alhambra-logo-DEFLocated in Belgium since last year, Alhambra International gives you some facts and figures about economy, education and social issues. Belgium is an important crossroads in Europe around France, Germany, Luxembourg, Nederland and also Great Britain!  Belgium is also a very open economy and society fully integrated in Europe!

According to the World Trade Report, Belgium is one of the top 10 exporting countries in the world, and its per capita export figure is among the highest worldwide.

Key figures: Surface area: 30,528 km2 – Population: 11, 14 million – PIB ($ US courants): 483,3 $ milliard(s) 2012


– Ranks 7th for logistical efficiency (World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2012 – performance on trade logistics)

– 8th global goods exporter and 14th largest service exporter in the world (WTO International Trade Statistics 2010)

– 6th in the European innovation ranking (comparative study published by the European Commission – 2011)

– 17th (out of 144) in the World Economic Forum Global for Competitiveness Report (2012-2013)

– 1th (out of 207) in globalization (KOF Index 2013 – The KOF Index of Globalization measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, and political).

Flanders Area:

Its position as a European hub makes Flanders one of the top importers as well. The region’s most successful export products are minerals, vehicles, pharmaceuticals, organic chemical products and mechanical machinery. Germany, France and the Netherlands are the main recipients. No less than four strategic research centers are constantly developing cutting-edge technologies and processes that will shape tomorrow’s society.

Belgium – and Flanders as a region – is a worldwide champion for chemicals and plastics. On a sales per capita basis, it is the number one chemical country in the world.

With nearly 800 European distribution centres (EDCs) and an average of over five EDCs per 100 km2, Flanders boasts the highest EDC density in Europe. Furthermore, the region is among the worlds’ best when it comes to the density of road, railroad and inland waterway networks. It is, in short, a paradise for any logistics operation.

Belgium and Flanders as a region rank among the world’s top 10 where education systems are concerned. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, for instance, the region’s educational system ranks 5th. For maths and science education in particular, the region takes the 3rd position worldwide.

Centrally located and easily accessible, the Port of Antwerp plays a key role in Flanders’ renowned chemical industry. With a portfolio of 300 different chemicals – the most diverse in the world – and over 500 chemical companies, Antwerp is the largest chemical cluster in Europe (the second largest worldwide).


Can easily be considered Europe’s lobbying capital with more than 3,800 active diplomats in Brussels. The only city in the world where you will find more is New York City. Measured by the number of events, it is the world’s second international conference centre. It is, after Washington DC (USA), the world’s largest centre for advocacy and the place with the most foreign journalists. Brussels houses: 1,300 European Headquarters or sales subsidiaries of foreign companies.

Brussels is a Europe’s leading destination and second world-wide destination for business meetings (International Meeting Statistics 2009, Union of International Associations)

Wallonia Area:

Covering a territory of 17,000 km² and home to 3,400,000 people, Wallonia is one of the 3 Belgian regions that make up the Federal State. Wallonia is strategically located between Germanic, Romance and Anglo-Saxon regions. It has outstanding infrastructures in terms of transport links, including European road and rail networks. Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are less than 300 km away. In addition, several waterways connect Wallonia to the main seaports in the area, such as Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam and Dunkirk. The region also has two international airports (Liège and Charleroi) for freight and passenger transport.

Wallonia has been established «European Creative District» by the European Union together with Tuscany among more than 40 applicant regions in Europe. After three successful years of implementation of the Creative Wallonia programme, the European Commission has considered as a model the Walloon initiative to stimulate the creative economy as a driver of economic transformation. This labelling and the accompanying action programme position, from January 2013 to July 2015, Wallonia as an actual creative laboratory at the European level.

Belgium economy has a strong potential in various areas, such as logistics, chemical, food and services. Belgium executives are strong workers and are opened to professional mobility. It’s a pleasure for Alhambra International and its consultants to invest time and energy in that country and to help our clients to improve their recruitments.

Anne Charlotte VAILLANT

Owner and CEO