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The Transatlantic Economy: what’s in it for Belgium?

The transatlantic economy is the world’s largest and most important market, creating 15 million jobs, generating $5.5 trillion in commercial sales each year and accounting for one third of global GDP. But, what’s in it for Belgium?

Despite recent political turbulence, the economic relationship between the US and Europe is powering ahead, according to AmCham EU’s new study The Transatlantic Economy 2018. What does this mean for US companies in Belgium and Belgian companies in the US? Here is an overview of the key data for the US-Belgian trade and investment relationship.

US employment in Belgium

In 2016, US companies directly employed 129,642 people in Belgium – and the employment impact of US investment is significantly higher when indirect job creation is taken into account.


Belgian exports to the US

Did you know the US is again Belgium’s fifth largest trading partner – and even ranks first when EU countries are excluded? In 2016, Belgium exported $17 billion worth of goods to the US – 5.8% of total Belgian exports, or 20.9% excluding intra-EU trade. Chemicals are the most important export product from Belgium to the US.


Belgian imports from the US

The US supplied 8.1% of Belgium’s imports in 2016, totaling $32.1 billion worth of goods. Excluding EU countries, the US share increases to more than one fifth (22.1%) of the total imports. joke 


US investment in Belgium

As seen in our recent blog posts on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Flanders and Wallonia, US companies lead the ranks for job creation and investment. In Wallonia, the US was the third most important source of FDI in 2017. In Flanders, the US remained the number one foreign investor, responsible for 46 new projects, or one fifth of all new investments.

The overall US-Belgium trade and investment relationship remains strong. AmCham Belgium looks forward to continuing to improve business and investment opportunities for the US-Belgium business community.

Stay tuned for the next publication in our Importance of US Companies in Belgium series, this year with a focus on logistics!