Growth of Chinese investments in Wallonia
The arrival in Liège of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the possible arrival in Charleroi of the Chinese electric car manufacturer Thunder Power, mark the culmination of a long-term partnership between China and Wallonia.
Over the last ten years, China has invested approximately 80 million euros in Wallonia, the majority of it in the China Belgium Technology Centre in Louvain-la-Neuve. This figure demonstrates the creation of an equal partnership between the two countries, according to Michel Kempeneers, COO Overseas of the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX). The role of Awex is to help Walloon businesses to export to China and vice versa.
This rapprochement is the product of ten years' intensive work and has now resulted in an increase in Chinese investments in Wallonia. Cainiao, the logistics subsidiary of Alibaba, plans to build a distribution centre of several hectares near Liège airport, chosen primarily for its accessibility - open 24/7 - and its low passenger numbers. In addition to Alibaba, the electric car manufacturer Thunder Power may set up on the former Caterpillar site in Gosselies. Its overseas funding projects mark the desire of the Chinese authorities to intensify their commercial relations with Eurasia and Africa, introducing new silk routes, which include Belgium.
As a result, not only could Chinese investments in Belgium lead to the creation of several hundred jobs, they could also encourage other Chinese businesses to set up in our country.