FEB unfolds economic dream scenario for Belgium – Companies

The employers’ organization VBO presented a future plan for Belgium on Thursday. The ‘Horizon Belgium 2030’ plan aims to bring Belgium back to the top of the most competitive and prosperous countries in Europe by 2030.

In the plan, the FEB concretises its ambitions and formulates conditions, levers and objectives to make Belgium a stable and efficient country, ‘where it is fruitful to do business and pleasant to work’.

FEB sees four major challenges facing Belgium. These are the slowdown in economic growth and productivity growth, population aging, climate change and the international trend towards globalization. The latter could, according to employers, have far-reaching negative consequences for a small open economy such as the Belgian one.

To meet these challenges, an important change is needed in four areas, FEB believes. It is about making full use of digitalisation, focusing on greener areas, striving for an 80% employment rate and streamlining government agencies.

Read more under the video (reportage Kanaal Z)

‘A vision is good, but an action plan is also needed’

FEB chairman Bart De Smet already formulated a vision when he took office in 2020. “A vision is good, but an action plan is also necessary. And we publish that today,” says VBO CEO Pieter Timmermans. “We illustrate our plan with a metaphor: a healthy and vibrant tree trunk must have strong roots to support strong branches.”

“The roots represent the foundation on which everything is built: an efficient government, high-performance education, excellent infrastructure and a single tax system that rewards work and entrepreneurship,” says De Smet. “On the strong roots stands a living tribe: a competitive economy without a handicap for labor costs and a stronger growing economy with respect for our planet.”

“It is only thanks to the combination of strong roots and a lively tribe that we can subsequently also carry strong branches. These include 80 per cent of Belgians at work, 30 per cent fewer traffic jams in 2030, reasonable and affordable pensions, but also secure , affordable and sustainably produced energy, “says the VBO chairman.

Efficiency of 80 percent

According to the FEB, an employment rate of 80 percent is needed to pay the cost of an aging population, but also to be able to make the necessary investments in green and digital infrastructure. The employers’ organization wants concrete work to be done with modern employment law and to ensure that the work becomes more rewarding than non-work.

“It is important that labor law is streamlined for the whole country, while labor market policy is best managed from the regions,” says De Smet. According to the FEB chairman, social security is the “backbone” of the country. “Split the social security system and one de facto divides a country. On the other hand, it is not inconceivable that regionally driven additions with associated responsibility are provided.”

Finally, according to the FEB, with regard to the division of powers, there should be no taboo against separation or against re-federalization.

In the plan, the FEB concretises its ambitions and formulates conditions, levers and objectives to make Belgium a stable and efficient country, ‘where it is fruitful to do business and pleasant to work’. FEB sees four major challenges facing Belgium. These are the slowdown in economic growth and productivity growth, population aging, climate change and the international trend towards globalization. The latter could, according to employers, have far-reaching negative consequences for a small open economy such as the Belgian one. To meet these challenges, an important change in four domains is needed, FEB believes. It’s about taking full advantage of digitalisation, focusing on greener, striving for an 80 percent employment rate and streamlining government agencies, already had a vision when he took office in 2020. “A vision is good, but an action plan is also needed. And we publish it today, “says VBO CEO Pieter Timmermans. “We illustrate our plan with a metaphor: a healthy and vibrant tree trunk must have strong roots to support strong branches.” “The roots represent the foundation on which everything is built: an efficient government, high-performance education, excellent infrastructure and a single tax system that rewards work and entrepreneurship,” says De Smet. “On the strong roots stands a living tribe: a competitive economy without a handicap for labor costs and a stronger growing economy with respect for our planet.” “It is only thanks to the combination of strong roots and a lively tribe that we can subsequently also carry strong branches. These include 80 per cent of Belgians at work, 30 per cent fewer traffic jams in 2030, reasonable and affordable pensions, but also secure , affordable and sustainably produced energy, “says the FEB chairman. According to the FEB, an employment rate of 80 percent is needed to pay the cost of an aging population, but also to be able to make the necessary investments in green and digital infrastructure. The employers’ organization wants concrete work to be done with modern employment law and to ensure that the work becomes more rewarding than non-work. “It is important that labor law is streamlined for the whole country, while labor market policy is best managed from the regions,” says De Smet. According to the FEB chairman, social security is the “backbone” of the country. “Split the social security system and one de facto divides a country. On the other hand, it is not inconceivable that regionally controlled additions with associated responsibility are provided.” Finally, according to the FEB, with regard to the division of powers, there should be no taboo against separation or against re-federalization.

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