Hub of the European market
Belgium is the most strategically located country in Europe. For anyone trying to reach the European consumer market of over 500 million people, Brussels is the city of choice. Its world-class infrastructure and extensive transport links make it the ideal place to do business in Belgium.
The Belgian motorway system is one of the most modern and efficient in Europe. Many of the main European traffic arteries crisscross the country.
Motorways are less congested in Brussels, compared to other major European cities, and its close proximity to the Eurotunnel, which provides important links to the UK, makes Brussels an even more attractive location. It is ideally situated as a hub for transport throughout all of Europe.
Belgium’s railway network is one of the fastest and most extensive of any on the continent. High-speed trains (Eurostar-Thalys) link Brussels to London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt and many other major European cities.
Belgium has five international airports that handle cargo and passenger traffic: Antwerp, Brussels National Airport, Ostend, Liège and Charleroi (Brussels South). The Brussels National Airport at Zaventem is only 12 km from Brussels’ city centre and is used by 80 airlines. Direct flights are available to virtually all major international destinations. It is the fifth biggest cargo hub in Europe.
For centuries, Belgium has leveraged its location in the heart of Europe to become a major shipper. Well-equipped ports are located in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Ostend, Liège and Zeebrugge.
Antwerp’s port is ranked 2nd in Europe and 10th in the world. The inland ports in Brussels and Liège are modernising their facilities to respond to the growth in Europe’s canal and river intermodal transport system.
The ideal test market
Located on the boundary between the Latin cultures of southern Europe and the Germanic cultures of northern Europe, Belgium is the perfect location to determine if a product or service will be attractive to the European consumer. In fact, major international companies choose Belgium when they are testing a new idea or product on the continent. Brussels is a cost-efficient test market; a successful launch in Belgium is a good indicator of similar success in other European markets.
Many companies, both European (Beiersdorf, etc.) and non-European (Coca-Cola, etc.), have already successfully used Brussels as a test market.