It is therefore behind France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. More than two thirds of all projects were new investments, which is a real record.
U.S. companies are the largest foreign investors in our country, followed by France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. The sectors receiving the most investment projects are sales and marketing, manufacturing and logistics. These three sectors have absorbed more than 80% of foreign investment.
In terms of investment figures by region, in 2019, Wallonia and Brussels recorded an increase of 33% and 25% respectively. On this subject, Marie-Laure Moreau, partner at EY, explains: "All investments will always be interesting, but in Wallonia we have above all expansion investments that have boosted employment, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, with MaSTherCell and Cenexi, which have continued to invest in Wallonia. Google, in the digital sector, continues to invest too. When you attract giants in the past, such as Google or Microsoft, which continue to invest year after year, that is a good thing. We also have investments such as NLMK in the steel sector and Ferrero in the food industry".
One thing is certain: the coronavirus crisis has led to a new macroeconomic reorganization that will force many sectors to reinvent themselves in order to survive.
But why investing in one country rather than another? There are many criteria that motivate foreign firms and companies to invest in Belgium: the quality of mobility, the improvement of infrastructure, corporate taxes and the cost of labour. A new trend that could become the main driver of growth in Belgium in the coming years is development. If Belgium provides the necessary support and if investment in this sector continues to increase, the country could become a leader in this field and even more so if it manages to link the development of this sector to the Covid-19 virus.