Press Release - Working Paper 172

Economic importance of the Belgian ports: Flemish maritime ports, Liège port complex and the port of Brussels – Report 2007

The National Bank of Belgium publishes an annual update of the study of the economic importance of the Flemish maritime ports - Antwerp, Ghent, Ostend and Zeebrugge - and the Liège port complex. In this edition, a chapter on the port of Brussels is added for the first time.

Each port’s contribution to the national economy is estimated on the basis of the analysis of its economic, social and financial situation over the period from 2001 to 2006. The three variables concerned in the main developments are value added, employment and investment. This study also highlights the port sector’s indirect effects in terms of value added and employment. The social balance sheet is summarised in two sections: one covering the Flemish maritime ports and the other the Liège port complex. The analysis of the financial results is based on the study of the return on equity, liquidity and solvency ratios, and a synthetic indicator of financial health.