service economy, state-owned enterprises, European economies, economic growth, expenditures
Although the service economy is growing rapidly in Belgium, the country remains heavily industrialized, importing great quantities of raw materials that are processed mainly for export. Such industry gives Belgium one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, despite its relatively small population. With about three-quarters of exports going to other European Union (EU) countries, Belgiumís economy is dependent upon its neighbors and the nation is a strong proponent of integrating European economies. In the early 1990s a growing budget deficit, combined with high unemployment rates, hindered Belgiumís overall economic growth. To reduce its deficit, the government initiated an austerity program that cut spending while raising taxes, as well as beginning a program to transfer some state-owned enterprises to the private sector. The budget in 1998 anticipated revenues of $109.5 billion and expenditures of $114.4 billion. Gross domestic product in 2000 totaled $226.6 billion.
>> Forestry and Fishing
>> Currency and Banking
>> Foreign Trade
Article key phrases: