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Belgium

Fact Sheet

Belgium – FACT SHEET

Contacts and Organizations

Belgium Consulate Vancouver
  • Bart Schobben
  • Trade Commissioner
  • 221 West Esplanade (Suite 412)
  • North Vancouver, BC, V7M3J3
  • Tel.: (+1) 778 997 3758
  • Email: vancouver@hub.brussels
The Belgian Canadian Association of British Columbia 
  • Ms. Françoise De Pauw
  • P.O. Box 348
  • Lions Bay V0N 2E0
  • Email: fdp@depauw.ca
  • Website: https://bcabc.jimdo.com/
Vlamingen in de Wereld 
  • Mr. Bruno Elsier
  • 118-3755 5th Avenue West
  • Vancouver, BC V6R 1T9
  • E-mail: chefbrel@rogers.com

Market Environment

Belgium is a wealthy OECD country and has a strong commercial relationship with Canada. As a modern economy, trade is of high importance to Belgium’s market and the potential for Canadian companies is strong. The Belgian market offers solid business and investment potential across a range of sectors.

The Surrey Board of Trade has an international cooperation agreement with the Belgian Consulate-Vancouver. With the CETA (free trade agreement between the EU and Canada) recently agreed, the Brussels Capital Region becomes the ideal entry point for Canadian businesses wishing to enter into the European Unified Market.

Besides being the Capital of the European Union and at the front-door of the European Institutions and decision makers, and besides being the Capital of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Brussels Capital Region offers to Canadian businesses a central location in the European Union at the crossroads of the Anglosaxon, Germanic and Latin spheres.

A well-educated, multilingual and multicultural workforce, with a productivity ranking amongst the highest in the world, is waiting to help Canadian businesses entering the European Union. When thinking Europe, think Brussels.

Below is a link to the Invest in Brussels website along with details about the soft landing program, a 3 month free office space to check out how to do business in Brussels

BRUSSELS BUSINESS WELCOME PACKAGE

why invest in Brussels

Key Sectors

  • Biotechnology
  • Food & Beverage
  • Machinery – Packaging, Industrial & Analytical Instruments
  • Telecom
  • Transportation Services

Webinars

CETA: UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL

CETA: YOUR INTRODUCTION TO 500 MILLION EU CONSUMERS

Trade Agreements

Trade Shows

Trade Shows in Belgium
Tourism

Visit Belgium

Canada and Belgium Relations
Bilateral Links

Canada and Belgium are two officially multilingual countries with federal political systems. For a great many years, our countries have maintained excellent bilateral relations based on bonds of friendship and trust, as well as the shared values of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, openness and tolerance.

These bonds originate fromCanada’s contribution to the liberation of Belgium in the First and Second World Wars and the major convergences between the foreign policies of our two countries, committed in favour of a multilateralism based on international law, the promotion of good governance and maintaining strong transatlantic links.

Canada and Belgium cooperate at many levels, including at the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, la Francophonie, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Belgium’s membership  in the European Union is another important aspect of our bilateral political dialogue.

Canada and Belgium are not only close NATO allies but also work alongside each other in the fight against anti-personnel mines, chemical weapons and the use of child soldiers. Both support and contribute to peacekeeping operations and the fight against climate change.

A bilateral agreement on youth mobility allows young Belgians to travel to Canada and young Canadians to Belgium, for up to a year,to travel, work or study and discover. . This successful initiative has already allowed 8,000+ young Belgians to discover Canada since 2007.

Belgium and Canada have signed bilateral agreements in the areas of taxation, social security, judicial cooperation on crime, air transportation, reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licences, as well as in scientific, industrial and technological cooperation, and more recently audio-visual co-production.

Trade

Canada and Belgium enjoy dynamic trade relations, characterized by significant bilateral investment and business exchanges, as well as the ongoing development of technological partnerships. Due to its strategic location at the gate of Europe, Belgium offers Canadian companies unparalleled access, by both air, land and sea, to Europe’s major markets and suppliers. The Belgian ports are major points of entry for Canadian goods in Europe. Canada, in turn, is a key gateway for Belgium to the North American market.

Belgium is Canada’s twelfth largest trading partner in the world and the sixth largest EU trading partner.

Canadian merchandise exports to Belgium amounted to $3.8 billion in 2018 (rank 4th in the EU). Top sectors included precious stones and metals, mineral ores, pharmaceuticals products and vehicles (excluding parts).

In 2018, Canada’s merchandise imports from Belgium were valued at $4.4 billion, placing Belgium sixteenth in the world as a source of merchandise imports to Canada. Top sectors were mineral oils and fuels, organic chemicals, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles and machinery. Canada’s bilateral trade in services with Belgium totalled nearly $2.0 billion in 2018.

Investment

Bilateral investment is very important for both countries. There are more than 80 Belgian subsidiaries in Canada and about 70 Canadian subsidiaries in Belgium. At the end of 2018, the stock value of Belgian direct investment in Canada was close to $8.0 billion while Canadian direct investment in Belgium was more than $1.5 billion at the end of 2018.

Cultural Relations

Cultural relations between Canada and Belgium have grown and have diversified in the past 30 years. Belgian organizers frequently contract Canadian artists, both anglophone and francophone, in disciplines such as theatre, music, movies, literature, visual arts and in dance.

Many Belgian artist perform in Canada, be it in the domains of the fine arts, film, or music, at festivals or art centres in Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto or Vancouver.

Academic Relations

Canadian and Belgian universities have developed relations and MOUs for collaboration and exchanges for many years. About twenty Canadian universities collaborate with Belgian universities in various domains such as science, social sciences and health.

Additional Resources

Guide to doing business in Belgium by PwC