Financial Data
Updated 23 Mar 2017


Why SA’s leading transporters are looking to Wallonia and you should too

Belgium’s Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) offers you a cost-effective point of entry into the EU. If you’re looking to grow your company in the highly competitive logistics sector, this might signal your opportunity to break new ground abroad. 


Nicole Crampton, 13 February 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


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Considering the highly competitive nature of the South African logistics sector, and the rising costs of doing business on local roads, you’re arguably at risk of your transport company stagnating by not expanding into new international markets.

The region of Wallonia, in Belgium, has agreed to work with the Department of Trade and Industry to enhance foreign direct investment and enable South African transport service providers to grow their businesses in the European Union.

If you have the skills required to compete in the international logistics market, but have been putting off taking the leap abroad, the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency is offering to exchange information, refer you to potential investors and support your investment promotion activities. This can enable you not only to expand your business into the EU, but use Wallonia as a base of operations for global logistics domination.

Related: 3 Legislative matters that might influence your transport business in 2017


TAKE NOTE

The Wallonia region is strategically situated so that it is central to logistics operations for multiple European markets. It can give you access to 65% of the EU market and is also positioned close to both Liège Airport, Belgium’s largest cargo airport, and the port of Liège. 


Businesses already on board

Numerous South African transport-related companies have been partnering with AWEX for many years already, enabling heightened levels of growth and an international presence. The following South African companies have already taken advantage of setting up a base in Wallonia:

  • Bidvest
  • NTP
  • Sappi
  • Mondi
  • The Airplane Factory

As a leading digital information service provider to the transport sector, Dimension Data has also expanded into the EU through Wallonia. The company recently launched a R105 million data centre in Villers-le-Bouillet near Liège. Jean-Pierre Muller, head of the AWEX office in Johannesburg explains why: “The Dimension Data - Win Data Centre partnership is the result of a trade mission contact initiated in February 2015 when South Africa was designated as a focus market of AWEX. Following this initial contact, our IT experts in Wallonia took over the task of identifying opportunities for data centres in Wallonia and will remain the primary contacts for any of Dimension Data’s further developments.”

Belgium -transport -business

Benefits of expanding through Wallonia

This particular region is actively engaging with innovation and technical development. It is supported by 200 business parks, seven science parks that are connected directly to universities and research centres, nine universities, 300 research centres, 11 000 researchers and 20 centres of excellence. Besides all of this access to research, innovation and manpower, you also stand to benefit from competitive corporate tax, as well as financial support from the Belgian government should you require it.

Related: Saving money to grow your fleet

Wallonia’s environment has also contributed to the development and success of multinationals looking to grow, such as Google, Microsoft, H&M, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.

In order for your business to grow, and expand internationally, you’ll need a point of entry and a support network. You can either develop this by yourself, which could take years, or you can partner with Wallonia to speed up your transport and logistics business’ growth and success. 


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Wallonia region gives you access to 65% of the EU market.
  • When partnering with AWEX you have access to tens of thousands of researchers, competitive corporate tax and financial support if needed.
  • Numerous South African transport and related-services companies see Wallonia as a worthwhile destination as they look to grow revenue and market share.
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About the author


Nicole Crampton


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