There are several reasons why companies are hesitating, says Herwig Joosten of Ernst & Young. "The main stumbling blocks are the tax regime, mobility issues and administrative pressure. Labour cost is an urgent problem, while 4 in 10 investors are having second thoughts due to mobility and traffic congestion issues. On top of that, 51 percent of the respondents find red tape and the administrative burden "intolerable"."
The research also reveals that the number of foreign investments in Belgium in the last 3 years has reached rock-bottom. The number dropped to 33 percent, compared to 62 percent in 2011.
At the same time, 10 percent of the respondents are planning to move their activities abroad in the coming 3 years. The figure is 2 percent up on last year. However, it's not all bad news: more investors estimate that Belgium will become more attractive in the coming 3 years (35 percent, up from 28).