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    20% more tech businesses in Wallonia compared to 1995

    The number of businesses in the technology sector has grown by 20% in Wallonia in the last 20 years, revealed the industry federation Agoria, in a press release on Friday. Employment was badly affected by the crisis, with 10% fewer jobs between 2008 and 2014, but 2015 is looking more stable, predicts Agoria. The number of companies has dropped by 3% since 2008 whereas investment is down by 7%. Industry turnover decreased by 1%. Employment was worse hit by the crisis, with one in 10 jobs being slashed in the technology sector in Wallonia since 2008, points our Agoria.

    In terms of employment the most affected sectors are the metal industry (-30%), electrical engineering (-16%), and building products (-12%). Other sectors are, however, flourishing; carmakers (+26%), contractors (+17%),  and maintenance firms (+8%), as well as the defence and security sector, although they do not quite cover the job losses in other sectors yet.

    Employment is down by 20%, looking at the longer term. This fall is due to the 2008 crisis, but also to increased productivity since 1995. The number of businesses is up by 20%, which shows vitality in the sector, especially for SMEs, according to Agoria. Added value (wealth creation) is up by 26% on 1995 figures.

    The federation expects a 1.5% increase in turnover in Wallonia in 2015, against -1.5% in Belgium. IT, materials, security, defence, as well as aeronautics are pulling the industry upwards. “We would need a 2% growth rate to stabilise employment, we are not far off,” notes Agoria.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)