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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Belgium)

Belgian economy
more info
NFP-Belgium
Organisation name
NFP-Belgium
Reporting country
Belgium
Organisation website
Organisation website
Contact link
Contact link
Last updated
22 Dec 2010
Content license
CC By 2.5
Content provider
NFP-Belgium
Key message

Belgium's economic strength is based on its geographic position at the crossroads of Western Europe, its highly skilled and educated workforce, and its participation in the EU.

Economy

Belgium's economic strength is based on its geographic position at the crossroads of western Europe, its highly skilled and educated workforce, and its participation in the EU. During its industrial period, Belgium developed a highly efficient and capable transportation infrastructure that included roads, ports, canals, and railways. The multilingual nature of the workforce and its industriousness has made the workforce one of the most productive in the world.

Belgium has a very open economy, situated at the heart of a zone of intense economic activity. Exports of goods and services represent 92,1 % (2008) of GDP and imports nearly 92,8 %(2008). The Belgian economy is currently dominated by the service sectors. The importance of the manufacturing industries has gradually declined over the last 30 years.

With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. More than three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Public debt is 89.8 % of GDP (2008). After a long period of decline (133,6 % in 1993) public debt is rising again due to the financial crisis. Income distribution is relatively equal. Belgium began circulating the euro in January 2002.

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Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100