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Valores de comércio da Bélgica

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Belgian economy is particularly open, with foreign trade representing 193% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). In addition to being considered an export champion (8th in the world rank - WTO), Belgium plays an important role as a transit and distribution centre for other countries in the European Union. According to data from the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency, the majority of exports comprise chemical products (27.7%), mineral products (18.3%), transport equipment (8.6%), machinery and equipment (8.4%), base metals (7.3%), and plastics (7%). The main imports are chemical products (24.5%), mineral products (23.2%), machinery and equipment (10.8%), transport equipment (9.1%) and base metals (6.6% - data on 2022).

Belgium's role as a regional logistical hub makes its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with EU trading partners (who accounted for 68% of exports and 58.5% of imports in 2022). Germany remained the first customer (21.2%) in 2022, followed by the Netherlands (13.8%), France (13.1%), and the U.S. (5.8%). The main suppliers were the Netherlands (25.4%), Germany (15.9%), France (12.7%), China and the United States (8.2% each - data Belgian Foreign Trade Agency).

According to WTO data, in 2022 exports amounted to USD 635.2 billion, while imports reached USD 623.6 billion. Exports of services totalled USD 139.4 billion, as imports stood at USD 143.5 billion. The country’s trade balance is traditionally positive when including services; however, the overall external trade balance was negative by around 1.6% of GDP in 2022 (from a surplus of 1.8% one year earlier - World Bank). According to the latest data from the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency, in the period Jan-Sep 2023 Belgium exported EUR 396.3 billion and imported EUR 385.1 billion (down by 12.3% and 12.6% year-on-year, respectively). During the period, the EU accounted for 59.8% of total exports and 55.3% of imports.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 455,188428,878397,957527,128623,686
Exports of Goods (million USD) 468,213446,910421,842548,869635,245
Imports of Services (million USD) 124,108124,500118,938136,152143,566
Exports of Services (million USD) 124,423123,667120,875137,647139,426

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 166.5164.2157.2172.6193.1
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,0044,1767,0375,014-18,064
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1,6513,3448,8766,605-21,996
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.02.0-5.610.74.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.12.4-5.011.35.1
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 83.481.877.785.897.7
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 83.182.479.486.895.3

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) -1.21.73.53.63.5
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) -0.32.03.84.03.9

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Belgium is a member of the following international economic organisations: Benelux Economic Union, ICC, OECD, European Union, IMF, G-9, G-10, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Belgium click here. International organisation membership of Belgium is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Belgium can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
Germany 20.1%
Netherlands 14.2%
France 12.5%
United States 6.8%
United Kingdom 5.1%
See More Countries 41.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
Netherlands 21.1%
Germany 11.9%
France 10.7%
United Kingdom 6.4%
United States 5.4%
See More Countries 44.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

463.8 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 10.8%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 10.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 6.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 6.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.9%
See More Products 61.2%
464.3 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 13.9%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 5.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.1%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 5.0%
See More Products 65.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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