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    Income from buildings and infrastructure too low in Belgium

    Income from buildings and infrastructure in Belgium was 70.77 billion euros in 2016; that is, 28% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Kingdom, or 6,203 euros per person. These figures were revealed by a study of the Arcadis consulting firm. Based on a per capita calculation, the economic yield obtained in Belgium from buildings and infrastructure is 27th out of the 36 countries analysed.

    “Countries with comparable economic scale and context, such as the Netherlands (9th), Switzerland (13th) and Denmark (15th), leave us far behind. Belgium is the country with the lowest performance in the Eurozone, informed Arcadis in a communiqué. At 12,787 euros per person, the Netherlands has twice the economic profitability of building assets of Belgium, and even Germany (11,785 euros) and France (11,577 euros) nearly double Belgium’s building income level.

    Expressed as a percentage of GDP, income from buildings and infrastructure in Belgium (28%) is however comparable to that of mature Western economies such as Germany (26%), the Netherlands (28%) and the United States (30%). The service sectors in these economies are more developed than in emerging economies, thus requiring less buildings and infrastructure, according to Arcadis.  

    The consulting firm states that the subdivisions and organization of the Belgian territory has a particular tendency to be “of dense traffic between homes and workplaces and unavoidable traffic jams,” which “harms our economic productivity and the longevity of our infrastructure.” Arcadis also estimates that our public transportation networks do not complement each other sufficiently and that Belgian transport infrastructure is under-exploited.

    And regarding industrial assets, Arcadis states that “there is an enormous amount of spaces and lots unused or abandoned, particularly in urban areas.”      

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)