• Brussels, the capital of Belgium
  • Brussels and the European Union
  • Economy
  • Transport
  • Living in Brussels
  • 3. Economy

    Over the last ten years Belgium has had an average growth in GNP of 2.1%, which is 0.7% higher than the EU average of 2.0%. The GNP per person is € 25,500. Exports represent 76% of GDP, as opposed to an EU average of 32%. The service sector is of vital importance for the Belgian economy; about two thirds of the employment is provided for by the tertiary sector.

    There are has 30 industrial zones and 4 science parks in the Brussels Region. The industrial sector in Brussels is very diversified, especially in the following sectors: metal fabricating, mechanics, electronics, information technologies, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food processing, printing and publishing.

    The most important export industries of the Brussels Capital are pharmaceuticals, chemicals, transport equipment and plastics. The Brussels Capital Region accounts for nearly 9% of all exports from Belgium, and if services are included, the total rises to 18%. Because of its small-scale markets but great cultural diversity, Belgium is a very popular test market on which many products are tested before they are launched in Europe. If your product is successful in Belgium, there is a great chance it will be successful in the whole of Europe. Multinationals like Unilever, Coca-Cola and Apple use Belgium as a test market. They try out their latest ideas and products and make improvements where necessary. This way they limit the financial risk when their product is launched in the rest of Europe.

    In order to attract foreign, more specifically Chinese, investors to Belgium, the Belgian government has signed a Double Taxation Treaty with Hong Kong. Besides this treaty there are also other incentives.

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