Brussels (Belgium)

Belgium is a federal state divided into three regions: The north is Flanders, where Dutch is spoken; the south is Wallonia, where French is spoken; and Brussels, the bilingual capital, where French and Dutch share official status. There is also a German-speaking minority in the east of the country. Belgium's landscape varies widely: 67 kilometers of coastline and coastal plains bathed by the North Sea, a central plains and rolling hills and forests of the Ardennes region in the south.

 

The Brussels Region


Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium, and the main administrative headquarters of the European Union (EU). Brussels is also the capital of the Flemish Region and the Flemish and French communities of Belgium. The Brussels region is divided into nineteen municipalities. Brussels is the largest and most populated municipality with an area of 32,6 km² and 148,873 inhabitants.

 

Economy


Belgium is a densely populated country and is located in the heart of one of the most industrialized regions of the world. The economic influence Brussels area includes a large part of the two provinces of Brabant. Meets formally regions are economically dependent on the capital and is occupied by about 2.5 million people.The main imports are food products, machinery, diamonds, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, clothing and accessories and fabrics. The main exports are automobiles, food and food products, iron and steel, finished diamonds, textiles, plastics, petroleum products and nonferrous metals. Since 1922, Belgium and Luxembourg have been a single trade market within a customs and monetary union, Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union. Its main trading partners are Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK, Italy, the United States and Spain. Belgium ranks ninth in the Human Development Index of the United Nations in 2005.

The most important sectors of the Belgian economy in 2014 were Public Administration, Defense, Education, Health and Social Services (22.7%), Wholesale and Retail Trade, Transport and Catering (19.8%) and Industry (16.8%).

 

Transports and Communications


Belgium has developed an excellent transportation infrastructure (ports, waterways, railways and highways) to integrate its industry with those of neighboring countries. Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, behind Rotterdam.

Zaventem Airport is located northeast of the city of Brussels.

Brussels is surrounded by 3 large peripheral axes concentric: a large ring around the entire periphery, commonly called "Ring", the "Great Belt" boulevards that are interrupted in the Bois de la Cambre, and the "Little Belt" a series of tunnels and freeways surrounding the historic center, which has a particular pentagonal shape and is crossed by historically eight famous doors: Namur, Hal, Anderlecht, Flandre, Rivage, Laeken and Schaerbeek Louvain.Urban transport is provided by an extensive network of surface and underground trams, buses and two subway lines with 68 stations. Trains depart from numerous stations, the most important of the Gare Central, Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi, the main international terminal.

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