Internationalisation Monitor 2024, first edition – Belgium

In this edition, we highlight the Belgian economy and focus on the trade relationship between the Netherlands and Belgium. How are both countries doing in terms of innovation, digitalisation and sustainability? We also discuss the interdependence between the two countries in global value chains, as well as labour market links and cross-border commuting between the two countries.
We know our southern neighbours for their culinary delights, including potato fries, Trappist beers and chocolates, but also for Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and for the port of Antwerp, a major supply point for Europe. While Belgium’s internal market is relatively small, just like the Netherlands it has an open economy with strong ties to other countries in the form of trade and inward and outward investment.

In this edition of the Internationalisation Monitor, we take a look at one of our closest neighbours: Belgium. How similar are Belgium and the Netherlands really? How is Belgium dealing with global and European challenges on innovation, climate and sustainability? Belgium’s position in the world is also discussed. What does the country’s trade in goods and services look like, and how interwoven is Belgium in global value chains? What does the Belgian labour market look like, and what does it have in common with the Dutch labour market?

The Internationalisation Monitor describes trends in internationalisation and their consequences for the Dutch economy and society. It is published three times per year as part of CBS’ Globalisation development and publication programme, which is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The aim of the research programme on Globalisation is to arrive at new insights in the field of globalisation in order to contribute to practices, policymaking and science. At the core of this approach is the integration of a wide range of sources and already available microdata, combined with the application of advanced statistical methods such as I/O analysis. The results, in the form of newly developed statistics and accompanying analyses, are published in CBS’s Internationalisation Monitor.