National strike: “reputational damage more significant than economic loss”
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    National strike: “reputational damage more significant than economic loss”

    © Belga
    The reputational damage caused by the strike is far greater than the economic loss, fears Lambotte.
    © Belga

    The current national strike is proving enormously damaging to Belgium’s reputation. This was the warning from the CEO of Agoria, Marc Lambotte. 

    “Within headquarters of large multinationals, our country’s reputation is one of always being on strike, a somewhat unreliable country for Foreign Direct Investment [FDI],” lamented the head of the federation for the technology industry.

    A survey produced by Agoria of around 100 large companies reveals that 70% of them will undergo a 50% decline in production due to the strike. Some 40% are even going as far as to indicate a total loss of production.

    The strike is set have significant negative economic consequences. The reputational damage is far greater than the economic loss, warned Lambotte. “Here in Belgium there is permanently someone on strike somewhere,” said the head of Agoria. It is his belief that the problem as a whole is somewhat under-estimated.  

    In Agoria’s view, the bad reputation attributed to Belgium dissuades companies from investing in the country. “We will only feel the true effect in a few years,” says Lambotte. He talks about significant FDI opportunities that passed Belgium by, potential investors fearing strikes in Belgium. 

    As a result, the head of Agoria is calling for the resumption of a consultation as soon as possible “in the interests of the 180,000 workers in the technology industry. 

    Oscar Schneider 
    The Brussels Times