Skip to main content, the umbrella organization of more than 125 innovative pharmaceutical companies active in Belgium, recently published its “Pharma Figures 2020”, the economic footprint of the sector for the past year. 2020 was dominated by the health crisis. The biopharma companies made an unprecedented effort to find solutions to fight COVID-19.

The figures for 2020 show once again that the biopharmaceutical sector is constantly evolving. However, this is no guarantee for the future, as the Belgian biopharmaceutical industry is confronted with more pressure from the competitive environment.

The “Pharma Figures 2020” confirm growth in several areas:


In 2020, 40,464 people were employed in biopharmaceutical companies in Belgium. Over the period 2016-2020 this means an increase in direct employment of 13.6%. If we add the indirect and induced jobs generated by the sector, this figure rises to almost 130,000 jobs in Belgium.


In terms of research, the sector invested EUR 13 million per day in research and development in 2020, an increase of 29% compared to 2019. The number of active researchers in the sector has increased by 40 in four years (2016-2020). % increased.


Belgium also confirmed its position as an important link for global pharmaceutical exports in 2020, as exports increased by 13% compared to the previous year. Every day, biopharmaceutical products from Belgium with a value of 150 million euros are exported.


Finally, the biopharmaceutical industry is one of the few sectors to link productivity growth to employment growth over a longer period of time, with annual value added growth of 6.7% between 2012 and 2019.