Brussels is a wonderful, modern city at the heart of Europe. The capital of Belgium has a high standard of life, a mild climate and is well-connected to most popular European destinations.
All of this has drawn expats to the city from all around the world. As it is widely regarded as the capital of the European Union, Brussels boasts a truly international atmosphere. The city is home to countless multinational companies and more than one thousand business conferences each year, making it a very popular choice.
Despite being home to major international institutions such as the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and NATO, the city is becoming known for much more than this. The start-up scene is growing rapidly and Patrick Lastennet, director of business development and financial services for Interxion, predicted that Brussles will become the go-to destination following Great Britain’s exit from the EU (Tech Centre Tracker, Feb 2017).
In 2017, London and Belgium formed a “FinTeach Bridge” to aid in supporting startups in both jurisdictions. The new FinTeach platform B-Hive, which facilitates innovation between FinTeach the sector and other industries. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Belgium’s government and the trade body for Britain’s FinTeach sector, Innovate Finance and this officially established the bridge. This is all part of establishing Belgium and Brussels, as the continental bridgehead to the United Kingdom.
Entrepreneurs and investors are also drawn to Brussels not least for it’s favourable tax regime. The lifestyle on offer is also a big draw, with a wealth of cultural and historical attractions, world class restaurants, shopping and social life which gives the city a vibrant buzz of youth. The modern and well-managed public transport system consists of an underground system, trams and busses and is all relatively affordable.
The healthcare facilities are also world-class and expats can be confident in great service for both themselves and their families. This also goes for their school system and both local and international schools are very well regarded.
Whether expats are looking for trendy apartments in the European Quarter or more spacious houses on the edge of the city, there is a wide variety of accommodation. The downsides to the city, however, include heavy traffic flow and cost of living is relatively high. It is certainly best, therefore, to find accommodation close to work and try to avoid the lengthy and congested commutes.
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