Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Political divisions between the Dutch-speaking Flemish of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
construction materials, silica sand, carbonates, arable land
Distribuição da População
most of the population concentrated in the northern two-thirds of the country; the southeast is more thinly populated; considered to have one of the highest population densities in the world; approximately 97% live in urban areas
Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%
BRUSSELS (capital) 2.045 million; Antwerp 994,000 (2015)
- Designação longa convencional
- Kingdom of Belgium
- Forma longa local
- Royaume de Belgique (French)/Koninkrijk Belgie (Dutch)/Koenigreich Belgien (German)
- Forma curto local
federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
- Coordenadas Geográficas
- 50 50 N, 4 20 E
- Fuso horário
- UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
- Horário de verão
- +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Belgium’s central geographic location and highly developed transport network have helped develop a well-diversified economy, with a broad mix of transport, services, manufacturing, and high tech. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. Belgium is 100% reliant on foreign sources of fossil fuels, and the planned closure of its seven nuclear plants by 2025 should increase its dependence on foreign energy. Its role as a regional logistical hub makes its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with EU trading partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries.
- Taxa de imposto total (% dos lucros empresa)
- Taxa de juro real
- Produção, valor acrescentado (% PIB)
- Saldo Corrente
- US$ -1.912.504.055
- Força de trabalho, total
- Emprego na Agricultura
- Emprego na Industria
- Emprego nos Serviços
- Taxa de Desemprego
- Importação de Produtos e Serviços
- US$ 382.711.898.358
- Exportação de Produtos e Serviços
- US$ 393.891.773.661
- Total Comércio de Mercadorias
- IDE, entradas líquidas
- US$ 19.440.995.047
- Exportações de serviços comerciais
- US$ 108.952.081.763
sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk
engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
- chemicals, machinery and equipment, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs
- Germany 16.9%, France 15.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, UK 8.8%, US 6%, Italy 5% (2015)
- raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products
- Netherlands 16.7%, Germany 12.7%, France 9.6%, US 8.7%, UK 5.1%, Ireland 4.7%, China 4.3% (2015)
- Índice de Risco do País
- The political and economic situation is good. A basically stable and efficient business environment nonetheless leaves room for improvement. Corporate default probability is low on average.
- Classificação de Clima de Negócios
- The business environment is very good. Corporate financial information is available and reliable. Debt collection is efficient. Institutional quality is very good. Intercompany transactions run smoothly in environments rated A1.
- Ideally located between the United Kingdom, Germany, and France
- Presence of European institutions, international organizations, and global groups
- Ports of Antwerp (second busiest in Europe) and Zeebrugge, canals, and motorways
- Well-qualified, multilingual workforce thanks to vocational training
- Net external creditor position
- Excellent business environment
- Political and financial tensions between Flanders and Wallonia
- Highly dependent on the western European economic cycle (exports of goods and services = 82% of GDP)
- Exports concentrated on intermediate products and the European Union
- High structural unemployment
- Heavy public debt burden
- Tight housing market (over-valuation estimated at 6.8% by BNB in Q2
Growth is expected to remain modest in 2017. The contribution of external trade will shift from positive to nil. Exports, (82% of GDP), consisting to a large extent of intermediate products, machines and transport equipment, will be subject to another increase in the real, effective exchange rate, associated with the depreciation of UK sterling while the unit cost of labor is edging up. While they will benefit from the modest advance in growth in the neighboring countries, the UK market is likely to be less buoyant. Tourism income will struggle to return to pre-terrorist attack levels. With stronger domestic demand, imports will pick up somewhat. Private employment growth, sustained by the prospect of lower social security contributions (2018), together with the indexing of wages to inflation (reintroduced in April 2016), is expected to accelerate private consumption. Given its large share of GDP (52%), its contribution to growth will be similar to that of investment. Business investment will continue to be buoyed by accessible, cheap credit, as well as a high capacity utilization rate. Construction will be sustained by local authority infrastructure spending, especially on housing and schools.
The level of public debt exceeds GDP, which is reflected in an interest burden equivalent to more than 2% of GDP, despite low interest rates. The authorities want to both bring down the cost of the debt by cutting the overall deficit and, as a priority, transfer levies on labor to consumption. Their goal is to achieve structural equilibrium (i.e. excluding cyclical effects) in 2018, based on fiscal economies amounting to 2.7% of GDP. They have chosen to limit the cut to be made in 2017 to 0.7% and to postpone the main measures until 2018, which seems challenging. In 2017, action will mainly be taken on spending by means of reform of the health system, cuts to current public expenditure and subsidies. The rest of the restructuring will come from raising tax on investment income from 27% to 30%.
Although not turning into a deficit, as between 2008 and 2014, the trade in goods surplus could decline. The main cause will be the downturn in UK demand affected by sterling's depreciation and uncertainty over the future. Moreover, whereas in 2014 and 2015, labor costs rose less than did labor productivity putting an end to a decade of loss of competitiveness and market share, especially on European markets, the process seemed to have reversed in 2016. Services will remain in surplus thanks to IT, telecommunications, royalties, transport and wholesale trade. Because of its location at the heart of Europe and with its ports providing easy access to its markets, Belgium plays a major role in the re-export of goods destined for or arriving from its neighbors. Substantial investments held abroad by Belgian interests generate considerable income, which offsets transfers by foreign workers and the net contribution to the European budget. Finally, the current account balance is in surplus.
Since October 2014, the country has been governed by a center-right coalition dominated by the Flemish Parties made up of the conservative Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA, New Flemish Alliance), the leading party in Flanders and at federal level, the Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V, Christian Democratic and Flemish) and the Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten (open VLD, Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats) and led by Prime Minister Charles Michel from the French-speaking Mouvement réformateur (Reformist Movement). The socialist party, the main French-speaking political force, is in opposition. So as not to upset its partners and the majority of the population, the N-VA has toned down its wish to abolish the Brussels-Capital region and marginalize the federal state, which retains, in addition to its sovereign powers, most social spending, including pensions and health spending i.e. about half of public spending as well as financial oversight, competition, collection of the main taxes and the mechanism for index-linking incomes. The government is focusing on the economy, specifically on fiscal consolidation and structural reforms aimed at making business more competitive again, such as making working time more flexible and reducing employer contributions (30%), process expected to resume in 2018. This does not exclude disagreements, for example over the proposal to introduce a tax on capital gains, which are currently tax-exempt. In this context, the number of insolvencies should continue to fall.