A country’s trade balance (or balance of trade) is the difference between exports and imports of goods and services in that country.
Because Belgium exports more than it imports, its trade balance is manifestly positive.
Around 60% of its exports are intermediate goods, mainly machinery and equipment but also many chemicals and related products.
Belgium has a large vehicle assembly industry and is the world’s fourth largest exporter of cars. It is also the world’s leading exporter of diamonds and carpets. It ranks second in the world for the export of vegetable fibres, chocolate and margarine, and third for glass. Per head of population, Belgium is the biggest exporter in the world.
On the website of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), you can
- download publications and press releases about foreign trade
- perform searches in the foreign trade databases
- view the nomenclature of foreign trade goods. The European Commission uses the Combined Nomenclature (CN) system for its statistical purposes and for levying import duties.
You can also perform detailed searches in the foreign trade figures via the NBB’s sub-website, Belgostat.
More information about the Belgian economy is available on the websites of FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy (French-Dutch) and FPS Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.