Wallonia, the city of Liège and its airport will be increasingly important for the future of cross-border e-commerce and China-Europe trading relationship.
Belgium has been putting a lot of efforts into establishing a positive relationship with China and the government of Wallonia, the French speaking part of the country, has succeeded by starting great promising projects that have the city of Liège as their center. In fact, the Walloon city will become the European gateway of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2021, thanks to the recent agreement signed by Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd. (“Cainiao Network”), the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, and Liege Airport.
The agreement falls into the Alibaba’s e-commerce initiative “eWTP” who aims at making cross-border trading easier for small and medium companies worldwide and Belgium is the first European country to sign up to it. The Liege Airport is the protagonist of this project as it signed a contract to lease a total area of 220,000 square meters to build a world-class smart logistics hub that will see an initial investment of 75 million euros. The Liege smart logistics hub will enhance overall logistics efficiency to help SMEs better manage their exports and their cross-border e-commerce activities, it will create 900 direct jobs and about 2,000 indirect jobs and it is set to import €176 billion worth of quality goods to China over the next five years.
Liège is home to many other initiatives that put logistics infrastructure, innovation and the Chinese market at the center. For example, The EU-China Logistics incubator has the airport as its base. In addition, Liège is the final stop of the new Chinese freight train line that departs from the city hub of Zhengzhou, the train now travels 11,000km twice a week, bringing goods from central China through Russia to Europe.
The EU Cross-Border E-Commerce Forum falls into this line of successes and hopes to bring even more attention to the bright future prospects of the city and the whole area. To learn more about the opportunities that you can find in Liège for your business, Join the event!