International investment position (i81)

  •  11/04/2023

In 2021, Belgiumʹs international investment position compared to the rest of the world represented 63.9% of gross domestic product. There is no sustainable development goal for the international investment position.

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International investment position - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of gross domestic product

//: Average Growth Rates

National Bank of Belgium; Eurostat (2023), International investment position [tipsii10], (consulted on 06/03/2023).

Definition: the international investment position provides an aggregated overview at a certain moment in time of Belgium’s net financial position (assets minus liabilities) compared to the rest of the world. The indicator is expressed as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP). The data for Belgium are collected by the National Bank of Belgium. To enable a comparison with the other EU Member States, data are provided by Eurostat.

Goal: it is not possible to determine an optimal level for the international investment position.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 17.13: “Enhance global macroeconomic stability including through policy coordination and policy coherence”.

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development contains objective 45: “Belgium will reach a situation in which its trade and financial relationships with other countries are balanced” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: in 2021, the international investment position (in percentage of GDP) of Belgium (63.9%) is lower than in Germany (70.7%) and the Netherlands (93.0%). Between 2005 and 2021 the indicator remains relatively stable in Belgium while it growths consistently in Germany and the Netherlands. In France, the indicator has been negative since 2005, which indicates that France’s debts compared to the rest of the world are higher than its assets.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 17.13. Balanced trade and financial relationships contribute to macroeconomic stability on a global scale.


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