The Belgian internet economy has grown significantly in the past two years. Where the Internet economy of Belgium in 2009 was worth € 8.6 billion, is now has risen to € 10.7 billion. This is shown by a study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
According to BCG the term "Internet economy" does not only includes online purchases, but also investments in networks, websites and purchasing of smartphones.
Belgian consumers spent € 475 on the internet in 2011, compared to € 400 in 2009. Despite the sharp increase in spending, the consultants observe that the Belgian internet economy is not growing fast enough to make up the backlog that has accumulated in recent years. The Belgian internet economy currently makes up 3% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In comparison, the Dutch Internet economy represents an annual turnover of € 24 billion, approximately 4.3% of GDP.
"Individuals are thus increasingly buying goods online, but despite the growth rates Belgium remains an average performer in e-intensity (the penetration of the Internet in our society). We are evolving, but do not pick up our backlog", says BCG consultant Filiep Deforche. According to the strategy consulting firm the persistent fear of consumers and the limited use of the Internet among SMEs is the cause of the problems. Only a third of SMEs in Belgium is fully active online, much less than in the surrounding countries.
Last but not least, the Belgian authorities also score poorly according to Boston Consulting Group. Regarding the connectivity between governments and citizens Belgium stranded on the 27th place in the ranking of the United Nations. That is close to for example Pakistan, Albania and Azerbaijan.