The Benelux Union brings together the kingdoms of Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The acronym ‘Benelux’ incorporates the names of the three countries (Belgique/België, Nederland, Luxembourg).
The Benelux was founded on 5 September 1944, when the governments of the three countries signed a customs union agreement which came into effect on 1 January 1948. A series of agreements led to the Benelux Economic Union.
Since the upcoming of the EEC the economic dominance of the Benelux made way for more political cooperation on a wider variety of topics.
Strangely enough, Benelux already had a predecessor in the 16th century. The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e. what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg.
Belgium is a federal state made up of three Communities (the Flemish Community 6.6 million inhabitants , the French Community 3.6 million and the and the Brussels Capital-Region 1million) The main federal institutions are the federal government and the federal parliament, and the Communities and Regions also have their own legislative and executive bodies. The principal powers of the three Communities in Belgium, which are delimited on linguistic grounds, relate to education, culture, youth support and certain aspects of health policy, public works, agriculture, employment, town and country planning and the environment.(belgium.be)
Over 1,000 public and private international organisations have established their headquarters in Brussels, Belgium’s capital city. These include the main institutions of the European Union (EU) and of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).Belgium was one of the six founding members of what is now the European Union.
Belgium is a key international economic player, ranked 13th in the world for both exports and imports by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2012. Moreover, it is one of the most popular countries for investors, attracting billions of euro of foreign direct investment each year. A company in Belgium has access to 200 million consumers within a radius of just 500 km, thanks to the country’s central geographical location and its high-quality logistical infrastructure, encompassing seaports and inland ports, canals, airports and rail and road (including motorway) networks, with these transport systems being continually adjusted to meet the needs of the economy. To take one example, the Port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe and has the biggest petrochemical complex in Europe. Antwerp is the Diamond Capital with 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and 50% of the cut diamonds. There are many other factors, too, behind Belgium’s success, for example its highly skilled, multilingual and flexible workforce, the desire to be close to the international decision-makers in Brussels, a host of financial and tax incentives, affordable property prices, Belgians’ legendary hospitality and excellent social security.
However the diversity in culture, politics and regulations makes it sometimes difficult to start with economic activities and that is where we can help you. We offer/are a trustworthy and direct connection identifying the right opportunities and leading to the right introduction with the right people.
The Netherlands is a relatively small country, less than half the size of Portugal and Spain is even 12 times bigger. But with 17 million inhabitants it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Nevertheless, it currently occupies in the European Union fourth place in quality of life.
The Netherlands is a stable democracy and recognized worldwide for its transparency, fairness, and effectiveness. According to the World Bank, the Dutch government is one of the most effective in the world.
The Dutch economy is also one of the most competitive economies in the world. The Netherlands is the fifth largest exporter of goods in the world. The Netherlands ranks sixth in the latest Global Competitiveness Index report from the World Economic Forum.
The Netherlands ranks third in the Global Innovation Index (GII), before countries like the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, etc.
Netherlands leads the European Innovation Scoreboard.
The innovative capacity is evident from the large number of patents that are applied for annually, and from the presence of several world-famous R&D centres in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is well represented in the field of patents and ranks second in the world – first in the European Union – in terms of the number of patent applications per million inhabitants.
The above makes Dutch industry an attractive, innovative and stimulating business partner.
Several leading multinationals active worldwide have their roots in the Netherlands: AkzoNobel, ASML, Philips, Shell and Unilever. The Dutch industry comprises a large number of innovative and knowledge-intensive companies with a strong reputation worldwide and which carry out a significant part of R&D in the Netherlands. The Dutch company Philips occupies the first place in the world in the field of patent applications.
The Netherlands is one of the only three countries worldwide with an A1 rating indicating a very low business defaulting risk (Coface, 2019-Q2).
The Dutch government stimulates new companies, because they generate economic vitality and innovation, and because they challenge existing companies, stimulate them to adapt and continue to innovate.
The Netherlands has an excellent business climate, a well-trained, multilingual, and flexible workforce and high labour productivity.
The smallest of the Benelux is Luxembourg. A haven for people from all parts of the world
Nearly 50% of the population doesn’t have the Luxembourg Nationality and the reasons for this are manifold:
Economic opportunities: Luxembourg is without doubt the economic powerhouse of the Greater Region and an internationally confirmed financial hotspot on the European continent. Luxembourg’s thriving economy is a major argument for many foreign nationals to live in the country.
A European capital: Along with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg City is one of the three European capitals. Some 14,000 European civil servants now live and work in one of the EU’s many institutions that are located here, and many activities have sprung up around these institutions.
High quality of life: The country’s health insurance and social security systems, its high quality infrastructures and the government’s support for families has led to one of the world’s highest quality of life standards.
Multilingual environment: When so many people from all parts of the world come together, communication is key. Luxembourg’s population has always been multilingual, making it easy for foreigners to take part in an open and welcoming society.