View the information below regarding the economy of Belgium. The summary and statistics contains
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GDP (2002): $227.4 billion.
Annual real growth rate (2002): 1.1%.
Per capita income (2002): $21,865.
Natural resources: Coal.
Agriculture: (1.4% of GDP) Products--livestock, including dairy cattle, grain, sugarbeets, nursery products, flax, tobacco, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables.
Industry: (24% of GDP) Types--machinery, iron, coal, textiles, chemicals, glass, pharmaceuticals, manufactured goods.
Trade (2001): Exports--$160.3 billion: Iron and steel, coal, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products. Imports--$154 billion: Fuels, chemical products, grains, foodstuffs. Trading partners--EU 74%; United States 6%.
Belgium, a highly developed market economy, belongs to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of leading industrialized democracies. In recent years, with a geographic area about equal to that of Maryland, and a population of just over 10 million, Belgium ranks seventh in per capita GDP worldwide. In 2002, the per capita income was $21,865. For 2002, the federal government presented a budget that was almost in equilibrium (0.2% of GDP deficit). GDP growth remains moderate at 1.1%.
Densely populated Belgium is located at the heart of one of the world's most highly industrialized regions. The first country to undergo an industrial revolution on the continent of Europe in the early 1800s, Belgium developed an excellent transportation infrastructure of ports, canals, railways, and highways to integrate its industry with that of its neighbors. One of the founding members of the European Community (EC), Belgium strongly supports deepening the powers of the present-day European Union to integrate European economies.
With exports equivalent to about two-thirds of GNP, Belgium depends heavily on world trade. Belgium exports twice as much per capita as Germany and five times as much as Japan. Belgium's trade advantages are derived from its central geographic location, and a highly skilled, multilingual, and productive work force.
The Belgian industrial sector can be compared to a complex processing machine: It imports raw materials and semi-finished goods that are further processed and re-exported. Except for its coal, which is no longer economical to exploit, Belgium has virtually no natural resources. Nonetheless, most traditional industrial sectors are represented in the economy, including steel, textiles, refining, chemicals, food processing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, electronics, and machinery fabrication. Despite the heavy industrial component, services account for 74.6% of GDP. Agriculture accounts for only 1.4% of the GDP.