The international business market place involves much more than handshakes and cocktails to close deals. International business keeps the global economy going, and in order for countries to trade with each other, they must learn and understand the culture and economy of the each other's country. The idea of learning and understanding another country well enough to practice profitable business encompasses everything from the country's being able to perform business practices in its geographical settings to knowing whether or not the country has a balance of payment surplus or deficit. However, the two latter ideas barely even touch what is needed to know about conducting trade on an international level. Our cultural, economic, and marketing analyses are our attempts to understand the environment of Belgium, as well as all of its components. We must also know how to market our product in the Country of Belgium most effectively.
Belgium became an independent state in 1830, by adopting a Constitution providing for a parliamentary system of government, with provisions for operating within the framework of a unitary, highly centralized state apparatus on the Napoleonic model (Mughan). In recent times, there has been a separation between the Belgians of Walloonia, who speak French, and the Dutch speaking Belgians of Flanders. The major reason for the discord is a product from when the Constitution was developed. No official recognition was given the Flemish majority; rather, French was adopted as the soul official language of the country. From there, the Flemish people were forced to adopt the language of the minority Walloons. Industrialization grew to favor Walloonia in respect to its reserves of coal and iron ore. Eventually, laws were changed to recognize Dutch as the official second language as well as to give the Flemish equal representation with the Walloons.