Flanders industrial base shrinks by a quarter

Are we heading towards a post-industrial Flanders? New figures suggest that this may well be the case. In only a decade the share of industry in the Flemish GDP dropped by a quarter.

Textiles, electronics and car assembly are identified as the sectors that have been most badly hit.

The daily De Tijd says that the demise of industry in Flanders is part of a global shift. In 1991 36% of the world's manufacturing was done in Europe, while the figure for Asia was 8%. Roles are now reversed with Europe responsible for a quarter of the world's industrial production and Asia good for 31%.

De Tijd says that in Belgium sectors like machinery production, food and chemicals are still buffeting the trend, but identifies a fourth industrial revolution taking place in countries like Germany, Sweden and Austria where smart digital technology is adding value.

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