Belgium: Country and Foreign Investment
According to the International Monetary Fund, as of 2013, Belgium has the 20th highest GDP per capita in the world. It is ranked as 17th on the UN's Human Development Index (a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life).
Belgium is heavily dependent on world trade, with over two-thirds of GNP being derived from exports. The country's exporting potential is aided by it's excellent transport infrastructure, central geographical location, and multilingual work force - over half of Belgium's exports are sent to neighbouring European countries.
Belgium and Luxembourg have been a single trade market since 1922, with shared customs and a currency union. The two countries were then joined by the Netherlands in 1944, creating the Benelux economic union. Belgium was a founder member of the European Coal and Steel Community (a precursor to the European Union), and the country's capital, Brussels, is the home of the European Parliament. Belgium switched from the Belgian franc to the Euro in 2002.