Foreword from the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose
I am delighted to welcome you to this guide to doing business in Belgium, our close neighbour and the UK’s 9th biggest export partner.
Belgium is an affluent country. GDP growth for 2017 is expected to be 1.6%. The country has an open and highly competitive market with few barriers to trade. English is widely spoken and with 11 million, often wealthy, customers who are receptive to British products and services, it offers opportunities in most sectors.
UK exports to Belgium are considerable with over £17.4 billion of goods and services exported in 2015. Sectors which currently offer particular opportunities for British companies are British food and drink, defence and security, renewable energy, digital economy, financial services and infrastructure.
Belgium is a stable, reliable market for first time exporters to start their international export activities. So if you learn the ropes here, you’re better prepared for success across the rest of Europe.
Strategically situated in the heart of Europe, Belgium is also home to many EU institutions, NATO and numerous multinational companies, making it an even more attractive location to be commercially active.
Key benefits for British businesses exporting to Belgium include:
- Strong and long standing trade relationship with the UK
- Proximity and easy transport links to the UK
- English is widely spoken
- Barriers to market entry are low
- Population with a high disposable income
Helping British companies – small, medium or large – develop business opportunities in Belgium and supporting those companies which are already here, is a top priority for me and my team from the Department of International Trade based at the British Embassy in Brussels.
By spotting and publishing commercial opportunities in the Belgian market we support first-time and experienced UK exporters to tap into live export opportunities in sectors ranging from food and drink, infrastructure, the digital economy, energy, etc, and we give Belgian companies access to the best ideas, innovative goods and top-class services available in the UK.
I hope you will find this guide useful. We would be pleased to support you in doing business in Belgium.
British Ambassador to Belgium
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