Export of high-tech goods
Flemish high-tech exports good for 29 billion euros in 2019
In 2019, Flemish high-tech exports amounted to 29.1 billion euro. In 2014 and 2015, significant growth figures (in current prices) (+10.6% and +17.4%) were recorded. There was a decline in 2016 (-3.3%), followed by a slight growth in 2017 (+1.4%). In 2018, high-tech exports once again showed stronger growth by 3.8% and in 2019 a growth of 9.6% was recorded. The growth of the high-tech exports in 2019 contrasted with the decline of the total exports in that year (-1.4%).
Half of high-tech exports are pharmaceutical products. Other important product groups within the Flemish high-tech exports are electronics and telecommunications and scientific instruments (each about 15%).
In 2019, high-tech exports amounted to 29.1 billion euro and made up 9% of the total Flemish exports. That share was slightly lower in the Brussels-Capital Region (8%) where the high-tech exports amounted to 0.9 billion euro. In the Walloon Region, the share of high-tech goods in total exports was higher (28%) and amounted to 17.8 billion euro. This was due to the high importance of pharmaceutical products in the Walloon exports.
In comparison with the EU countries, the Flemish Region’s high-tech exports share is relatively low. In 2018 the EU27 and EU28 average was 18%. Ireland tops the list (35%). Malta, the Netherlands and France also have high-tech exports above 20%. The Belgian share is 10%. The share of high-tech exports is lowest in Portugal, Greece and Spain. Pharmaceutical products are an important element of export in Spain and Ireland, in the Netherlands, furthermore, semiconductors play an important part.
High-tech export relatively large in relation to Flemish GDP
The size of Flemish high-tech export was good for 11% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Flemish Region in 2019. Because total exports are relatively important in the Flemish Region, a small share of high-tech goods in total exports corresponds to their relatively large share in relation to GDP. With 1% of GDP, the Brussels-Capital Region has a low score of high-tech export. In the Walloon Region, high-tech export in relationship to GDP is 16%.
The Flemish Region clearly performed better in 2018 than the EU27 and EU28 average of 5%. The Netherlands performed best (17%). The share was also high in Ireland and a number of East European Member States. Spain, Portugal and Greece were once again at the bottom of the list.
High-tech export: exports of specific high-technology categories: aviation, computers, electronics engineering and telecommunication, pharmaceutical products, scientific instruments, electrical machinery, chemical products, non-electric machinery and weapons.
Current or nominal prices: prices in the specific year, not corrected for inflation.