Belgium without e-commerce, a trip to the absurd: a fictional dive into 2025 and 11 unexpected scenarios – Economic Policy

Repeated attacks on bpost. Bankruptcy of online sales sites, book publishers and “dark kitchens”. Airfoil reduction at many dealers. Closing of the last Belgian agency for the development of e-commerce sites. Endless lines at some stores and SNCB counters reopened. New businesses were launched across the border. This could be the “Belgium without e-commerce” imagined by Paul Magnette. Eleven fictions that allow us to understand the real impact of such a measure if it were taken.

Become the first country in the world without e-commerce. The departure of the president from the socialist party caused a lot of ink to flow last week. In addition to being impossible to implement, such an idea would fundamentally disrupt the entire economic fabric of our country. This would disrupt the lives of individuals and companies, likely with many unsuspected effects. A Belgium without e-commerce wouldn’t just be a country that rejects Amazon and all the big international sellers. It would be a state that would weaken a colossal number of its companies, from the smallest to the largest. And not just its online stores, but also its logistics players, its product producers (from the organic apple to the Cowboy bike), its digital specialists, its administrations, etc. Hundreds of thousands of jobs (at all skill levels) would be affected, thousands of companies would disappear, without there being any certainty that their activity or employees would not be transferred to traditional actors, such as the socialist president…

Trends-Trends I imagined for you (and for Paul Magnette) a dive into a Belgium of 2025 that would have banned e-commerce completely. A fiction in which any form of online commerce would have been prohibited, both for the black-yellow-red actors and for the large foreign groups that cater to the Belgian consumer. A “journey to the absurd” in the form of 11 stories, freely imagined…

Among the scenarios imagined in this week’s Trends-Tendances, the disappearance of all Belgian e-commerce, the impact on the entire ecosystem that surrounds them (website creators, specialized agencies, suppliers, logistics players), the difficulties for Bpost , which would lose a large part of its parcel business, a growing niche in which it bets to stop the drop in letter mailings… The return to favor of call centers, as well as the emergence of new businesses, making it possible to circumvent a prohibition that is so complicated to swallow the consumer who has become attached to online ordering.

These fictional situations were imagined with the help of 18 experts and industry players. And although “fanciful”, they are based on actual current situations and available figures.

Become the first country in the world without e-commerce. The departure of the president from the socialist party caused a lot of ink to flow last week. In addition to being impossible to implement, such an idea would fundamentally disrupt the entire economic fabric of our country. This would disrupt the lives of individuals and companies, likely with many unsuspected effects. A Belgium without e-commerce wouldn’t just be a country that rejects Amazon and all the big international sellers. It would be a state that would weaken a colossal number of its companies, from the smallest to the largest. And not just its online stores, but also its logistics players, its product producers (from the organic apple to the Cowboy bike), its digital specialists, its administrations, etc. Hundreds of thousands of jobs (at all skill levels) would be affected, thousands of companies would disappear, without there being any certainty that their activity or employees would not be transferred to traditional actors, such as the socialist president… Trends- A Tendances imagined for you (and for Paul Magnette) a plunge into a 2025 Belgium that would have banned e-commerce completely. A fiction in which any form of online commerce would have been prohibited, both for the black-yellow-red actors and for the large foreign groups that cater to the Belgian consumer. A “journey to the absurd” in the form of 11 short stories, freely imagined… Among the scenarios imagined in this week’s Trends-Tendances, the disappearance of all Belgian e-commerce, the impact on the entire ecosystem that gravitates around them (website creators, specialized agencies, suppliers, logistical agents), the difficulties for Bpost that would lose a significant part of its parcel business, a growing niche in which it bets to stop the decline in sending letters… reopening from SNCB counters and from animal parks and amusement parks. The turn in favor of call centers, as well as the emergence of new businesses, making it possible to circumvent a ban that is so complicated to swallow the consumer who has taken to ordering online. These fictional situations were imagined with the help of 18 experts and industry players. And although “fanciful”, they are based on actual current situations and available figures.

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