Belgium has a diverse economy with many different sectors playing important roles. However, some of the biggest business sectors in Belgium include:
Services: The service sector is the largest sector in Belgium, accounting for over 70% of the country’s GDP. This sector includes a wide range of activities, such as finance, insurance, real estate, transportation, and communication.
Manufacturing: Manufacturing is an important sector in Belgium, particularly in the areas of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food processing, and machinery. Belgium is home to many multinational companies in these industries and has a reputation for high-quality, innovative manufacturing.
Construction: The construction sector is an important part of the Belgian economy, with a significant number of construction companies operating in the country. This sector includes the construction of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, as well as infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, and railways.
Agriculture: Although agriculture accounts for a relatively small percentage of the Belgian economy, the country is known for its high-quality agricultural products such as chocolate, beer, and waffles. Belgian agriculture is also known for its focus on sustainability and organic farming practices.
Energy: The energy sector is an important part of the Belgian economy, with a focus on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Belgium is a leader in offshore wind energy, and the country has ambitious targets for transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy.
These are just a few examples of the biggest business sectors in Belgium, The Belgian economy is characterized by a mix of industries, ranging from manufacturing to services and from traditional industries to modern high-tech sectors.
As a result, there are numerous companies operating in the country, both large and small, local and international. These companies cover a wide range of sectors, including technology, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. In this article, we will explore some of the notable companies operating in Belgium and their contributions to the country’s economy in Q1 2023.
The World’s Largest Beer Company
AB InBev is a Belgium international drink holdings company. It is the world’s largest brewer and is responsible for many well-known beer brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona, and Beck’s.
The company was formed in 2008 through the merger of Belgium-based company Interbrew and Brazilian-Belgian company AmBev. AB InBev operates in over 50 countries and employs around 165,000 people globally. The company is listed on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange and has a market capitalization of around $170 billion.
The Biggest Insurance and Bank Company
KBC Group NV is a Belgian financial services company headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. It is one of the largest banks in Belgium and provides a range of financial products and services, including banking, insurance, and asset management.
KBC Group operates through various subsidiaries, including KBC Bank, KBC Insurance, and KBC Asset Management. The company has a presence in several European countries, including Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, and Slovakia. As of 2021, KBC Group has over 42,000 employees and serves over 11 million customers worldwide.
The Belgium Biopharmaceutical Company
Argenx SE is a biopharmaceutical company based in Belgium that focuses on developing and commercializing innovative antibody-based medicines for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. The company’s proprietary antibody platform, called SIMPLE Antibody™, allows for the discovery and development of differentiated therapeutic antibodies with enhanced efficacy and safety profiles.
Argenx has several product candidates in clinical development, including its lead program, efgartigimod, which is being evaluated for the treatment of several autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis and pemphigus vulgaris. The company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, and has operations in the United States and Japan.
UCB (Union Chimique Belge) is a Belgium international biopharmaceutical company. The company specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines for the treatment of severe diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
UCB was founded in 1928 as a chemical company and later shifted its focus to pharmaceuticals. Today, the company has a presence in over 40 countries and employs approximately 8,000 people worldwide.
The Belgium Investment Conglomerate
GBL, or Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, is a Belgian investment holding company that owns stakes in a wide range of companies in different sectors. It was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. GBL has investments in companies involved in industries such as energy, telecommunications, consumer goods, and finance.
Some of the notable companies in which GBL holds significant stakes include TotalEnergies, Adidas, Pernod Ricard, and Sienna Capital. GBL is known for its long-term investment approach and active involvement in the management of its portfolio companies.
Other Popular Belgium Companies
- Commercial Services : Bpost, Onward Medical, Abo Group Environment.
- Communications : Proximus, Telenet Group, Orange Belgium.
- Consumer Durables : Agfa-gevaert, Evs Broadc.equipm., Belysse Group Nv.
- Consumer Non-durables : Ab Inbev, Lotus Bakeries, Floridienne, Ontex Group, Van De Velde, Greenyard, What’s Cooking Group.
- Consumer Services : D’ieteren Group, Kinepolis Group, Roularta.
- Distribution Services : Azelis Group Nv, Fagron.
- Electronic Technology : Melexis, Barco, Crescent.
- Finance : Kbc Groep Nv, Gbl, Ageas, Sofina, Tubize-fin, Kbc Ancora Ord, Vgp, Gimv, Cie Bois Sauvage, Tinc Comm Va, Immobel, Atenor, Bque Nat., Belgique, Texaf, Inclusio Sa/nv, Questfor Gr-pricaf, Iep Invest, Banimmo A, Accentis, Zenobe Gramme Cert, Diegem Kennedycert, Softimat, Beaulieu-av. Cert.
- Health Technology : Argenx Se, Ucb, Ion Beam Applications, Hyloris, Nyxoah Sa, Mithra, Mdxhealth, Sequana Medical, Biocartis, Dms Imaging, Celyad Oncology, Biosenic, Oxurion.
- Industrial Services : Ackermans V.haaren, Deme Group, Ekopak Nv, Cfe, Moury Construct.
- Miscellaneous : Nyrstar, Lyxor International.
- Non-energy Minerals : Umicore, Titan Cement, Deceuninck, Campine.
- Process Industries : Tessenderlo Group, Solvac Nom(Retail), Recticel, Sipef, Biotalys Nv
- Producer Manufacturing : Bekaert, Cenergy, Jensen-group, Payton Planar Magnetics, Miko, Fountain.
- Retail Trade : Colruyt
- Technology Services : Econocom Group, Hybrid Software Group Plc, Unifiedpost Group Sa/nv, Keyware Technologies.
- Transportation : Euronav, Exmar Ord.
- Utilities : Elia Group, Fluxys Belgium.