The National Bank of Belgium’s (BNB) new governor, Pierre Wunsch, has said he is not worried about another recession. He has been governor of the BNB since the 1st of January. Mr Wunsch said he was “optimistic” despite these troubled times. He gave an interview to La Libre Belgique and De Standaard on Saturday. He said that increasing the employment rate in people born outside of Europe would help solve a lot of problems.
The new governor said he has “no concerns” about the economic situation, but recognises we live in “a world facing numerous risks”, including the United States’ trade policy and the European and American budget policies.
Mr Wunsch said that even if growth in Belgium is “a little slower that in neighbouring countries”, “forecasts for competitiveness and job creation look good”.
Mr Wunsch says “it is very likely that growth will remain slow” but said he is “not worried about deep recession, except one that comes from outside”. “Our economy has no great weaknesses that could trigger a deep recession”, says the 23rd governor of the BNB.
He recommends “increasing” the employment rate for people who immigrated from “outside Europe”, which is “particularly low in Belgium”. It would “help solve many problems, including perceptions of immigration”, says the former head of the liberal cabinet. “It seems to me that countries where immigrants are better integrated into the job market perceive immigration as less of an issue than Belgium. We have to provide jobs to people who arrive with luggage in tow, even those who don’t quite meet businesses requirements”, he said.