Future perspectives of the Belgian economy: revealing (-promising) figures
First of all, let us start with a "could be better" remark: in 2020, the employment rate in Belgium remained at 70 %, below the average of the euro area (71.8 %) and of the European Union (72.4 %).
Luckily there are also several statistics that paint a very positive and, above all, constructive picture of our economic future prospects:
- Our country experienced a record number of business start-ups in 2021: nearly 120,000 (+12.21%) entrepreneurs started their own new business in Belgium last year. This makes 2021 another record year. Moreover, it is the ninth consecutive year that the number of starters has increased. (source: Itsart, 2021)
- As from 2021 there is a possibility for companies in Belgium to start up completely online, without physically visiting a notary. This will undoubtedly boost the growth of new companies in the future.
- It is also worth mentioning that over the past ten years, the number of female self-employed increased more (+2.6%) than the number of male self-employed (+2%). This trend has also continued between 2019 and 2020 with a respective increase in the number of female and male self-employed of +3.6% and +3.1%.
- The number of patent applications filed by Belgian companies, universities and research institutes at the European Patent Office (EPO) increased by 3.3% in 2021 despite the pandemic, after a slight decrease in 2020 (-0.7%). In this respect, Belgium ranks 9th within the EU. (Ewi, 2022)
- Belgian entrepreneurs also seem to show "healthy opportunism" and develop a real know-how in sectors that are less attractive: Collibra, Showpad, Odoo, team.blue, Deliverect are among the most successful tech companies in Belgium. They all show an innovative and rigorous service to B-to-B customers (business-to-business or B2B). (source: Business AM)
These figures are resolutely hopeful for our future. Nevertheless, we need to keep an eye on top priorities to keep our competitive position at the highest possible level: education, a favorable tax regime and a dynamic high-tech and innovation environment. An environment where green clean-tech technologies receive all the understanding and support they need to develop further.