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10 reasons to move to Belgium


Moving to Belgium is a popular choice for many expats. Why are there so many of them? What reasons might convince them to search for employment opportunities in this country? Jobijoba conducted its  small investigation.

Belgium has one of the strongest economies in the EU. Despite the global economic crisis, the kingdom's economic indicators remain slightly higher than average ones in Europe. The unemployment rate in Belgium (7.7%) is slightly lower than in the UK (8.1 %), which could make it difficult to find work in certain areas. So, why would you relocate to Belgium?

Here are 10 possible reasons that come to our mind:

1/ You love French fries. A lot!

2/ You don't like sun and mountains

3/ You speak Dutch or French (a little bit)

4/ You are a EU citizen and can live and work in any of the EU states

5/ You dream about a 13th Month Salary 

7/ You want to travel easily to other European countries by train or plane

8/ You want to have a high standard of living

9/ You want to work in work in public affairs, social policy, engineering or computing

10/ You want to have access to top-level health service at reasonable prices

Neverrtheless, Belgium's job market is quite favorable. There are numerous job offers in the construction, and the transport and logistics sectors. There are also lots of jobs in retail where the big names such as Colruyt, Lidl and Delhaize recruit permanently. 

73% of jobs are in the customer sector, so if you are in sales, marketing, IT, education or health, you have a good chance of finding a job.

Do you speak Flemish or Dutch? Then, all three Belgian regions are opened to you. You can apply for jobs in Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Ypres and Kortrijk with no problem.

What about Brussels? The capital is officially bilingual and multicultural, so you won't have any language bariers. French dominates, of course. You can see many job offers where they are looking for candidates who can speak two or more languages. As a candidate who speaks French and English, you will be able to get by without speaking Dutch.

Working in Belgium

Average working hours: 38 hours per week

Holidays: around 20 days, plus 10 public holidays.

Tax rates: from 25% to 50% depending on how much you earn.

Belgium has relatively high income tax rates, one of the highest in Europe. The percentage of income tax you pay depends on the income scale you belong to. The more you earn, the more you pay taxes. So before accepting a job offer, take into consideration all the taxes. Calculate and make your conclusions. You will probably pay less if you stay in the UK.

So if there are high taxes, why moving to Belgium?

Belgium continues to score highly compared to other countries when it comes to "quality of life" with impressive rates of high productivity and low poverty. The cost of living in Belgium is lower than in neighbour countries. If you compare the prices of goods and services, life is certainly cheaper in Belgium than in the UK: on average, the same products cost 17% less in Belgium apart from Brussels. The city has about 2,000 companies run by expats and employs the most hardworking people in the world.

Living in the heart of Europe

Belgium is located in the heart of Europe, between Germany, the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg, and not far from the UK. Thanks to its strategic position, Belgium enjoys excellent access to Europe's key markets and suppliers. A great number of European business centres are located within a 300 km radius. It's a perfect place to run a business from.

Brussels is recognized for its multiculturalism and hosts more than 45 different nationalities. It's easy to build up a network of friends and colleagues from all four corners of the globe. That's simply great! Working in Brussels can help you to gain a valuable international experience. And don't be afraid of stay alone with no visits from your friends and family - Belgium is very accessible from all around the world.

No one can say what you will think of this small and rainy country, but if you decide to move there, we suggest you prepare your arrival in advance. Here are some great guides available online that can help you understand Belgium better and find a job there:

Justlanded.com: a very complete guide on moving and living in Belgium

Jobijoba.be: a job search engine, collating job vacancies from major Belgian job boards.

Have you lived in Belgium, or are you planning to move there? Tell us about your experience!

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