International
support

In more than 90 countries

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Valérie BANCAL
Head of International Desk Benelux, Greece, Turkey

Support by the
Crédit Agricole group

Last updated: july 2021

The Group has a presence in Belgium with:

  • Crédit Agricole CIB, which offers its clients in business, institutional, and local Belgian communities, its entire range of finance and investment banking services
  • CA Indosuez Wealth (Private Bank),
  • Eurofactor (Factoring)
  • AMUNDI (Asset Management),
  • CACEIS, which offers custodian and depository banking services to its clients active on the Belgian market, in addition to the fund administration services already offered,
  • SODICA Corporate Finance, a subsidiary of the Crédit Agricole Group specialised in mergers and acquisitions, is active in Belgium with its local partner.

For more information see the list of the Crédit Agricole Group’s locations

The Benelux International Desk provides support for the Group’s business clients in Belgium by drawing on the Group’s own entities and local frontline partner banks with a significant network of offices spread across the region.

For non-banking matters, the International Desk offers the support of local offices (legal/tax advice, aid in establishing businesses, recovery) and its partners as well as expertise in business internationalisation.

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Means of payment

With Belgium

Company cheque

Bank cheque

SWIFT and SEPA transfer

Withdrawal

Bill of exchange

Promissory note

Documentary remittance

Documentary credit

Usage

Weak / None

Weak / None

Common

Common

Weak / None

Weak / None

Weak

Common

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Advice from the
international desk

General Information

With a central position in Europe and well-developed infrastructure (the Port of Antwerp is the 2nd largest in Europe), Belgium, although a country that is small in size, is an important country for French businesses, which export to and invest in the country’s three regions on a significant scale.

The proximity of Belgium to France makes this a good country for testing your offers, particularly for first-time exporters. Nevertheless, it is important not to approach the Belgian market as if it were simply an extension of the French market. Belgium is a demanding market with different commercial behaviours than those practised in France. Selling in Belgium still means you are exporting to a foreign market and it is necessary to adapt your strategy, products, and labelling, etc. This particularly applies to Flanders, where the market potential is often greater than the other regions and where your business approach must be differentiated from that adopted for Wallonia.

France is Belgium’s 3rd-largest supplier.

The area around Brussels, considered as “neutral ground” by both the Flemish and Walloons, offers the easiest option for setting up a branch. There, for example, accounting can be carried out in French, which would not be possible in Flanders.

Furthermore, it must be noted that Belgium has implemented certain favourable tax incentives for businesses such as deductions linked to R&D activities and on income linked to patents and the Notional Interest Deduction.


Means of Payment & Banking Specificities
 

The down payment on order, which has developed with the crisis, is possible.

SWIFT and SEPA transfers are the most common payment methods. With the arrival of SEPA SDD payments can also be made via direct debit.

Cheques are hardly used at all and the fees imposed on them are often deterrents. The promissory note is not used. However, it is possible to use the endorsed bill of exchange in international transactions.
 

It is also possible to secure transactions by using a bank guarantee, L/C or credit insurance.

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