About Belgium

About Belgium

Geography:
Belgium (Official name Kingdom of Belgium) is located in Western Europe with 30,510 sq km of total area. It is surrounded by France in south, Luxemburg and Germany in east, the Netherlands in north and North Sea in western side. In 2005, the population of the country is estimated as 10,364,388 with 0.2% growth rate and 336.82 people per sqkm. Brussels is the capital and largest city of the country with 1,750,600 (metro area), 981,200 (city proper) population and other important cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Bruges, Leuven, Liege etc.

Language spoken in Belgium are Dutch (Flemish) 60%, French 40%, German less than 1% (all official) but most of the people can English though which is not official language. The country has 98% literacy rate which is one of the highest in the world.

The highest point of the country is Signal de Botrange 694 m from sea level. The climate is mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy. The Meuse and the Schelde, Belgium’s principal rivers, are important commercial arteries.

Political:
Belgium has Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. Under the 1994 constitution, autonomy was granted to the Walloon region (Wallonia; French speaking part), the Flemish region (Flanders; Dutch Speaking part), and the bilingual Brussels-Capital region; autonomy was also guaranteed for the Flemish-, French-, and German-speaking “communities.” The central government retains responsibility for foreign policy, defense, taxation, and social security.

Economy:
The country has accepted Euro as a currency and before that Belgian Franc was nation currency.

The GDP/PPP (2004 est.) of the country is $316.2 billion with per capita $30,600, one of the highest in the world. Total 23% area is Arable. The country produces sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk as agricultural products. Labor force of the country is 4.75 million; agriculture 1.3%, industry 24.5%, services 74.2% (2003 est.). The country is heavily industrialize and major industries are engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum. The major Natural resources of the country are coal, natural gas, construction materials, silica sand, and carbonates.

Major exporting items of the country are machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs and importing items are machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products. Major trading partners are Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, U.S., Italy, Ireland (2003).