tax treaty (2004) with Hong Kong (0% dividend withholding tax under certain conditions).
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 33. Attractive Tax Regime
    • Double Taxation Convention between Australia and Belgium (1977).
    • The Australian-Belgian Double Taxation Treaty contains a variety of interesting features for Australian companies with business plans in Europe.
  • 34.
    • Upfront legal certainty for investors
    • Since January 1, 2005 a new general ruling practice has been established
    • Upon request, an independent ‘ruling commission’ of the Federal Public Service (FPS) Finance will inform investors about the tax implications of their investments prior to the start or the expansion of operations.
    • Rulings can cover all matters under the jurisdiction of the FPS Finance, and will be given within three months of the ruling request, unless otherwise determined by mutual agreement.
    • Ruling decisions will be binding for a maximum of five years and based on Belgian law, providing investors with maximum legal certainty.
    • An elaborate pre-filing practice has been developed. Pre-filing meetings can be done on a ‘no name’ basis.
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 35.
    • R&D tax incentives
    • Companies that recruit additional full-time R&D personnel employed benefit from a tax exemption of € 12,780 to € 25,570 (depending on the research level) for FY 2007.
    • Partial exemption of payroll taxes (up to 50% and more) applies for R&D personnel employed in :
    • -universities, institutions of higher education
    • -scientific institutes
    • -private companies
    • Companies can receive a tax deduction or a tax credit for investments regarding patents, R&D for environmentally friendly or energy reducing new products and future technologies
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 36.
    • New Law on Patent Income
    • A new ‘patent royalties deduction’ has recently come into effect, which allows Belgian companies, or Belgian branches of foreign companies, to deduct 80% of patent royalties from their taxable income.
    • Companies will deduct from their taxable income 80% of the patent income. The 20% left from the patent income (after deduction) remains taxable, in effect decreasing the maximum effective tax rate from 33.99 % to 6.8 % of the patent income. This rate is substantially lower than the rates available for patent income in most other European countries.
    • The deduction has no cap, but if the patent royalties' deduction exceeds the company's taxable income, it cannot be carried forward to the following tax year.
    • The new tax deduction will apply not only to patents owned and developed, by the company or one of its branches. It will also apply to patents acquired from a third party. In such a case, the company or the Belgian branch of a foreign company has to improve the patent in one of its own research centers, in Belgium or abroad, in order to benefit from this incentive.
    • For patents used by the Belgian company or establishment for the manufacture of patented products, the tax deduction will amount to 80% of the license fee that the Belgian company would have received if it had licensed the patents used in the manufacturing process to an unrelated party.
    • Companies can combine this new measure with the other already existing tax incentives.
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 37.
    • New Law on Pension Funds
    • A new tax regime for pension funds went into effect in 2007, making Belgium the first European country offering multinationals a complete and comprehensive framework for the creation of both pan-European and international pension funds.
    • The new regime makes it very attractive for multinationals in Europe to register their pension fund in Belgium, while their benefits can be enjoyed throughout the EU.
    • Dividends arising from such pension funds are exempt from tax in Belgium, which means that capital gains on their investments increase.
    • Mobility of employees among the branches of the multinational in Europe will also be facilitated, because rights to extra pension can be maintained.
    Attractive Tax Regime
  • 38. 10 reasons to invest in Belgium
    • 1. Economic location: at the center of a large and prosperous EU customer base
    • 2. Access to European centers of decision making
    • 3. A tradition of trade: more than 85% of Belgian GDP exported
    • 4. One of the most popular destinations for foreign investment
    • 5. Access to high quality labor force
    • 6. A center of knowledge
    • 7. Modern & efficient business infrastructure
    • 8. Low real estate costs
    • 9. High quality of life
    • 10. Attractive tax regime