"Foreign companies created 3,740 new jobs in Flanders last year"

Last year, foreign companies across Flanders invested a total of 1.58 billion euros. This generated 3,740 new jobs. That's according to figures collected by Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT) that were published by De Tijd.
BELGA

The news comes after a number of multinationals located in Belgium announced heavy job cuts, like Ford in Genk, ArcelorMittal in Liège and Caterpillar in Gosselies, near Charleroi. Thousands of jobs were made redundant and this (sometimes) despite the company making huge profits worldwide. Earlier this week, the Caterpillar management simply explained that demand is slackening and that labour costs in Belgium are too high. It's cheaper for multinationals to move production to countries abroad.

However, there is also good news concerning multinationals located in our region. Figures for Flanders show that also investments are being made. De Tijd gives the examples of Cargill that expanded its research centre in Vilvoorde, Lanxess that built a new polyamide factory in Lillo and the Indian company JBF that constructed a new plant in Geel to process waste materials from plastic bottles or PET materials.

Compared to 2011, the total amount of cash that was invested last year dropped, together with the number of new investment projects. However, this generated a total of 3,740 vacancies, which is more than in 2011. "In these hard economic times, I think the most important conclusion could be that foreign companies are still creating jobs, even more than over the past years", Claire Tillekaerts of Flanders Investment & Trade says. Still, Ms Tillekaerts admits that the number of jobs that is being added, cannot compensate for the number of jobs that are being axed.

What is Flanders Investment & Trade?

Flanders Investment & Trade is "the government agency supporting home-based companies doing business abroad, and foreign companies looking to set up or expand operations in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium", it is explained on the official website.