Flanders covers 44.8% of Belgium's territory and represents the majority of the country's industry and workforce; the region provides 58% of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Within Belgian regions, Flanders is ranked second in terms of GDP per capita with €32,801 in 2014 compared to €32,301 nationally (at current market prices). In 2014, Flemish GDP (in purchasing power standard per inhabitant in % of the EU28 average) was with 120% above the EU average (as in Belgium as a whole with 118%).
The employment rate in Flanders is 63.7%, (2014), above the Belgian (62%) but below EU28 (67.5%) average. The Flemish unemployment rate (5.0%, 2014) is considerably below the EU28 (9.0%) and Belgian (7.9%) averages. In terms of labour productivity measured by GDP per person employed, Flanders is also well above the EU28 average (129.6%). In 2013, 20% of the gross value-added in the Flemish region was industry and 21.7% was trade, transport and restaurants. Other important sectors are government, education, (health) care and communal services (19.4%). Smallest are the primary sector (1.1%) and culture, recreation and other services (1.8%). Value added generated by medium high-tech and high-tech industries, accounted for 8.6% of the total value added of the region in 2013. The employment figures in these industries follow the same trend: 4.45% of the total employment in Flanders was in medium high-tech and high-tech industries in 2013, compared to 3.9% (2014) in the EU28.
Flanders is an important logistic hub, due to its central location and its dense and integrated multimodal transport infrastructure. Major multinational automotive companies are also active in Flanders, although their position is under pressure. The Flemish network economy mainly derives its power from SMEs often acting as supplier companies. In addition, the petrochemical industry and ICTs are key sectors of the regional economy.
The exports from Flanders have a value of 80% of Belgian GDP (partly due to the trade of goods arriving in the Antwerp harbour). The share of Flanders in Belgian export is 82.4%. In 2014, Flanders exports were €293.5b. 22.5% of Flemish export is chemicals and pharma. Mineral resources are second, but declining. Neighbouring countries, France, The Netherlands, Germany and UK take more than half of the total export of Flanders.