The Wallonia region of Belgium is offering significant new investment incentives for automotive companies, including a reduction in the corporate tax rate that took effect last year.

The Federal Government of Belgium also offers income tax reductions of 50% to companies for researchers working in collaboration with universities and public-research institutions.  These measures, which took effect in January 2004, are targeted to reinforce the research-based economy in Belgium.

“Wallonia’s central location in Europe, its commercial heritage and its multilingual and multicultural workforce make it an excellent location for successful global industries,” a spokesman said.

Wallonia is in the centre of an automotive region that produces more than two million vehicles a year at 12 manufacturing sites of General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Renault, Nedcar, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently concluded that the Belgian workforce is one of the most productive in the world. The output per person employed in the US was $60,728 in 2003, followed by Belgium with $54,338.

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