Success in international business is not just about you and your customers in Belgium. Get to know the business facts of the country you are dealing with and familiarize yourself with the different business practices, cultures, customs regulations and the economy.
Country facts Belgium
KEY FACTS BELGIUM
11,35 Million (2017)
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.
- Show the necessary modesty and reservation. Belgians often find the Dutch to be too direct.
- Know who is your discussion partner in negotiations. The person you speak with does not have to be the one who makes the decisions.
- Do not expect Belgians to make the decision at the end of the conversation. People often want some time for reflection.
- Belgians are specialists in making compromises. That can be a disadvantage because a Belgian does not immediately say what he thinks. So do not draw quick conclusions from a conversation.
Bron: Rijkdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (rvo.nl)
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 € 43.6 billion in 2017
- Dutch imports from Belgium amounted to € 37.9 billion in 2017
Belgium and DHL Express
With our experience from 1978 and extensive local network, DHL Express is your ideal partner to support your business. Simply send your important documents and parcels with DHL Express to, for example, Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, Charleroi, Ghent or Bruges.
....since 1978... ...1900 employees... ... 8 Service Centers
...over 215 vehicles... ...1 Hub and Gateway
Belgium / Netherlands transit times
|Destination|| Transit times|
DHL Express strives to provide accurate and reliable information. Published transit times are indicative. At www.dhl.nl you can view the current transit times. Published transit times are based on the most common transit time between two countries to direct delivery areas in the destination country. The transit time for non-direct delivery areas is available through our customer service. Published transit times may vary, among other things, due to local customs procedures in the destination country or a non-average value, size or a non-average weight of a shipment.
National Bank Holidays Belgium
|01 jan||New Year's Day|
|17 apr||Easter Sunday|
|18 apr||Easter Monday|
|13 may||Ascension Day|
|24 may||Pentecost Monday|
|21 jul||Independence Day|
|15 aug||Assumption Day|
|01 nov||All Saint's Day|
|11 nov||Armistice Day|
|25 dec||Christmas Day|
|26 dec||Chirstmas Day|
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