Brussels’ International PR market concerns those PR assignments that are really led from Brussels. These would tend to be working for EMEA or Global HQs of companies, associations and other organisations based in and around Brussels.
It is probably fair to say that relatively speaking this used to be a larger market segment when more EMEA HQs were based in Belgium due to favourable tax regimes, which meant that many North American and Asian HQs were based here. However, with increased competition from Switzerland and Ireland especially some of these have relocated, notably P&G with their corporate staff to Switzerland some years ago.
Still Belgium greatly values the presence of corporate headquarters and makes every effort to attract them. Brussels is one of Europe’s most attractive cities to set up companies. According to the last European Cities Monitor, Brussels ranks fifth in Europe, behind London, Paris, Frankfurt and Barcelona. Hundreds of US and Japanese multinationals like General Electric, IBM, Toyota, Microsoft, Pfizer and Levi Strauss & Co have set up European or regional offices in Brussels.
There are also the Global HQs of Belgian companies which offer potential Global and Regional PR business from Brussels. Furthermore there are a number of global organisations, including NATO, World Customs Organisation (WCO) and UN offices.