Wallonia raked in about 1.1 billion euros in foreign investment in 2018, up from 682 million last year, L’Echo reported on Wednesday, based on figures from regional Economic Affairs Minister Pierre-Yves Jeholet (Reformist Movement, MR). Some 2,743 jobs should be created in the south of the country, the newspaper added..
Wallonia registered no fewer than 71 foreign investment dossiers in 2018, the second highest number in 18 years. The record was set in 2008.
The big investors include Chinese trade giant Ali Baba and Thunder Power, the electric-vehicle manufacturer, who promise to invest 75 million and 125 million euros respectively in Liège and Charleroi, as well as Google, which is to invest 200 million euros to extend the Baudour site, and Inovyn of Britain, which plans to spend 100 million euros on its Jemeppe site.
China is now the biggest foreign investor in Wallonia, with 351 million euros announced for this year.
However, the United States is still a major player, with 212 million euros in investments announced. For their part, Flemish businesses, considered as foreign investors in the statistics, have promised to invest 130 million euros in Wallonia.