Belgium - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview

Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.

Last published date: 2021-11-11

Belgium is a compact and diverse market, located at the crossroads of Europe.  It is composed of the francophone Wallonia region to the south, the Dutch speaking Flanders region in the north, and the bilingual capital region of Brussels, in addition to a small community of German speakers.  Belgium’s diversity makes it an ideal market for many U.S. firms to test their products before expanding distribution throughout Europe.  With a population of 11.35 million people in a territory comparable in size to the state of Maryland, it is densely populated.  It enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe, with a relatively balanced income distribution, resulting in widely distributed purchasing power among its residents. 

Belgium’s GDP reached $515 billion in 2020, while its bilateral trade with the United States totaled over $48.4 billion in 2020.  Distinguished by its major ports (Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe) and first-class logistical infrastructure, a significant portion of bilateral trade either originates in, or is destined for, other countries in Europe.  The U.S. ranked as Belgium’s fifth principal trading partner; with Belgium ranking as the 13th largest recipient of U.S. exports in 2020. 

Often referred to as “the capital of Europe,” the Belgian capital of Brussels is home to the headquarters of the European Union (EU) and of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as hundreds of international institutions, associations, and multinational corporations.

Princess Astrid (the king’s sister) will lead a royal trade mission of about 300 Belgian companies to Boston, Atlanta, and New York in June 2022.