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Wed, Nov 20, 2002 - Page 7 News List

Interesting facts about Belgium

, BELGIAN TRADE OFFICE

Each year around 600 international Erasmus students spend part of their study program in Leuven, while about 500 of our students share the same European experience at a foreign university.

Besides these exchange programs, the university has set up a number of international academic programs aimed both at Belgian and international students. The international academic programs are taught in English.

Most of these programs confer graduate degrees. It has around 26,000 students 8.2 percent of whom are international students from 102 nations with 4,663 members of academic staff.

From Taiwan more than 200 students graduated already from the Belgian University of Leuven. From September 3 to 9, 2002, a first Belgium-Taiwan Workshop on semiconductor manufacturing technology, was organized at the University of Leuven by the National Science Council of Taiwan and the Association for Scientific research of Belgium.

Belgium had too small a market to have developed its own car brand but it assembles more cars per capita than any country in the world with more than 1.2 million units for a population of 10 million. Most of them are exported as Belgium derives two thirds of the gross domestic product from trade. With 10 million inhabitants it occupies the 12th trading place in the world.

That's why Antwerp, Belgium's second largest city with the largest warehousing facilities in Europe is the world's fourth largest port. It is also the shipping gateway for Taiwan's Yang Ming and Evergreen shipping lines.

Another famous export from Belgium is diamonds. Taiwan jewelry lovers are buying more than ten percent of all diamond exported from Belgium. Indeed 9 out of every 10 rough diamonds in the world are traded in Antwerp the diamond capital of the world.

Indeed 50 percent of all polished diamonds of the world pass through Antwerp. In 2001, the Antwerp achieved a diamond trade turnover of US$23.7 billion or 510.7 million carats accounting for 6.8 percent of all Belgian exports and 30,000 people in approximately 700 diamond trading and polishing companies.

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