European 'City' targets Chinese entrepreneurs
Updated: 2012-04-06 07:50
By Zheng Yangpeng in Willebroek, Belgium (China Daily)
When a group of Chinese entrepreneurs visited Willebroek, Belgium recently, they were welcomed by saxophone players and bright red balloons.
They were also welcomed by the European Market City, a commercial real estate plan aimed at Chinese companies.
The plan, initiated by the local developer Group Bernaerts, aims to attract Chinese companies - using three programs for new enterprises - as well as Belgian and other European companies.
It's intended to be the first project with a comprehensive strategy for Chinese companies' needs.
One project, the first phase of the building project known as China Brand Center, consists of a cluster of 32,000 square meters of corporate showrooms. It is to open in September, said Group Bernaerts, and to initially have 40 Chinese companies.
With 10 partners, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the "Dragon Rising" program provides a package of services such as market research, registration, certification and accounting services.
"We organize a complete solution, meeting all the needs of every Chinese business that moves into the European Market City," said Guido Bernaerts, CEO of Group Bernaerts.
Senior Consultants Vlaanderen, a local consultancy firm, said it is providing market research service to Yancheng Calechem Co Ltd, a Chinese fine chemicals supplier.
The questions the Chinese company asked were about issues such as the organization of distribution and logistics in Europe and quality and pricing demands.
Bernaerts said the project will integrate Chinese companies and corresponding European companies.
Under a program called "Bring the Customers to You", EMC will establish databases listing potential customers, mail them information and organize trade fairs.
The annual rent is a competitive 150 euro ($200) per square meter, and rent will be free for a year for Aigo Entrepreneur Alliance members.
Tour & Taxis, a complex that houses many incubators at the center in Brussels, also offers free rent to Aigo Entrepreneurs Alliance members for the first year.