Match 27 DB Rec# - 7,479 Dataset-WOFACT Title :Belgium Text : Belgium Geography Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands Map references: Europe Area: total area: 30,510 sq km land area: 30,230 sq km comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland Land boundaries: total 1,385 km, France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km Coastline: 64 km Maritime claims: continental shelf: median line with neighbors exclusive fishing zone: median line with neighbors (extends about 68 km from coast) territorial sea: 12 nm International disputes: none Climate: temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy Terrain: flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast Natural resources: coal, natural gas Land use: arable land: 24% permanent crops: 1% meadows and pastures: 20% forest and woodland: 21% other: 34% Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1989 est.) Environment: current issues: Meuse River, a major source of drinking water, polluted from steel production wastes; other rivers polluted by animal wastes and fertilizers; industrial air pollution contributes to acid rain in neighboring countries natural hazards: flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes Geography international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea Note: crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels which is the seat of the EU People Population: 10,081,880 (July 1995 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 18% (female 875,079; male 919,939) 15-64 years: 66% (female 3,303,219; male 3,363,250) 65 years and over: 16% (female 969,966; male 650,427) (July 1995 est.) Population growth rate: 0.17% (1995 est.) Birth rate: 11.46 births/1,000 population (1995 est.) Death rate: 10.22 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.) Net migration rate: 0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.) Infant mortality rate: 7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.21 years male: 73.94 years female: 80.67 years (1995 est.) Total fertility rate: 1.62 children born/woman (1995 est.) Nationality: noun: Belgian(s) adjective: Belgian Ethnic divisions: Fleming 55%, Walloon 33%, mixed or other 12% Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25% Languages: Dutch 56%, French 32%, German 1%, legally bilingual 11% divided along ethnic lines Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1980 est.) total population: 99% Labor force: 4.126 million by occupation: services 63.6%, industry 28%, construction 6.1%, agriculture 2.3% (1988) Government Names: conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium conventional short form: Belgium local long form: Royaume de Belgique local short form: Belgique Digraph: BE Type: constitutional monarchy Capital: Brussels Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (French: provinces, singular - province; Flemish: provincien, singular - provincie); Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen Independence: 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands) National holiday: National Day, 21 July (ascension of King Leopold to the throne in 1831) Constitution: 7 February 1831, last revised 14 July 1993; parliament approved a constitutional package creating a federal state Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations Suffrage: 18 years of age, universal and compulsory Executive branch: chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993) head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Luc DEHAENE (since 6 March 1992) cabinet: Cabinet; the king appoints the ministers who are approved by the legislature Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament Senate: (Flemish - Senaat, French - Senat); elections last held 24 November 1991 (next to be held by the end of 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (184 total; of which 106 are directly elected; in the 1995 elections, seats will decrease to 71) CVP 20, SP 14, VLD 13, VU 5, AGALEV 5, VB 5, ROSSEN 1, PS 18, PRL 9, PSC 9, ECOLO 6, FDF 1 Chamber of Deputies: (Flemish - Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers, French - Chambre des Representants); elections last held 24 November 1991 (next to be held by 21 May 1995); results - CVP 16.7%, PS 13.6%, SP 12.0%, VLD 11.9%, PRL 8.2%, PSC 7.8%, VB 6.6%, VU 5.9%, ECOLO 5.1%, AGALEV 4.9%, FDF 2.6%, ROSSEM 3.2%, FN 1.5%; seats - (212 total; in 1995 elections, seats will decrease to 150) CVP 39, PS 35, SP 28, VLD 26, PRL 20, PSC 18, VB 12, VU 10, ECOLO 10, AGALEV 7, FDF 3, ROSSEM 3, FN 1 Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Flemish - Hof van Cassatie, French - Cour de Cassation) Government Political parties and leaders: Flemish Christian Democrats (CVP - Christian People's Party), Johan van HECKE, president; Francophone Christian Democrats (PSC - Social Christian Party), Gerard DEPREZ, president; Flemish Socialist Party (SP), Louis TOBBACK, president; Francophone Socialist Party (PS), Philippe BUSQUIN, president; Flemish Liberal Democrats (VLD), Guy VERHOFSTADT, president; Francophone Liberal Reform Party (PRL), Jean GOL, president; Francophone Democratic Front (FDF), Georges CLERFAYT, president; Volksunie (VU), Bert ANCIAUX, president; Vlaams Blok (VB), Karel DILLEN, chairman; ROSSEM, Jean Pierre VAN ROSSEM; National Front (FN), Daniel FERET, president; AGALEV (Flemish Greens), no president; ECOLO (Francophone Ecologists), no president; other minor parties Other political or pressure groups: Christian and Socialist Trade Unions; Federation of Belgian Industries; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as the Flemish Action Committee Against Nuclear Weapons and Pax Christi Member of: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EBRD, EC, ECE, EIB, ESA, FAO, G- 9, G-10, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMOGIP, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC Diplomatic representation in US: chief of mission: Ambassador Andre ADAM (appointed 3 October 1994) chancery: 3330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone:  (202) 333-6900 FAX:  (202) 333-3079 consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York US diplomatic representation: chief of mission: Ambassador Alan J. BLINKEN embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels mailing address: APO AE 09724; PSC 82, Box 002, Brussels telephone:  (2) 513 38 30 FAX:  (2) 511 27 25 Flag: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France Economy Overview: This small private enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north, although the government is encouraging reinvestment in the southern region of Walloon. With few natural resources Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Three-fourths of its trade is with other EU countries. The economy grew at a strong 4% pace during the period 1988-90, slowed to 1% in 1991-92, dropped by 1.5% in 1993, and recovered with 2.3% growth in 1994. Belgium's public debt has risen to 140% of GDP, and the government is trying to control its expenditures to bring the figure more into line with other industrialized countries. National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $181.5 billion (1994 est.) National product real growth rate: 2.3% (1994 est.) National product per capita: $18,040 (1994 est.) Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1994) Unemployment rate: 14.1% (December 1994) Budget: revenues: $97.8 billion expenditures: $109.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989) Exports: $117 billion (f.o.b., 1992) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union commodities: iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products partners: EC 75.5%, US 3.7%, former Communist countries 1.4% (1991) Imports: $120 billion (c.i.f., 1992) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union commodities: fuels, grains, chemicals, foodstuffs partners: EC 73%, US 4.8%, oil-exporting less developed countries 4%, former Communist countries 1.8% (1991) External debt: $31.3 billion (1992 est.) Industrial production: growth rate -0.1% (1993 est.); accounts for 25% of GDP Electricity: capacity: 14,040,000 kW production: 66 billion kWh consumption per capita: 6,334 kWh (1993) Industries: engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum, coal Economy Agriculture: accounts for 2.0% of GDP; emphasis on livestock production - beef, veal, pork, milk; major crops are sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; net importer of farm products Illicit drugs: source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine entering the European market Economic aid: donor: ODA and OOF commitments (1970-89), $5.8 billion Currency: 1 Belgian franc (BF) = 100 centimes Exchange rates: Belgian francs (BF) per US$1 - 31.549 (January 1995), 33.456 (1994), 34.597 (1993), 32.150 (1992), 34.148 (1991), 33.418 (1990) Fiscal year: calendar year Transportation Railroads: total: 3,410 km (2,362 km electrified; 2,563 km double track) standard gauge: 3,410 km 1.435-m gauge (1994) Highways: total: 137,912 km paved: 129,639 km (including 1,667 km of limited access divided highway) unpaved: 8,273 km (1992) Inland waterways: 2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) Pipelines: crude oil 161 km; petroleum products 1,167 km; natural gas 3,300 km Ports: Antwerp, Brugge, Gent, Hasselt, Liege, Mons, Namur, Oostende, Zeebrugge Merchant marine: total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 42,055 GRT/56,842 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 9, chemical tanker 6, liquefied gas 2, oil tanker 5 Airports: total: 43 with paved runways over 3,047 m: 6 with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 9 with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1 with paved runways under 914 m: 22 with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3 Communications Telephone system: 4,720,000 telephones; highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities local: NA intercity: extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network; nationwide mobile phone system international: 5 submarine cables; 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations and 1 EUTELSAT earth station Radio: broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 39, shortwave 0 radios: NA Television: broadcast stations: 32 televisions: NA Defense Forces Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,559,077; males fit for military service 2,126,875; males reach military age (19) annually 61,488 (1995 est.) Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $3.9 billion, 1.8% of GDP (1994)
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