Record-breaking year for Flemish exports despite Brexit uncertainty

  • March 29, 2019

Flemish companies once again broke all export records in 2018, although the exports to the UK decreased for the second year in a row. 

In 2018, Flemish companies exported a total of 328 billion euros to customers abroad. That is 3.5% higher than in 2017, itself a record year. The lion’s share of Flemish exports go to other European countries. More than half of Flanders’ exports went to Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. For the second year in a row, Flemish exports to the UK fell down. While in 2017, the exports were down by just 0.4% - the total exports did increase at that time – exports to the UK fell by 2.8% last year. The Brexit insecurity, is somehow weighting on global trade and thus on the export of Flanders.

Imports rose to a record amount of 317 billion euros, which means that the trade balance is positive for 11 billion euros.

Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) based its analysis on the 2018 import and export figures of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB).