The foreign investment policies of Belgium have been dominated by the need for a smaller economic power to adjust to membership of the European Economic Community and by the desire for substantial growth in the industrial sector with special emphasis on regional development in the Walloon south. In the 1960s, foreign investment expanded rapidly particularly in the Flemish north. This is partly a reflection of the accessibility of Belgium to other EEC countries and of the generous tax concessions introduced in the Economic Expansion Acts of 1959 and 1970 designed primarily to promote growth. The stock of inward direct investment in Belgium has been estimated at US $ 9.6 billion dollars in 1978 which is approximately twice as high as the stock of Belgian outward direct investment. As a proportion of gross fixed capital formation, the flow of direct investment varied between 5 and 8.5% from 1967 onwards. An estimated 38% of employment in Belgian manufacturing was in foreign-owned firms in 1978 compared with 18% in 1968.
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