The leading Belgian sectors for U.S. exports and investments are (by alphabetical order): Information & Communication Technologies, Medical Devices, Power Generation Equipment, Safety & Security, Smart Grids, and Travel & Tourism. As the host of NATO and EU headquarters, and hundreds of other international organizations, Belgium also offers opportunities for specific projects.
Belgium’s central location in the wealthiest region of Europe makes it an ideal gateway for exports to Europe. Within a radius of 300 miles, 140 million EU consumers can be reached representing 60% of Europe’s purchasing power.
As raw materials and natural resources are not sufficient, the balance of trade is usually towards imports and thus there is always some trade deficit in Belgium.
According to the 2009 estimates, Belgium had an export volume of $296.1 billion and ranked 13th in the world. This, however, showed a tremendous drop from the 2008 figures, which shone bright at $371.5 billion. The most important sectors of Belgium’s economy in 2016 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.5 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.5 %) and industry (16.7 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 72% of Belgium’s exports (Germany 17%, France 15% and the Netherlands 11%), while outside the EU 6% go to the United States and 2% to both India and China.
In terms of imports, 63% come from EU Member States (the Netherlands 16%, Germany 13% and France 9%), while outside the EU 8% come from the United States and 4% from China.