Prosperity – Trade balance
Number one exporter for more than 10 years
The Belgian chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry’s trade balance underlines the value added of its international operations.
Belgium’s chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector exported 116 billion euro of products – one-third of total Belgian exports. Representing over 80% of its production in 2015, this makes the industry the country’s number one exporter. It also accounts for nearly 12% of total EU-28 exports.
The chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry generated a positive trade balance of more than 21 billion euro in 2015, a figure which has almost doubled in the last ten years. Moreover, the sector contributes positively to 90% of the Belgian trade balance.
Neighbouring countries are the sector’s main trading partners: 38% of exports go to Germany, France and the Netherlands, with Germany alone accounting for one-fifth of the total. Outside Europe, North America (especially the USA) remains the major trading partner, with a share of 12%. International trade with fast-growing countries is also growing steadily. The sector’s exports to Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs) rose particularly fast, almost doubling between 2005 and 2015 to reach 5.5% of the total.