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A free zone in the Canal Area

 - ©ADT-ATO/Reporters

2013-10-22 – The Brussels Minister for the Economy and Employment told L’Écho today of her plans to create a free zone in the Canal Area, in connection with the draft order on ‘Stimulated urban economy zones’ (ZEUS) which she has submitted to Parliament and which is awaiting debate there.

The idea, L’Écho explains, is to grant specific aid to companies that decide to base themselves in specific districts where the socio-economic indicators are less positive: extra investment aid, recruitment support, and a partial exemption from office tax. These forms of assistance will be granted on condition that at least 30% of the company’s personnel live in the ZEUS zone where the company is based.

Asked by L’Écho about the number of ZEUS zones, the minister specified: “At present, just one is planned, extending from Anderlecht to Schaerbeek. Its backbone is the Canal. I will need to assess whether the objectives are achieved in this zone before considering creating a new one.” She added: “The ZEUS scheme has been scrutinised by the European Commission, which has given its approval. The Council of State did not have any objections, either. And the Economic and Social Council has issued a favourable opinion on the text.”

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