Wallonia’s seventh “Welcome Office”, devoted to North American businesses and clean technology industry companies, has just been officially opened in Tournai by Rudy Demotte, the Prime Minister of Wallonia, Philippe Suinen, the managing director of AWEX and Pierre Vandewattyne, the chief executive of the IDETA development agency.
The official opening of the “North American & Cleantech Welcome Office” was also attended by the Canadian ambassador to Belgium, the Québec delegate general and a delegation from the US embassy to Belgium.
Welcome Offices are available without charge to foreign companies wanting to test the European market. They provide a package of services such as translators, administrative and logistical advice, help with understanding the language and culture, and also the services of AWEX, the Wallonia export and foreign investment agency.
Its aim is partly to put Wallonia on the world map, but in the final analysis also to persuade companies to invest in Wallonia or to use the Region as a logistical base in the heart of Europe.
Since 2009, seven “Welcome Offices” have opened their doors in Wallonia. There is a China office in Mons, an India office in Liège, an office for Brazil and Latin America in Arlon, one for Japan in Louvain-la-Neuve, one for priority European markets in Charleroi, one for Southeast Asia in Isnes (Gembloux) and now the North America office in Tournai.
By way of example, since 2010, 85 Chinese companies have benefited from the services of the China Welcome Office in Mons, with five of them setting up companies in Wallonia, creating around ten jobs.
from www.lavenir.net – 21/01/2014