Belgium Political & Economic Analysis

No return to pre-crisis levels before 2023

AA1

LOW RISK for entreprise

  • Economic risk

  • Business environment risk

  • Political risk

  • Commercial risk

  • Financing risk

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GDP USD 542,761bn (World ranking 23, World Bank 2018)
Population 11,42mn (World ranking 78, World Bank 2018)
Form of state Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy
Head of government Sophie Wilmès (PM)
Next elections legislative elections, 2024
  • Strong business environment
  • Diversified export structure in terms of products
  • High company profitability and equity ratios
  • High-skilled workforce
  • High share of foreign direct investments
  • High level of innovation
  • One of the highest tax burdens on the private sector in the EU
  • Very high corporate debt
  • High public debt
  • High dependency on the Eurozone business cycle
  • High external liabilities

Trade structure by destination/origin

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Germany 15%
1
15% Germany
France 14%
2
15% Netherlands
Netherlands 13%
3
10% France
United Kingdom 10%
4
7% United States
Italy 10%
5
6% United Kingdom

Trade structure by product

(% of total)

Exports Rank Imports
Pharmaceuticals 11%
1
10% Pharmaceuticals
Cars 8%
2
9% Cars
Plastic Articles 7%
3
7% Basic Organic Chemicals
Basic Organic Chemicals 7%
4
5% Refined Petroleum Products
Refined Petroleum Products 5%
5
4% Plastic Articles
Payment terms in Belgium are 35 days on average, though DSO could be improved and the transposition of EU rules on late payment in domestic law is not as demanding as in other EU countries.

  • Low

  • Medium

  • Sensitive

  • High

  • Payments

  • Court proceedings

  • Insolvency proceedings

Court proceedings are reliable and benefit from EU standards, but enforcing domestic judgments remains time consuming and costly, so pre-legal action conducted by collection specialists remains the most efficient option when it comes to recovering debt.

Although domestic insolvency law aims at rescuing companies to increase the chances of recovering debts, it provides no limitations as to how much of the debt may be written off in restructuration negotiations. It is rare for unsecured creditors to recover from insolvent debtors in practice.

Euler Hermes

Economic Research Team

research@eulerhermes.com

Ana Boata

Head of Macroeconomic Research

ana.boata@eulerhermes.com

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