For many, there may be little to talk about Belgium. Overall, this country is regarded as a centre of political muscle and great waffles. Well, you may be surprised to realise that there is much more to Belgium. Today, Belgium is among Europe's leading countries for its financial technology innovations.
The infamous Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) indicates that Belgium’s ICT market is vibrant. As of 2016, this body, which ranks European Union member states on their digital performance and competitiveness, ranked Belgium at number 6 out of the 28 European countries for its digital economy development.
The criteria used to rank these countries includes their connectivity, digital public services, the use of the internet and human capital, as well as the integration of digital technology. Their ICT market size by then was estimated at over 13 billion users and employing up to 70,000 people. 45,000 of them were in the hardware, software, and service sectors. 15,000 of them worked in operations and maintenance while the other 10,000 worked as telecom operators.
People here use the internet intensively. According to DECI, up to 65% of users play games online, stream music, and watch videos. Up to 78% of Belgians use the internet at least once a week, with 44% accessing it using their phones and other mobile devices. This alone got them ranking third in the EU. Many others are interested in e-commerce businesses. As of 2016, online consumers spent up to $9.2 billion.
As of 2018, there are more than 15,000 e-commerce shops in Belgium; a 26% increase since 2015. Up to 23% of companies in this country are involved in the e-commerce business, and this figure is higher than the EU’s average of 14%.
On the flip side, internet security seems to be lagging here. According to Rapid7, a Belgian internet security company, there is a high tendency for cyber fraud.
With these figures and facts, no one can disagree that Belgium is a technology hub with its fair share of challenges. However, the country is likely to have a myriad of openings in tech jobs such as telecommunication, broadcast media and many more. There are also endless opportunities for experts in both permanent and contractor positions from across the globe.