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Belgium Business Guide


Geography


Location:
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands


Geographic coordinates:
50 50 N, 4 00 E


Map references:
Europe


Area:
total:30,528 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 141
land:30,278 sq km
water:250 sq km


Area - comparative:
about the size of Maryland


Land boundaries:
total:1,297 km
border countries:France 556 km, Germany 133 km, Luxembourg 130 km, Netherlands 478 km


Coastline:
66.5 km


Maritime claims:
territorial sea:12 nm
contiguous zone:24 nm
exclusive economic zone:geographic coordinates define outer limit
continental shelf:median line with neighbors


Climate:
temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy


Terrain:
flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast


Elevation extremes:
lowest point:North Sea 0 m
highest point:Botrange 694 m


    Natural resources:
construction materials, silica sand, carbonates


Land use:
arable land:27.06%
permanent crops:0.72%
other:72.22%
note:includes Luxembourg (2011)


Irrigated land:
233.5 sq km (2007)


Total renewable water resources:
18.3 cu km (2011)


Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
18.3 cu km (2011)

Natural hazards:
flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes


Environment - current issues:
the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) had slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges


Environment - international agreements:
party to:Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:none of the selected agreements


Geography - note:
crossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO



People and Society


Nationality:
noun: Belgian(s)
adjective:Belgian


Ethnic groups:
Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%


Languages:
Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)


Religions:
Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%


Population:
10,449,361 (July 2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 84


Age structure:
0-14 years:15.6% (male 830,980/female 797,624)
15-24 years:11.7% (male 624,486/female 598,904)
25-54 years:40.4% (male 2,131,869/female 2,086,212)
55-64 years:13.3% (male 690,395/female 704,284)
65 years and over:19% (male 836,685/female 1,147,922) (2014 est.)


Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio:54.8 %
youth dependency ratio:26.4 %
elderly dependency ratio:28.4 %
potential support ratio:3.5 (2014 est.)


Median age:
total:43.1 years
male:41.7 years
female:44.4 years (2014 est.)


Population growth rate:
0.05% (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 188


Birth rate:
9.99 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 193


Death rate:
10.76 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 38


Net migration rate:
1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 57


Urbanization:
urban population:97.5% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization:0.32% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)


Major urban areas - population:
BRUSSELS (capital) 1.949 million; Antwerp 959,000 (2011)


Sex ratio:
at birth:1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years:1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years:1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years:1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years:0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over:0.72 male(s)/female
total population:0.96 male(s)/female (2014 est.)


Mother's mean age at first birth:
28 (2010 est.)


Maternal mortality rate:
8 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)


Infant mortality rate:
total:4.18 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 194
male:4.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female:3.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)


    Life expectancy at birth:
total population:79.92 yearscountry comparison to the world: 37
male:76.76 years
female:83.22 years (2014 est.)


Total fertility rate:
1.65 children born/woman (2014 est.)country comparison to the world: 176


Contraceptive prevalence rate:
70.4%


Health expenditures:
10.6% of GDP (2011)


Physicians density:
3.78 physicians/1,000 population (2010)


Hospital bed density:
6.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)


Drinking water source:
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)


Sanitation facility access:
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 108


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
14,000 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 94


HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 125


Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
22.1% (2008)country comparison to the world: 83


Education expenditures:
6.6% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 30

Literacy:
definition:age 15 and over can read and write
total population:99%
male:99%
female:99% (2003 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total:16 years
male:16 years
female:17 years (2011)


Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total:19.8%country comparison to the world: 60
male:20.4%
female:19.8% (2012)


Government


Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
conventional short form:Belgium
local long form:Royaume de Belgique (French)/Koninkrijk Belgie (Dutch)/Koenigreich Belgien (German)
local short form:Belgique/Belgie/Belgien


Government type:
federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy


Capital:
name:Brussels
geographic coordinates:50 50 N, 4 20 E
time difference:UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October


Administrative divisions:
3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten, singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form)


Independence:
4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)


National holiday:
21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I


Constitution:
drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state); amended many times, last in 2012 (2012)


Legal system:
civil law system based on the French Civil Code; note - Belgian law continues to be modified in conformance with the legislative norms mandated by the European Union; judicial review of legislative acts


International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory


Executive branch:
chief of state:King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH, daughter of the monarch
head of government:Prime Minister Elio DI RUPO (since 6 December 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Alexander DE CROO (since 22 October 2012); Deputy Prime Minister Joelle MILQUET (since 20 March 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Laurette ONKELINX (since 30 December 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Didier REYNDERS (since 30 December 2008); Depurty Prime Minister Johan VANDE LANOTTE (since i6 December 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Pieter DE CREM (since 5 March 2013)
cabinet:Council of Ministers are formally appointed by the monarch
elections:the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and approved by parliament


Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat in French (71 seats indirectly elected serve five-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch, Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections:Chamber of Deputies - last held on 23 May 2014 (next to be held May 2019); note - elections will coincide with the EU's elections
election results:Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - N-VA 20.3%, PS 11.7%, CD&V 11.6%, Open VLD 9.8%, MR 9.6%, SP.A 8.8%, Groen! 5.3%, CDH 5.0% Workers' Party 3.7%, VB 3.7%, Ecolo 3.3%, FDF 1.8%, the People's Party 1.5%, other 7.2%; seats by party - N-VA 33, PS 23, CD&V 18, Open VLD 14, MR 20, SP.A 13, Groen! 6, CDH 9, Workers' Party 2, VB 3, Ecolo 6, FDF 2, the People's Party 1
note:as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six governments, each with its own legislative assembly


    Judicial branch:
highest court(s):Constitutional Court or Grondwettelijk Hof in Dutch and Cour constitutionelle in French (consists of 12 judges - 6 Dutch-speaking and 6 French-speaking); Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie in Dutch and Cour de Cassation in French (court organized into 3 chambers: civil and commercial; criminal; social, fiscal, and armed forces; each chamber includes a Dutch division and a French division, each with a chairperson and 5-6 judges)
judge selection and term of office:Constitutional Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by Parliament; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 70; Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by the High Council of Justice, a 44-member independent body of judicial and non-judicial members; judges appointed for life
subordinate courts:Courts of Appeal; regional courts; specialized courts for administrative, commercial, labor, and audit issues; magistrate's courts; justices of the peace


Political parties and leaders:
Federation of Enterprises in Belgium [Pieter TIMMERMANS/Pierre Alain DE SMEDT]; Confederation of Christan Trade Unions [Luc CORTEBEECK/Claude ROLIN]; Belgian General Federation of Labor [Rudy DE LEEUW/Anne DEMELENNE]
other:trade unions; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations representing the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi and groups representing immigrants


International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission:Ambassador Johan VERBEKE (since 10 March 2014)
chancery:3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:[1] (202) 333-6900
FAX:[1] (202) 338-4960
consulate(s) general:Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York


Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission:Ambassador Denise BAUER (since 7 August 2013)
embassy:27 Boulevard du Regent [Regentlaan], B-1000 Brussels
mailing address:PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 09710
telephone:[32] (2) 811-4000
FAX:[32] (2) 811-4500


Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red claws and tongue on a black field)


National symbol(s):
lion


National anthem:
name:'La Brabanconne' (The Song of Brabant)

lyrics/music:Louis-Alexandre DECHET[French] Victor CEULEMANS [Dutch]/Francois VAN CAMPENHOUT
note:adopted 1830; Louis-Alexandre DECHET was an actor at the theater in which the revolution against the Netherlands began; according to legend, he wrote the lyrics with a group of young people in a Brussels cafe


Economy


Economy - overview:
This modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to volatility in world markets. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries, and Belgium has benefited most from its proximity to Germany. In 2013 Belgian GDP grew by 0.1%, the unemployment rate increased to 8.8% from 7.6% the previous year, and the government reduced the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2%. Despite the relative improvement in Belgium's budget deficit, public debt hovers around 100% of GDP, a factor that has contributed to investor perceptions that the country is increasingly vulnerable to spillover from the euro-zone crisis. Belgian banks were severely affected by the international financial crisis in 2008 with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government, and the nationalization of the Belgian retail arm of a Franco-Belgian bank.


GDP (purchasing power parity):
$421.7 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$421.3 billion (2012 est.)
$422.5 billion (2011 est.)
note:data are in 2013 US dollars


GDP (official exchange rate):
$507.4 billion (2013 est.)


GDP - real growth rate:
0.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
-0.3% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)


GDP - per capita (PPP):
$37,800 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$38,000 (2012 est.)
$38,400 (2011 est.)
note:data are in 2013 US dollars


Gross national saving:
19.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
19.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
20.8% of GDP (2011 est.)


GDP - composition, by end use:
household consumption:53.7%
government consumption:25%
investment in fixed capital:20.2%
investment in inventories:0.8%
exports of goods and services:81.8%
imports of goods and services:-81.5%
(2013 est.)


GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture:0.8%
industry:22.6%
services:76.6% (2013 est.)


Agriculture - products:
sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk


Industries:
engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum


Industrial production growth rate:
0.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163

Labor force:
5.15 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73


Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture:2%
industry:25%
services:73% (2007 est.)


Unemployment rate:
8.8% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
7.6% (2012 est.)


Population below poverty line:
15.2% (2007 est.)


Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%:3.4%
highest 10%:28.4% (2006)


Distribution of family income - Gini index:
28 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 125
28.7 (1996)


Budget:
revenues:$241.9 billion
expenditures:$258.2 billion (2013 est.)


Taxes and other revenues:
47.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-3.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128


    Public debt:
102.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
99.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
note:data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions; general government debt is defined by the Maastricht definition and calculated by the National Bank of Belgium as consolidated gross debt; the debt is defined in European Regulation EC479/2009 concerning the implementation of the protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty on European Union (Treaty of Maastricht) of 7 February 1992; the sub-sectors of consolidated gross debt are: federal government, communities and regions, local government, and social security funds


Fiscal year:
calendar year


Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.3% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
2.6% (2012 est.)


Central bank discount rate:
0.75% (31 December 2013)
country comparison to the world: 127
1.5% (31 December 2010)
note:this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area


Commercial bank prime lending rate:
3.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
3.62% (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of narrow money:
$185.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$185.7 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
note:see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders


Stock of broad money:
$591.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$585 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of domestic credit:
$581.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$574.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)


Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2012 est.)


Current account balance:
-$9.1 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175
-$6.65 billion (2012 est.)


Exports:
$295.3 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
$302.4 billion (2012 est.)


Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs


Exports - partners:
Germany 18%, France 16.1%, Netherlands 13%, UK 7.3%, US 5.3%, Italy 4.4% (2012)


Imports:
$310.2 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18
$311.1 billion (2012 est.)


Imports - commodities:
raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products


Imports - partners:
Netherlands 20.9%, Germany 14.2%, France 10.6%, US 6.1%, UK 5.5%, Ireland 4.4% (2012)


Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$30.77 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$29.43 billion (31 December 2011 est.)


Debt - external:
$1.424 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
$1.417 trillion (31 December 2011)


Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$1.195 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
$1.159 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)


Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.215 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
$1.185 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)


Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)


Energy


Electricity - production:
83.37 billion kWh (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38


Electricity - consumption:
84.68 billion kWh (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37


Electricity - exports:
6.911 billion kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24


Electricity - imports:
16.85 billion kWh (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12


Electricity - installed generating capacity:
18.32 million kW (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41


Electricity - from fossil fuels:
43.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164


Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
32.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 2


Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0.6% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144


Electricity - from other renewable sources:
16.3% of total installed capacity (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12


Crude oil - production:
10,530 bbl/day (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89


Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83


Crude oil - imports:
667,700 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


    Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107


Refined petroleum products - production:
720,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24


Refined petroleum products - consumption:
644,400 bbl/day (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28


Refined petroleum products - exports:
442,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16


Refined petroleum products - imports:
355,100 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17


Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102


Natural gas - consumption:
13.46 billion cu m (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42


Natural gas - exports:
21.18 billion cu m (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18


Natural gas - imports:
38.9 billion cu m (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14


Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113


Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
131.1 million Mt (2011 est.)



Communications


Telephones - main lines in use:
4.631 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 33


Telephones - mobile cellular:
12.88 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 67


Telephone system:
general assessment:highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities
domestic:nationwide mobile-cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network
international:country code - 32; landing point for a number of submarine cables that provide links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat - 3) (2007)



    Broadcast media:
a segmented market with the three major communities (Flemish, French, and German-speaking) each having responsibility for their own broadcast media; multiple TV channels exist for each community; additionally, in excess of 90% of households are connected to cable and can access broadcasts of TV stations from neighboring countries; each community has a public radio network co-existing with private broadcasters (2007)


Internet country code:
.be


Internet hosts:
5.192 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 21


Internet users:
8.113 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 36



Transportation


Airports
41 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 102


Airports - with paved runways
total:26
over 3,047 m:6
2,438 to 3,047 m:9
1,524 to 2,437 m:2
914 to 1,523 m:1
under 914 m:8 (2013)


Airports - with unpaved runways
total:15
under 914 m:
15 (2013)


Heliports
1 (2013)


Pipelines
gas 3,139 km; oil 154 km; refined products 535 km (2013)


Railways
total:3,233 kmcountry comparison to the world: 55
standard gauge:3,233 km 1.435-m gauge (2,950 km electrified) (2008)


Roadways
total:154,012 kmcountry comparison to the world: 31
paved:120,514 km (includes 1,756 km of expressways)
unpaved:33,498 km (2010)


    Waterways
2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2012)
country comparison to the world: 42


Merchant marine
total:87country comparison to the world: 56
by type:bulk carrier 23, cargo 15, chemical tanker 5, container 4, liquefied gas 23, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 7
foreign-owned:15 (Denmark 4, France 7, Russia 1, UK 2, US 1)
registered in other countries:107 (Bahamas 6, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, France 7, Gibraltar 1, Greece 17, Hong Kong 26, Liberia 1, Luxembourg 11, Malta 7, Marshall Islands 1, Mozambique 2, North Korea 1, Panama 1, Portugal 8, Russia 4, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7, Singapore 1, Vanuatu 1) (2010)



Ports and terminals
major seaport(s):Oostende, Zeebrugge
river port(s):Antwerp, Gent (Schelde River); Brussels (Senne River); Liege (Meuse River)
container port(s) (TEUs):Antwerp (8,664,243), Zeebrugge (2,207,257) (2011)
LNG terminal(s) (import):Zeebrugge


Military


Military branches
Belgian Armed Forces: Land Operations Command, Naval Operations Command, Air Operations Command (2012)


Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 1994 (2012)


Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49:2,359,232
females age 16-49:2,291,689 (2010 est.)


Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49:1,934,957
females age 16-49:1,877,268 (2010 est.)


    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male:59,665
female:57,142 (2010 est.)


Military expenditures
1.05% of GDP (2012)
country comparison to the world: 99
1.08% of GDP (2011)
1.05% of GDP (2010)


Transnational Issues


Disputes - international
none


Refugees and internally displaced persons
stateless persons:3,898 (2012)


    Illicit drugs
growing producer of synthetic drugs and cannabis; transit point for US-bound ecstasy; source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin, hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe; despite a strengthening of legislation, the country remains vulnerable to money laundering related to narcotics, automobiles, alcohol, and tobacco; significant domestic consumption of ecstasy

Information provided by CIA - The World Fact Book



Doing Business in Belgium 2017


           
 

 
Belgium

  Ease of Doing Business Rank
Overall DTF
42
73.00
 
 
Starting a Business (rank)
17
 
 
Protecting Minority Investors (rank)
63
 
  DTF
94.49
 
  DTF
58.33
 
  Procedures - Men (number)
3.0
 
  Strength of minority investor protection index (0-10)
5.8
 
  Time - Men (number)
4.0
 
  Extent of conflict of interest regulation index (0-10)
7.0
 
  Cost - Men (days)
5.0
 
  Extent of disclosure index (0-10)
8.0
 
  Procedures - Women (days)
3.0
 
  Extent of director liability index (0-10)
6.0
 
  Time - Women (% of income per capita)
4.0
 
  Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10)
7.0
 
  Cost - Women (% of income per capita)
5.0
 
  Extent of shareholder governance index (0-10)
4.7
 
  Paid-in min. capital (% of income per capita)
17.0
 
  Extent of shareholder rights index (0-10)
4.0
 
 

 
  Extent of ownership and control index (0-10)
4.0
 
  Dealing with Construction Permits (rank)
44
 
  Extent of corporate transparency index (0-10)
6.0
 
  DTF
75.34
 
 

 
  Procedures (number)
10.0
 
  Paying Taxes (rank)
66
 
  Time (days)
212.0
 
  DTF
77.31
 
  Cost (% of warehouse value)
1.0
 
  Payments (number per year)
11.0
 
  Building Quality Control Index(0-15)
12.0
 
  Time (hours per year)
161.0
 
  Quality of building regulations index (0-2)
2.0
 
  Total tax rate (% of profit)
58.7
 
  Quality control before construction index (0-1)
1.0
 
  Profit tax (% of profit)
9.1
 
  Quality control during construction index (0-3)
2.0
 
  Labor tax and contributions (% of profit)
48.9
 
  Quality control after construction index (0-3)
3.0
 
  Other taxes (% of profit)
0.6
 
  Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2)
2.0
 
  Postfiling index (0-100)
88.3
 
  Professional certifications index (0-4)
2.0
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
  Trading Across Borders (rank)
1
 
  Getting Electricity (rank)
60
 
  DTF
100.00
 
  DTF
79.58
 
  Time to export: Border compliance (hours)
0
 
  Procedures (number)
6.0
 
  Cost to export: Border compliance (USD)
0
 
  Time (days)
88.0
 
  Time to export: Documentary compliance (hours)
1
 
  Cost (% of income per capita)
102.4
 
  Cost to export: Documentary compliance (hours) (USD)
0
 
  Reliability of supply and transparency of tariff index (0-8)
8.0
 
  Time to import: Border compliance (hours)
0
 
  Total duration and frequency of outages per customer a year (0-3)
3.0
 
  Cost to import: Border compliance (USD)
0
 
  Mechanisms for monitoring outages (0-1)
1.0
 
  Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)
1
 
  Mechanisms for restoring service (0-1)
1.0
 
  Cost to import: Documentary compliance (USD)
0
 
  Regulatory monitoring (0-1)
1.0
 
   
 
 
  Financial deterrents aimed at limiting outages (0-1)
1.0
 
  Enforcing Contracts (rank)
52
 
  Communication of tariffs and tariff changes (0-1)
1.0
 
  DTF
64.25
 
  Price of electricity (US cents per kWh)
16.9
 
  Time (days)
505.0
 
   
 
 
  Cost (% of claim)
18.0
 
  Registering Property (rank)
131
 
  Quality of judicial processes index (0-18)
8.0
 
  DTF
51.43
 
   
 
 
  Procedures (number)
8.0
 
  Resolving Insolvency (rank)
10
 
  Time (days)
56.0
 
  DTF
84.32
 
  Cost (% of property value)
12.7
 
  Recovery rate (cents on the dollar)
89.9
 
  Quality of the land administration index (0-30)
22.5
 
  Time (years)
0.9
 
  Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8)
5.0
 
  Cost (% of estate)
3.5
 
  Transparency of information index (0-6)
3.5
 
  Outcome (0 as piecemeal sale and 1 as going concern)
1
 
  Geographic coverage index (0-8)
8.0
 
  Strength of insolvency framework index (0-16)
11.5
 
  Land dispute resolution index (0-8)
6.0
 
  Commencement of proceedings index (0-3)
2.5
 
  Equal access to property rights index (-2-0)
0.0
 
  Management of debtor's assets index (0-6)
6.0
 
 
 
 
  Reorganization proceedings index (0-3)
1.0
 
  Getting Credit (rank)
101
 
  Creditor participation index (0-4)
2.0
 
  DTF
45.00
 
   
 
 
  Strength of legal rights index (0-12)
4.0
 
   
 
 
  Depth of credit information index (0-8)
5.0
 
 
 
 
  Credit registry coverage (% of adults)
95.3
 
   
 
 
  Credit bureau coverage (% of adults)
0.0
 
 
 
 
 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 



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