In 2021, Flanders exported for an amount of EUR 380.5 billion worth of goods, achieving a record level in times of global challenges posed by the pandemic and Brexit. This figure represents an increase of over 25% compared to 2020, and over 17% compared to 2019. This sharp increase was partly due to the economic recovery following the pandemic. Demand and prices have increased. Besides, the export of Covid-19 vaccines also had an important effect. Flanders-based export companies demonstrated agility and resilience towards disruptions in the production and distribution, supply shortages and rising raw material prices.
Looking at the performance of each region of Belgium in 2021, Flanders’ exports increased more than those of Wallonia (+19.7%) and Brussels (+2.7%). Flanders represented almost 82% of Belgian exports.
At the European level, Flanders’ exports (+27.6%) also showed a stronger growth rate than major export-driven countries like Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
Flanders companies mainly exported to EU member states which accounted for 64.5%, whereas 11.1% went to European countries outside the European Union. And 24.4% of exports from Flanders went to the rest of the world.
Among the top 5 export sectors from Flanders were (1) pharmaceutical and chemical products, (2) mineral products, (3) transport equipment, (4) machinery and electronic equipment, and (5) plastics.
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