Detailed Review of Belgium’s Economy
Belgium, which experienced a very turbulent political and economic period in 2011, should see the return of (slight) growth estimated at 0.9% in 2014. Despite austerity and a decrease in deficit (target 0% by 2015), the country has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world.
Its economic activity is mainly based on services with a service sector accounting for 75% of the GDP. This observation is explained in part by the strong involvement of the country, and Brussels, in the management of the European Union, with the hosting of several institutions. The secondary sector is the second influential area but its importance varies according to the regions. Wallonia is therefore in turmoil following closures related to the coal and steel, whereas Flanders has the second most powerful petrochemical industry in the world.
The Belgian economy is very open to the world and its European neighbours: indeed it is a great exporting power and takes advantage of its position which makes it a compulsory place of passage for European trade. Belgium’s major trading partners are of course the European Union, and also the United States.
Belgium’s Economic Strengths
- Multilingual, productive workforce.
- Good infrastructure.
- Advantageous geographical position.
- Excellent standard of living.
Belgium’s Economic Weaknesses
- High salaries.
- Turbulent financial sector.