Photographic book

Industrial history of Belgium


Belgium industries
Belgium industries

Belgium was the first country on the European continent to industrialize, following the lead of Britain in the industrial revolution. It remains one of the most highly industrialized countries of Europe, largely because of its geographical location and transport facilities. Industrial production increased steadily after World War II (1939-1945) but began to decline in the 1970s, when recession and obsolescence began seriously to erode many traditional sectors. Wallonia, which had been the center of the country’s traditional industries, was hit hard, while newer, lighter industries such as electronics developed in Flanders. In 2004 manufacturing accounted for only 17 percent of total economic activity.

Belgium is still a major producer of iron and steel, although production has fallen since the 1970s. About 11 million metric tons of crude steel were produced annually in the early 2000s. Belgium also has an old and important nonferrous metal industry. It was, for example, Europe’s largest zinc producer into the 1990s, although several European countries have since surpassed Belgium in zinc production. Belgium also furnishes metallurgical, chemical, and other industries with copper, lead, tin, and uranium. The availability of steel and nonferrous metals has encouraged the manufacture of heavy equipment, especially at Liège, Antwerp, and Brussels. Products include machine tools, railroad cars, diesel engines, pumps, and other industrial equipment.

he Belgian chemical industry


The Belgian chemical industry began to develop in the 20th century and has become the country’s second largest manufacturing industry.

Like other heavy industries, it was stimulated by the availability of coal, which was used both for energy and as the raw material for such coal derivatives as benzol and tar. In the second half of the 20th century, petrochemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals gained in importance as coal mining declined. Antwerp has become a major petrochemical center. The textile industry, dating from the Middle Ages, produces cottons, woolens, linens, and synthetic textiles. With the exception of flax, all raw materials are imported.

But as world competition increased in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, textiles were produced more cheaply elsewhere. As a result, Belgium’s textile industry suffered; many plants closed or relocated, and textile production declined. Traditional Belgian handicrafts industries, such as lacemaking and tapestries, began their decline much earlier, but some still operate to cater to tourists. Brussels and Brugge were long noted for the manufacture of lace and damask. Antwerp is the leading diamond-cutting center in the world. It replaced Amsterdam in that role after World War II and today produces about 70 percent of the world’s finished diamonds. Encarta "Belgium" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

Photos of European countries to visit

Photos Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Photos Informations

Hungary Pictures

Hungary Pictures

Photos Informations

Spain photos

Spain photos

Photos Informations

Scotland Photos

Scotland Photos

Photos Informations

Photos of Portugal

Portugal

Photos Informations

Photos England

Photos England

Photos Informations

Pictures Amsterdam

Netherlands

Photos Informations

Photos of Asian countries to visit

India photos

India photos

Photos Informations

Photos of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Photos Informations

Images from South Korea

South Korea

Photos Informations

Cambodia photos

Cambodia

Photos Informations

Photos of Japon

Photos of Japon

Photos Informations

Photos of Thailand

Photos of Thailand

Photos Informations

Photos of Taiwan

Photos of Taiwan

Photos Informations

Photos of America

Website information