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Flanders, a strong backbone for international trade

Flanders is responsible for the vast majority of Belgium’s exports – far surpassing the figures for the regions of Wallonia and Brussels. Discover the most recent facts and figures on Flanders’ exports.

Flanders' top 10 export destinations 

(Flanders Investment & Trade, export figures for 2018)

Ranking Country billion EUR
1 Germany 58.9
2 Netherlands 42.2
3 France 39.7
4 UK 27.1
5 Italy 16.8
6 US 16.1
7 Spain 8.6
8 India 7.7
9 Poland 7.0
10 China 6.5

Major international trade trends in Flanders

Clear specialization

Overall, Flanders specializes in the international trade of:

  • chemical and pharmaceutical products
  • labor-intensive products (like diamond)
  • capital-intensive goods (including vehicles)

Telling trends

Based on the data gathered about the international import and export flows of Flanders, several trends emerge that provide insights into the Flanders’ economy:

  • While still new to the market of complex research-intensive goods, Flanders is expected to become increasingly competitive in this sector.
  • Flanders’ exports to the Asian Tigers continues to grow since 2008.
  • Flanders is oriented towards exportation to EU countries, an advantage in the global market as growth in emerging markets slows.
  • The start-up and development of young exporting companies in Flanders is highly supported.
  • Diversification of the region’s exportation palette will continue to result in growth, with companies focusing on high-tech niche segments.

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