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Introduction: Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and...

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Economic Overview: Since 1921 Belgium has had an economic union with Luxembourg, the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU). The BLEU is Australia’s 10th largest investor with total inward investment valued at A$32.4 billion at December 2010. The BLEU is the fifth largest European Union (EU) investor in Australia. Total two-way trade between Australia and the BLEU is also substantial, reaching A$3.1 billion in 2010. Both Belgium and Luxembourg have sophisticated open market economies although, as members of the EU, their agriculture sectors remain subject to market access limitations. The currency in Belgium is the Euro.

Belgium is a ...

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History: Belgium derives its name from the Belgae, a Celtic tribe. The Belgae were forced to yield to Roman legions during the first century B.C. For some 300 years thereafter, what is now Belgium flourished as a province of Rome. But Rome's power gradually lessened. In about A.D. 300, Attila the Hun invaded what is now Germany and pushed Germanic tribes into northern Belgium. About 100 years later, the ...

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International Relations: Relations with Neighbours

Belgium plays an active role in a number of international organisations, including the EU, the UN and NATO. Belgium has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2007-2009. As a former colonial power, Belgium also maintains close links to Central Africa, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi..

Belgian Foreign Ministry's website on international cooperation (http://www.dgic.be/en/index.html)

Relations with the UK

Close links with the UK go back to trade with England in wool and ...

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