Antwerp is a major economic centre in Belgium and its economy mainly relies on its port, diamond trade and chemical industry. The sea port of Antwerp is the seventh largest in the world and second largest in Europe, behind Rotterdam. Trading at this port is of high volumes of general and project cargo and other bulk.
Antwerp’s dockland is made up of five oil refineries which have lead to a substantial focus on petro-chemical industries in the city. With four nuclear plants at Doel, power generation is also an important industry in Antwerp.
The other main industry of Antwerp is its diamond trade. It has four diamond bourses of which one is for boart and other three for polished, ready to export gems. Although Jewish traders are dominant in the diamond industry, in recent times, Indian and Armenian traders are also becoming increasingly influential. The World Diamond Centre in Antwerp plays an important role in setting principles for professional ethics and promoting Antwerp as the diamond capital of the world.
The chemical industry in Antwerp is also significant with second largest plant of BASF based in the city with the first being in Belgium. This industry accounts for 2% of Belgium’s exports.