Belgium

GOEDENDAG!/ BONJOUR! (Hello!)
TOT WEERZIENS!/ AU REVOIR! (Bye!)
Land area
30,528 km2
Population
11.2 million
Currency
euro [EUR]

The Kingdom of Belgium, located in Western Europe, is made up of three main regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, French-speaking Wallonia in the south and the capital city of Brussels, where both French and Dutch serve as the official languages. The eastern part of the country is also home to a small German-speaking minority. Since Brussels serves as headquarters for numerous institutions of the European Union, a large number of foreign nationals from other EU countries also live in Belgium.

The Belgian economy is driven by the service industry, which makes up about 70 per cent of the country’s GDP. Despite Belgium’s great industrial tradition, the manufacturing industry now only represents some 15 per cent. The largest economic sectors include the pharmaceutical and chemical industries as well as the food industry.

Belgium’s retail landscape is distinctly diverse and competitive, with its five largest retail companies accounting for some 60 per cent of retail sales. They have cemented their market position in recent years.

Travel tips

Restaurant tip

‘t Kleine Genoegen

Raamstraat 3
3500 Hasselt

Google Maps

www.kleinegenoegen.be

Restaurant tip

Graanmarkt 13

Graanmarkt 13
2000 Antwerp

Google Maps

www.graanmarkt13.be

Hotel tip

Hotel Julien - Antwerp

Korte Nieuwstraat 24
B-2000 Antwerp

Google Maps

www.hotel-julien.com

Hotel Julien is a serene oasis in the middle of bustling Antwerp. A particular highlight of this lovingly restored 16th-century building is its rooftop terrace with a view of the cathedral.

Hotel Julien is a serene oasis in the middle of bustling Antwerp. A particular highlight of this lovingly restored 16th-century building is its rooftop terrace with a view of the cathedral.

Etiquette

When meeting someone for the first time, Belgians offer a handshake. Once the relationship becomes more familiar, they will often give the other person three kisses on the cheek instead of a handshake. However, this transition from handshake to kiss will take longer in the north than in the south of the country.

Facts & figures

METRO Cash & Carry
MAKRO Cash & Carry Belgium

Market entry
1970
Head Office
Wommelgem
Number of wholesale stores
15
Number of employees
3,312