The Key Strenghts of Flanders

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  • Flanders is located in the heart of Europe
  • Flanders is a unique European hub
  • Flanders has an economy based on trade and services
  • Flanders has a strong export driven economy
  • Flanders has a diversified base of trading partners
  • Flanders has good foreign direct investment figures and trade partnerships
  • Flanders has strong economic fundamentals

Located in the heart of Europe

Flanders lies at the center of the EU’s wealthiest and most populated area – and Flanders has the highly developed transport and communications systems required for companies to take full advantage of this fact.

Flanders is a unique European hub

Flanders offers companies rapid and efficient supply and distribution links with other major European centers and beyond;
Flanders has leading ports in Europe with ports like Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Ghent and Ostend;
Flanders has large airport freight and logistic hubs in Brussels (Zaventem) and Ostend;
Flanders has an extensive inland waterway system connecting it directly to other European countries
Flanders has an high density rail network with dedicated freight lines to other parts of Europe.

Flanders has an economy based on trade and services

Flanders has a typical well developed economy based on services (73,3%) and industry (25,8%) with only limited impact of the primary sector (0,9%).

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Flanders has a strong-export-driven economy

The Flemish economy is strongly export-oriented and accounts for  83,2% of Belgium’s total export in volume. The strengths of our economy are amongst others a very diversified activity range, high labour productivity, very qualified and flexible working force, investments in innovation and R&D. Since the financial and economic crisis of 2009, export has steadily been growing, reaching year after year a new record. In 2017 a growth of 4.99% was noted. Almost one third of employment is working for export

The region’s most successful export products are chemicals, minerals, vehicles, machines and equipment, pharmaceuticals.

 

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Flanders has a diversified base of trading partners

The EU28 is the most important Flemish export market, due to its location (surrounding Flanders) and its economic size. The 3 neighboring countries (Germany, France and the Netherlands: 41.7%) are Flanders main trading partners. The United States took nearly 5.0% of Flemish exports in 2017. Also emerging economies like India and China are steadily becoming more important for Flemish exports.

The same countries are amongst our largest import partners as well.

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Flanders has good foreign direct investment figures and trade partnerships

 

 

Flanders has strong economic fundamentals

Flanders has a strong economy. Its strong economy is reflected in a low unemployment rate good real GDP growth rate.

 

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Sources: Eurostat – Labour Force Survey, Study Office of the Government of Flanders