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Belgium PESTLE Insights – A Macroeconomic Outlook Report

The GDP of Belgium was $581.9 billion in 2021 and the country ranked 28 out of 136 nations in the GCRI Q4 2021. The country’s risk score is in the low-risk nations band. The economic growth of Belgium is expected to slow down in 2022, due to a rise in price level amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The country possesses one of the best infrastructure networks in Europe with high-density transportation and telecommunications. Most of Europe’s main highways cross Belgium and it has one of the densest railway networks in Europe, with high-speed connectivity to London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. Belgium has very well-developed water and air transport facilities as well. The country’s aging population will plague Belgium as people continue to retire in increasing numbers. Taxation in Belgium is ranked the highest in the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) region.

What are the PESTLE insights for Belgium?

Political Landscape

Freedom of press is guaranteed by the constitution and generally respected by the government. On the voice and accountability, Belgium was ranked in the 90.8 percentile in 2020, in the World Governance Indicators (2021), published by the World Bank. Belgium works closely with the US bilaterally, as well as through regional and international organizations, to promote economic and political cooperation. In 2020 the US market represented Belgium’s fourth-largest export destination. The US is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Belgium from outside of Europe.

Economic Landscape

Belgium boasts of a highly diversified and open economy. The government has undertaken several measures to increase Belgium’s attractiveness to foreign investment and economic competitiveness. The country has welcomed investment and reform initiatives in the National Resilience and Recovery Plan and encouraged ambitious labor and product reforms in 2021. Ukraine is one of the grain stores of Europe which stopped the supply of grain following Russia’s attack leading to a rise in prices.

Social Landscape

Belgium’s Human Development Index score stood in 2019 made it a good place to live. Belgium spends a major proportion of its GDP on the social sector. After noting the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups, the government has called for more fundamental reforms of social benefits, minimum pension, wage setting, and employment protection to ease rigidities and meet ambitious employment objectives. The Belgian government plans to increase the pension to avoid a future pension crisis. To enhance labor force participation, the government aims to raise the employment rate thus expanding the income tax base and base for social security contributions.

Technological Landscape

In the EU, Belgium presented the highest proportion of enterprises employing ICT specialists. In terms of digital skills. Belgium ranked second in the share of enterprises providing ICT training to its employees. Belgian exports consist largely of medium-level technology products and the country faces stiff competition from nations with lower labor costs. Belgium’s competitive position is not fully built on its comparative technological strength, and the country has been failing to harness the benefits of R&D.

Legal Landscape

Belgium has an independent judicial system and the country’s federal character is well-reflected in its legal system. Legislative and judicial powers have been divided between the regions. Since the country is a member of the EU, it has incorporated the union’s directives and conforms to the standards set by the European Court of Justice. In February 2022, the country provided eligibility to workers to choose a four-day week under a series of labor market reforms.

Environmental Landscape

Belgium has a strong environmental policy framework that addresses the relevant EU directives. The government has identified sustainable development and waste among its focus areas in its environmental policy, which is centered on improving water and air quality, and bolstering eco-efficiency. Belgium aims to raise the share of renewable energy by 2030 by focusing on wind and photovoltaic energy, biofuels, and the use of waste heat.

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Market report scope:

GDP 2021 $581.9 billion

Reasons to Buy

  • Macroeconomic Outlook Report identifies the potentials of the country as an investment destination by analyzing the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental (PESTLE) structure.
  • PESTLE Insights provides a 360-degree view of the economy which can be used as a strategic tool to understand the market dynamics, business potentials, and direction of operations.
  • Along with providing the country’s snapshot, the report captures the risk factors pertaining to the macroeconomic risks, political environment, legal environment, demographic and social structure effectiveness, technology & infrastructure, and natural and geographic aspects that might impact business.
  • This report also highlights key clusters/cities which contribute significantly to the country’s GDP and population along with major companies’ presence in these areas.

Key Players

Umicore

KBC

UCB

Solvay

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Exhibits

Did you Know?

Country Highlights

Recovery from COVID-19 Crisis

Country Snapshot

Political Landscape

Economic Landscape

Social Landscape

Technological Landscape

Legal Landscape

Environmental Landscape

Outlook

List of Figures

List of Figures

Exhibit 1: Belgium’s performance in terms of its country risk analysis in comparison to the West Europe and World averages

Exhibit 2: Performance overview (Score: 1-100)

Exhibit 3: Broad categories and weights behind the index

Exhibit 4: BEL20 Index (March 2021 – March 2022)

Exhibit 5: Key sectors’ contribution to the economy (2017-24f)

Exhibit 6: FDI flows (Q3 2019-Q3 2021) and FDI by sector (2017-20)

Exhibit 7: Investment by region and country (Q4 2020-Q3 2021)

Exhibit 8: Key infrastructure indicators

Exhibit 9: Real GDP and household consumption growth rate (2017-24f)

Exhibit 10: Real GDP growth rate comparison (2021)

Exhibit 11: Exports and imports, percentage change (2017-24f)

Exhibit 12: Current account balance (2017-24f)

Exhibit 13: Top three commodity exports, % of total exports (2017-20)

Exhibit 14: Vehicles, % of world total (2020)

Exhibit 15: Interest rates (January 2017 – January 2022)

Exhibit 16: Exchange rate and inflation (2017-24f)

Exhibit 17: Public finance (2017-24f)

Exhibit 18: General government debt (2017-24f)

Exhibit 19: Unemployment (2017-24f)

Exhibit 20: Average annual wages (2017-24f)

Exhibit 21: Labor cost index (2017-24f)

Exhibit 22: Rural/urban share of total population (1995, 2005, 2015, 2025)

Exhibit 23: Age-group share of total population (1995, 2005, 2015, 2025)

Exhibit 24: Gender split (1995, 2005, 2015, 2025)

Exhibit 25: Internet users as a percentage of total population, mobile penetration rate and broadband penetration rate (2021e)

Exhibit 26: Number of patents granted per million people (2021e)

Exhibit 27: High-technology exports, % of manufactured exports (2020)

Exhibit 28: Doing Business in Belgium 2020

Exhibit 29: Corruption perceptions index (Rankings) (2021)

Exhibit 30: Renewable energy, installed capacity (2017-20)

Exhibit 31: CO2 emissions (2017-20)

Frequently Asked Questions

The GDP of Belgium was $581.9 billion in 2021.

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