Belgium is a country on the North Sea Coast. The low-lying nation is one-third of the Benelux, an economic block comprising of itself, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Belgian capital, Brussels, is found within 622 miles of the capitals of several Western European nations a fact that effectively puts Belgium at the intersection of Western Europe as a region. As is the case of most countries in Europe, Belgium has a relatively high population thus having to deal with the challenges of increasing urbanization, developing a robust transport system, and industrialization. Addressing these challenges is necessary to maximize commercial agricultural production. Belgium imports large quantities of raw materials and exports manufactured goods on the same scale to its neighboring countries. The Netherlands, Germany, and France are the most important export partners of Belgium.
Belgium's Top Import Partners
The Netherlands is the top import partner of Belgium in addition to being a fellow nation in the Benelux. It accounts for at least 17.3% of Belgian imports. Belgium imports an array of commodities from the Netherlands including mineral fuels which makes up the highest volume. Other imports include machinery, electronic equipment, industrial iron, and steel. Pharmaceuticals and food items such as honey and eggs are also included. Netherlands and Belgium are bound by strong cultural ties, for instance, Dutch is the most spoken language in both countries, and these ties have significantly boosted trade between the two countries.
Germany is the second largest exporter to Belgium. It makes up 13.8% of the volume of imports by Belgium. The main goods imported from Germany by Belgium are vehicles which amount to $13.9 billion effectively topping the list of imports. Machinery, plastics, organic chemicals, iron, and steel, as well as pharmaceuticals, also constitute the list of goods that Belgium imports from Germany. Besides, Germany is the top importer of Belgian goods effectively making it one of Belgium’s most important overall trade partners.
France comes in third place by import share at 9.5%. The cooperation the two countries go back to the formation of the European Union and NATO agreement of which Belgium was a major proponent. Belgium and France signed a trade agreement in 1934. The top Belgian imports from France are vehicles valued at $6 billion, pharmaceuticals, machinery, beverages, iron and steel, and plastics. Other chemical goods are valued at $1 billion. Belgium also imports cereals from France whose value is about $947 million.
Outside the European Union
Fellow member countries within the EU make the largest import partners of Belgium, about 75% over the years. The main imports are vehicles, machinery and iron and steel. Outside the EU other major import partners include the United States at 7.1%, the United Kingdom holds 4.9%. The case for imports and exports is greatly hinged on the Belgian system of importation of raw materials to be used in the manufacture of goods for export. The difference between imports and exports is known as the balance of trade which Belgium focuses on keeping positive.