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Belgium: Trade with Arab countries rose by six per cent

Growth recorded despite difficult economic conditions in Gulf region

Trade exchange between the Arab countries and Belgium and Luxembourg rose by six per cent during the first six months of the current year, says a senior official.

Pieter De Crem, the Belgian federal secretary of state for foreign trade, says that this growth comes despite a drop in some Arab markets due to the difficult economic conditions that has affected them.

De Crem made his remarks during the opening of the tenth Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Economic Forum on Monday in Brussels.

The Belgian minister adds that Belgium trade with some Arab countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, rose by 100 per cent during the first six months of 2015, reports Alkhaleej Online.

Ghassan Ejjeh, senior vice-president at BESIX Group, the largest Belgian group operating in construction, says: “Arab countries’ economic foundations are in the process of change.”

He adds: “Oil-importing countries are reducing their dependence on oil, which has suffered a sharp decline in prices. This made Arab countries, especially the Gulf states, start thinking about changing the foundations of their economies and the contribution of the private sector, supporting the non-oil sector and transforming their economies from one based on oil to economies based on banking and services.”