Between 1995 and 2014 “Belgian” exports were down a third within global exports, according to the Office of Planning. In 2014, 2.58% of global exports were Belgian, compared to 3.75% in 1995, points out L’Echo on Friday. This downturn snowballed in 2007 when the economic and financial crisis hit. There are several reasons for this decrease.
“First of all, a loss of competitiveness which was particularly noticeable between 1995 and 2007. The second reason is destination – the countries importing Belgian products. The bulk of our exports go to neighbouring countries and economic growth in ‘old Europe’ has been sluggish to say the least. This has had a knock-on effect on orders”, explained L’Echo, although product quality did not affect Belgian exports. “Although Belgium has performed less well on the vehicle and steel markets – markets which aren’t generally doing well at the moment anyway – Belgian companies have managed to win market share on the chemicals and pharmaceutical markets”, said l’Echo.