Key facts Belgium
11,59 Million (2021)
Flemish, French, German
The Kingdom of Belgium, our southern neighbours, spans 30,528 km² and has a population of just over 11 million inhabitants. The most important city is the capital Brussels, which is also the administrative center of the European Union and NATO.
The country has three official languages: about sixty percent of the population speak Dutch (especially in the Flemish region), fourty percent speak French (especially in the Wallonia region), and less than one percent speak German (in the East Cantons).
Apart from Germany, Belgium is the Netherlands' second most important trading partner. It has a solid middle class with considerable purchasing power. The internet sales are catching up. If you are active in this sector, then there are certainly opportunities for you. The economy of Belgium is mainly based on services, transport and trade. The importance of the industry is decreasing, but it is still around 25% of GDP.
The Belgian industry depends on the imports for its raw materials. Most of the iron comes from the Lorraine basin in France, while the non-ferrous metal products are made from raw materials imported from former Belgian colonies, such as for example zinc, copper, lead and tin.
In 2017, the Netherlands mainly exported crude oil and petroleum products (€ 5.46 billion) to Belgium. Followed by organic chemicals (€ 2.78 billion) and various manufacturers (€ 2.00 billion).
Doing business in Belgium
- Consider the language differences within the 3 regions in Belgium and be prepared for this. The official language of Flanders is Dutch, but with some specific expressions and terminology. In Wallonia and a large part of Brussels people mainly speak French. The east of the country has a German language area.
- Know who is your discussion partner in negotiations. The person you speak with does not have to be the one who makes the decisions.
Don't be too direct. A reserved attitude and first listening to what a business partner has to say often works better in the Belgian corporate culture.
Belgians often want some time to think about it. So don't draw quick conclusions from a conversation
Trade indicators Belgium
- Belgium has an area of 30,528 km² with the 24th largest country in the EU. The most important city is Brussels, the capital of Belgium and also the administrative center of the European Union and NATO.
- Belgium arose after the Belgian Revolution in 1830 when it separated from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belgium is a federal country and a constitutional monarchy with a king at its head
- Belgium is in place 12 of the world ranking as an exporter and 14 as an importer
- Dutch exports to Belgium amounted to € 83 billion in 2022
- Dutch imports from Belgium amounted to € 65.6 billion in 2022
Belgium and DHL Express
DHL Express and Belgium in figures, find out how many vehicles and employees are part of our global network.
Belgium / Netherlands transit times
Transit times Document
Transit times Non Document
National bank holidays Belgium
New Year's Day
All Saint's Day