With a total of €18 billion in export earnings, Belgium is expected to rank among the world's top 10 exporting countries in 2020, according to the latest report on world trade, published on Thursday, made by Euler Hermes, a world leader in export-credit insurance.
International commerce in goods and services entered into a low growth cycle in 2019 (+1.5%, against +3.8% in 2018), the company stated. This is due to trade tensions between China and the US but also to specific shocks in the automotive and electronics sectors. Additionally, no significant acceleration in world trade (+1.7%) is to be expected next year.
This downturn has inevitably left its mark on economies most open to global trade, Euler Hermes analysed. This is notably the case in Germany, whose economic growth looks like it will be limited to +0.6% in 2019.
In Belgium, growth in the volume of exports will also be weak this year (+1.3%) given the German and European situations, the company predicted. However, the country is benefiting slightly from the trade disputes, offsetting the decline in exports to Italy, the United Kingdom, China, Turkey, Russia and Poland.
Those to the US have indeed increased sharply (+23% since the beginning of 2019 compared to 10% for the same period in 2018). In total, Belgian exports are expected to grow by €2 billion in 2019.
Preparations for a possible hard Brexit also helped Belgian companies to export more during the summer (+€0.3 billion) following a drop of -€0.6 billion in the first quarter.
With a total of €18 billion in export earnings, Belgium will consequently be among the world's top 10 exporters in 2020, according to the export credit insurer.
The Brussels Times