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A Marketing Brief: Belgium

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1.0 Introduction

This marketing brief will discuss the potential of Belgium as an international market for our growing Australian firm. This plan will effectively analysis the different environmental factors of Belgium such as the economic, social, technological, competitive and political/regulatory forces by which we can approximately evaluate how promising this country is in terms of marketing for our firm.

2.0 Economic Analysis

2.1 Macroeconomic indicators


It is important to consider the recent Economic activity of Belgium over the last five years, especially in light of the recent global Economic Recession, in which now Belgium is still in a state of economic recovery. According to statistics The Real Gross Domestic Product in 2009 for Belgium was US$ 390 billion (EIU, 2010). If we look at figure 1.0 we can see the extreme decrease in GDP growth rate after 2008, during the world economic crisis, however it has managed to pick up by 2010 (Trading Economics, 2010).

Figure 1.0

Source (Trading Economics.com; National Bank of Belgium, 2010).


Considering there has not been any growth in the rate of GDP in Belgium after 2008 to this point, we must also evaluate the GDP per capita. According to statistics the GDP per capita at Purchasing power parity, for 2010 is $US 36, 000 which is only slightly lower than that of Australia's at $US 40, 000 (EIU, 2010). All these indicators show us that Belgium is clearly a developed nation, and according to the low rate of 15% of the population below poverty (Index Mundi, 2010).


The foundation of a potentially viable market for a firm's product can be measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (Hill et al, 2008). An even better indicator which reflects the differences in the cost of living is the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) adjustment of the GNI (Hill et al, 2008). According to statistics the GNI per capita PPP of Belgium in 2009 was Intl.$ 36,520 not that much lower of Australia's at Intl. $38,210. This means that Belgium on average should have a relatively moderate to high disposable income, which is always a positive sign for marketing effectively.


Invest In Brussels (2010, para.5) states "Belgium's economy is more oriented towards services and high value-added production". In 2009 Belgium reported and export volume of approximately US$296.1 billion and an import volume of US$315 billion (Economy Watch, 2010). The balance of trade is usually towards imports due to insufficient raw materials and natural resources, thus Belgium always has some trade deficit (Economy Watch, 2010). Economist Intelligence Unit (2010) states Belgium's inflation rate at 1.2% in the first quarter of 2010 and 2.4% in the second and also forecasts that the Euro (European dollar) will fall from US$1.26:€1 to US$1.19:€1 by late 2010. These economic factors are not entirely ideal; however they may not have an extreme affect on marketing, as there still appears to be a relatively healthy economy over all.


Figure 2.0

Source ( TradingEconomics.com; National Bank of Belgium, 2010)

Looking at Figure 2.0 it is significant to note the increasing rate of unemployment over the last three quarters this would certainly be something to note for marketing in Belgium.

3.0 Geographic Analysis

The geography of Belgium is such that it is situated between France and the Netherlands. Belgium is intensely urbanized and most of the capitals of Western Europe are within 1,000 km from the capital city of Belgium, Brussels (CIA World Fact book, 2010). Brussels the capital city of Belgium boasts a consumer market of over 500 million people with world class infrastructure and extensive transport links making Belgium one of the most strategically placed countries in Europe, to do business. (Invest in Brussels, 2010).

4.0 Demographic Analysis

Demographics refer to the characteristics used to describe the population, for example characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education and literacy levels (Kerin et al., 2008). Statistics show that of Belgium's population of approx.10 million, 66.3 % of the people are aged between 15-64 years of age (Index Mundi, 2010). 97% of the population of Belgium lives in urban regions, life expectancy at birth is an estimated 79.22 years and the literacy level is 99% and there is an estimated average of 16 years spent in school life (Index Mundi, 2010). These demographic indicators show that Belgium is well developed and the fact that a large majority of the population is both living in urban regions, of the working age and able to read and write, shows that the considerable larger market of Belgium is reachable and capable in effective communication.

5.0 Technological Analysis

Statistics show that 90% of households have cable television which enables broadcasts to TV stations from bordering countries (CIA World Fact Book, 2010). Consider figure 2.0 and the significant growth of internet usage in the last ten years (Internet World Stats, 2010).

Figure 2.0

YEAR Users Population % Pop. Usage Source

2000 2,000,000 10,250,995 19.5 % ITU

2004 3,769,123 10,355,844 36.4 % Nielsen NetRatings



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