The economic opportunity of generative AI in Belgium

Capturing the next wave of benefits from generative AI

11 March 2024

Generative AI will boost global economic growth in the coming decade. It can increase productivity and boost Belgium’s competitiveness. To capture the next wave of AI benefits across society, Belgium needs to promote innovation, invest in skills and ensure clear rules.

An Implement Consulting Group study commissioned by Google has estimated generative AI’s GDP contribution and implications on jobs in Belgium. Capturing the full potential of generative AI, however, depends on a number of drivers of AI adoption – from a robust operating environment to the availability of skilled AI practitioners.

Key findings of the study

  • Economic opportunity: Generative AI could boost Belgium’s GDP by EUR 45-50 billion, amounting to +9% GDP over ten years if widespread adoption is achieved.

    The gains come from three sources, including productivity increases from people working with generative AI, freed-up time from generative AI’s automation potential and the re-employment of time for other value-creating activities.
  • Job implications: In Belgium, 64% of jobs are expected to work together with generative AI, 29% of jobs are likely to remain unaffected by generative AI, and only 7% of jobs are deemed highly exposed to generative AI, leading to some job closures. However, new jobs in the AI-powered economy are expected to replace those lost to automation, resulting in unchanged employment levels.
  • Key sectors benefiting: AI can boost productivity across all sectors, especially in knowledge-intensive business services and public administration.
  • AI readiness: Belgium could benefit from stronger strategies, improvements in its data and AI operating environment and further investments in digital infrastructure to enhance foundational drivers for AI adoption.

Belgium should further leverage its strong position in research and promote upskilling and commercial uptake to maximise the benefits of AI.