About Belgium

Belgium, the perfect gateway into Europe

It happens time after time. People understand Europe the way they’ve been introduced to it: the usual tourist meccas, the attractions on a thousand postcards. Then they remember Belgium, the little country, they passed through a few days ago. It seems beautiful, it’s practically next to Paris, London and Amsterdam, and they have 24 hours to explore before heading home. Two hours later they are in love with Belgium! Because it is the best kept secret in Europe.

Visiting medieval cities, quaint towns, gothic cathedrals and town halls, castles and carillons will keep you busy during the day. At night, definitely go to a pub as there are more than 1.000 delicious beers to choose from. The reputation of our gourmet food makes the French jealous and it is almost impossible to find chocolates as good as ours!

Belgium, a kingdom no bigger than Maryland, is Europe in a nutshell. The multicultural region of Flanders in the North, a flatland crisscrossed by canals, is proud of its great art cities, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the South in Wallonia, you will find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, numerous castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, Tournai.

Its capital, Brussels, is one of the world’s greatest cosmopolitan cities, home to both the European Union and NATO, as well as a wealth of international trade and finance companies.
Belgium is situated in the heart of Europe. This means that independent of where your airplane lands, there is an easy way to get to Belgium - and the Brussels airport is of course located close to everything in Belgium!

Facts about Belgium

Population: 11,267,910 inhabitants
Surface area 30,528 km2
Federal capital: Brussels
National languages: Dutch, French and German
Population density: 363 inhabitants per km2
Average temperature: 9.8° Celsius

Agriculture in Belgium

In Belgium about 2% of the population is directly employed in agriculture, which accounts just under the same percentage of the nation’s GDP.

Agriculture in Belgium has traditionally been a family affair, but like in other West-European countries, the number of farms decreased by 30% over the last 10 years. The remaining farms are increasing in scale, improving yields and adopting new technologies.

In Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, agriculture is mainly intensive. Flemish farmers specialize in pig breeding, poultry and dairy farming, vegetables and fruit, ornamental plant culture. In Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, the emphasis is more on arable farming (sugar beet, potatoes, barley) and extensive soil-based cattle breeding.

Livestock dominates our agriculture and accounts for 65% of the nation’s farms. In 2016, our farmers housed on average 2.5 million cattle, 6.2 million pigs, 28 million broilers and 14 million laying hens. This resulted in the production of 278,000 tons of cattle meat, 3.8 million tons of milk, 89,000 tons of butter, 1.6 million tons of pig meat, 396,000 ton of poultry meat and 155,000 tons of eggs. With a self-sufficiency of 252% for pigs, 192% for poultry and 164% for cattle, export of animal products plays an important role in the agro-food industry. In 2016, we exported almost 702,000 tons of fresh and frozen pork worldwide, with a value of about 1.2 billion euros. For beef and veal, we exported a total of 150,000 tons, worth some 683 million euros. The total dairy export amounted to 3.2 billion euros, around 2.1 million tons of products and for poultry 450,000 tons was exported in 2016.

Belgium is also known worldwide for some specialties like waffles, "French" fries (which were actually invented in Belgium), beer (nearly 1,600 different kinds), chocolate, and a variety of specialty cheeses.

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