Mechelen ambitions more trade with China

The European Union is China’s main export market, while Belgium’s export of goods to China represented nearly 7 billion euros in 2015. China is for Belgium its tenth most important client worldwide for exports. It is hence logical for the chamber of commerce of Mechelen, the main city halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, to take the time to rise it’s members’ knowledge of the Chinese market.

As it is stated by the keynote speaker of the breakfast-event of Thursday February 23rd, China expert Sven Agten, the country will soon move away from the cliché of “pollution, food scandals and made in China counterfeit products”. The international business community and the Belgian entrepreneurs should rather focus on the power of China as the biggest investor in green energy, with an e-commerce market which is the biggest digital market in the world and with an internal market of consumers belonging to the most sophisticated in the world. China has now already become the biggest market for industrial robots and is becoming a global innovative hub with more startups than anywhere else.

With an eye on managing a successful entry on the Chinese market, Sven Agten’s morning presentation in Dutch focuses on letting local entrepreneurs understand better a nuanced picture of the country and its social, political and economic trends, such as the consumer behavior of the rapidly growing middle class, the growth of Chinese foreign investments, the air pollution and the use of green energy.

Following Sven Agten, the trap to avoid is a possible misperception that these evolutions in China would follow the patterns of the Western world. China is having its own way, and avoiding to realize or to accept this perspective might lead to never understand the country and its way of doing business. In order to debate its presentation, the China expert will be confronted with a local entrepreneur experienced on the Chinese market.

The city of Mechelen is a business center offering numerous opportunities to foreign businesses ready to be settled in Europe. On top of providing the advantages of being close to the thriving economic centers of Belgium without the inconvenience of big cities, Mechelen also benefits of a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit and the presence of internationally renowned players like Alken-Maes (Brewery), Belven (valves manufacturing), Dupont de Nemours (chemicals), Galapagos (biotechnology), Sanoma (publishing)…

The breakfast-event of Thursday February 23rd 2017 (AM 8.00-AM 10.00) is organized by the local Chamber of Commerce Voka – Kamer Van Koophandel Mechelen, a dynamic organization providing entrepreneurs different types of services for their cross-border strategies, and welcoming foreign investors of all sizes wanting to settle in Mechelen. Participation to the costs is excl. VAT Eur 95,-/person for non-members. To register or for more information:

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