Belgium is a world leader in the pharmaceuticals industry. The latter is a key sector in terms of jobs: it employs almost 30,000 workers in Belgium and this figure is growing year on year. Pharmaceuticals account for over 10% of Belgium's total exports.
Accordingly, both the pharmaceuticals industry and the Belgian government are investing heavily in developing this sector even further and major drives are under way to promote innovation and R&D.
Every year, the pharmaceuticals industry ploughs over €1.5 billion into R&D. This represents 40% of all private investment in R&D in Belgium, double the European average.
The government also supports the pharmaceuticals industry – and R&D in general – via a range of tax incentives and discounts and by offering assistance in hiring qualified researchers. A consultation platform to forge links between the pharmaceuticals industry and the government has also been set up to improve public health and boost innovation and employment.