Doing business in Belgium

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Belgium is a highly developed, heavily populated small country located at the crossroads of Western Europe. Belgium is among the members of the European Community, and Brussels the capital of Belgium is also the capital of the European Union. It is a federal state, with 3 relatively independent regions which include the Flanders in the north, where they speak Dutch (“Flemish”), Wallonia in the southern region, where they speak French and Brussels which is located at the center, officially speaks bilingual. Belgium’s rich history has made notable churches, castles, town halls and works of art, as at in the early Middle Ages, extend around the cities and countryside.

In the world, Belgium is regarded as a place that has the highest “quality of life”, as confirmed by its housing , education ,excellent food, health care, and infrastructure, it has world records for high productivity and low poverty, and the appreciation of foreigners residing in Belgium.
Comparing the size and population of Belgium, the country is among the most highly industrialized countries in Europe though poor in natural resources. It brings in raw materials in much quantity and processes them largely to sell to other countries. Exportation of goods equal to 80% of GDP, and about three-quarters of Belgium’s foreign trade is with other EU countries.
Belgium is the most open economy in the EU with the exception of Luxembourg and Ireland as measured by the worth of exports and imports relative to GDP, and one of the most open in the world. The economy of Belgium is highly integrated when compared to its three main neighbors, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
This modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has taken advantage on its highly developed transport network, central geographic location and diversified industrial and commercial base. Most of its Industries are concentrated mainly in the highly-populated Flanders in the northern region. Belgium does not have many natural resources, imports large quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactured products, hence making its economy susceptible to volatility in world markets. Approximately three-quarters of Belgium’s trade is with other EU countries, and Belgium has greatly benefited from its nearness to Germany
Belgium private enterprise economy is highly developed. Apart from coal, it has few natural resources, and this makes it rely heavily on the condition of world markets by importing raw materials and export the products it manufactured. The economy of Belgium is supported by the country’s adequate transportation network of ports, canals, roads and railways. The majority of its trade is within the European Union. The dominant sectors of the economy are services and industry.
An industry that is highly developed in Belgium is as a result of activity mainly in the processing of imported raw materials into semi-finished and finished products, most of these products are then exported. In 2004, industry accounted for 24% of GDP. The production of steel is the single most important sector of industry, with Belgium among the world highest producers of iron and steel. Nevertheless, it must import all its iron ore, which comes mainly from Brazil, West Africa, and Venezuela.
Brussels which is known as the capital of Belgium is the center of commerce and also for the distribution of manufactured goods. There are other important centers which include Antwerp, Liège, and Ghent. A majority of large wholesale firms go into import and export. Customary terms of sale are payment within 30–90 days after delivery, depending upon the commodity and the credit rating of the purchaser.
In Belgium, foreign investment is usually seen as an establishing subsidiary for international companies within the country. Belgium is considered as an economic and political center in Europe. Foreign investments are actively promoted by the Belgian government. The government has provided special encouragement to many industries that will generate new skills and boost export income. The government gives equal grant treatment under the law and also special tax inducements and assistance to foreign firms that create their enterprises in the country.
The seacoast, the old Flemish cities and the Ardennes Forest in the southeast are the three major tourist regions in Belgium. The largest North Sea resort is Ostendi, others are Blankenberge and Knokke. Among Flemish cities, Brugge, Gent, and Ypres stand out, while Antwerp also has many sightseeing attractions which are the busy port, exhibitions of the diamond industry, and the Antwerp Zoo, a haven of green in the city center. Brussels is the headquarter of the European Community; it is a modern city whose most famous landmark is the Grand Place. The capital is the site of the Palais des Beaux-Arts, with its varied concert and dance programs, and of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, home of the internationally famous Ballet of the 20th Century.

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