Belgium - Transport and Logistics: Investments to drive growth (Strategy, Performance and Risk Analysis)
Belgium is recognized as a natural gateway to Europe. The country is divided into three regions - the Flemish Region or Flanders, the Walloon Region or Wallonia, and the Brussels-Capital Region. A central location in Europe and established ports, airports, roads, railways and inland waterways make Belgium ideal for logistic activities. The country is bordered to the north by the Netherlands, to the east by Germany and Luxembourg, and to the south and the west by France, and serves as a hub for European road transport. Belgium has well-developed water transport facilities, including the port of Antwerp, Europe's second-largest port facility, the center of the international diamond trade; the deep sea container port of Zeebrugge; the port of Ghent; and the inland ports of Liege and Brussels. Liege connects Belgium with the main rivers and canals of neighboring countries. Ports are fully integrated with the road and rail networks, providing effective multi-modal transport. Ghent and Zeebrugge are other major seaports through which the movement of goods takes place.
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Infrastructure development and trade recovery to boost GVA
In Belgium, transport and logistics GVA registered a CAGR of -2.0%, falling from US$25.5bn in 2012 to US$23.1bn in 2017, due in part to a fall in warehousing and storage services. However, GVA is anticipated to post a CAGR of 1.2%, from US$23.3bn in 2018 to US$24.5bn in 2022, driven by new investments in the country’s infrastructure and the recovery of international trade.
Road vehicles and parts also accounted for the highest share of imports
Total transport and logistics imports registered a CAGR of -6.7%, from US$3,255.0m in 2012 to US$2,466.3m in 2016. The decline can be attributed to a decrease in railway, tramway locomotives, trucks, equipment and parts; and ships, boats and floating structures imports at respective CAGRs of -35.8% and -23.1%. Road vehicles and parts, with an import value of US$1,073.0m, constituted the highest share of imports in 2016, followed by aircraft, spacecraft and parts with US$1,018.0m.
Road contributes the highest share of the country’s freight traffic
Total freight carriage registered a CAGR of -0.3%, falling from 49.3 billion ton km in 2012 to 48.6 billion ton km in 2017, and is expected to continue post a CAGR of -0.4%, from 48.4 billion ton km in 2018 to 47.7 billion ton km in 2022. The decline is primarily due to a decrease in road freight, which registered a CAGR of -1.1%, from 32.1 billion ton km in 2012 to 30.4 billion ton km in 2017, and is anticipated to post a CAGR of -1.5% over the forecast period due to a shift in preference towards other modes of transport.