EU CBEC Forum 2019: Unlocking Opportunities Between China and Europe


On December 11-12, Belgium will host the first EU CBEC Forum in Europe. A unique opportunity to share visions and strengthen ties with the best players in the cross-border e-commerce industry from both China and Europe


This Winter, Northern Europe is preparing to be the center of the Sino-EU dialogue. While Beijing is strengthening trade ties with the Old Continent to pursue its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Belgium makes itself the protagonist of this new cross-border cooperation. Here, the city of Liège will host the first EU Cross-Border E-commerce (EU CBEC) Forum on the continent.

Planned for December 11-12, the first edition of the EU CBEC Forum represents a milestone for commercial relationships between Europe and the Middle Kingdom. At the event, European platforms and service providers will have the chance to establish a dialogue with their Chinese counterparts with whom to create the best business environment for cross-border e-commerce.


EU CBEC forum - december 2019 - Liège airport - cifnews

© Cifnews雨果网. The first edition of the EU CBEC Forum will focus on the best ways to engage with China in the cross-border e-commerce context.


The mission of the two-days high-level forum is to build a bridge between the Chinese and the European e-commerce world. EU CBEC event aims to be the platform where entrepreneurs from both sides of the globe could know each other, share experiences, exchange ideas, find new partners, and thus grow their business network.

Not only will the leaders from all relevant sectors gather to discuss future trends and challenges in the sector. But representatives of the public and private sector from both Europe and China will also be present to share insights and expertise. The Forum is, therefore, a front-row seat to the future of trade and cooperation in the fastest-growing environment.

In this framework, Belgium represents a natural and historical gateway between Europe and the Celestial Empire. There is nothing random about the choice to organize the EU CBEC Forum here. Belgium and China currently set a model for Asia-EU cooperation indeed.

Belgium was the first western country to provide China with interest-free loans and also the first country to establish an industrial cooperation fund with the PRC. As a result, today, the country is China’s sixth-largest trading partner in the EU, whose bilateral trade volume once exceeded $30 billion.


EU countries are ready to cooperate with Beijing and Chinese investments are more than welcomed in Europe. Belgium already set a model for China-EU cooperation.


Being a stable and strong economy, Belgium is considered one of the most attractive markets for e-commerce activities, growth potential, and infrastructure. The country is also located in the middle of the continent’s logistics and distribution networks, as well as at the center of the world’s most important e-markets.

Moreover, the Wallon region, where Liège is located, is close to the EU Commission and EU stakeholders making the process of building new contexts and partnerships with them easier. Therefore, Wallonia is the Belgian autonomous region, which plays the most significant role in the Sino-Belgian relationship.

Here, in October 2018, on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the twinning between the Walloon Region and Henan Province, a new cargo train route linking the Belgian city of Liège to Zhengzhou was launched.

The China-Europe freight train for cross-border e-commerce actually departed from Zhengzhou – the capital of Central China’s Henan Province – on March 2, 2019. As the first of its kind to be used at a regular frequency in Belgium, its inauguration marked a new phase in the development of the relationship between the two provinces. A relationship that has been enhanced by cooperation agreements signed by the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) and the Henan Province in support of the BRI.


EU CBEC forum 2019 - liège zhengzhou cargo train - cifnews

© Awex. The Vice President of Walloon Government and the Vice Governor of Henan Province launch the new EU-China block train route between Liège and Zhengzhou.


Thanks to its high-quality infrastructure, Liège will become the main hub for cross-border e-commerce, especially from China. The first EU CBEC Forum will, in fact, take place at the city’s Cargo Airport, which represents Belgium’s largest air freight hub, and Europe’s 8th-largest cargo airport.

This cutting-edge cargo infrastructure is already playing a crucial role in the China-EU relationship as the new world-class smart logistics hub in the heart of Europe. Serving more than 200 destinations, the Liège airport is also home to FEDEX.

Moreover, not only was this airport chosen by Cainiao Network – the logistics arm of Alibaba Group – to become its logistics hub in Europe but it also serves as the first EU-China Logistics Incubator’s base. The initiative born to support all Chinese logistics providers and companies to start their business in Wallonia, as well as in the European market, that, therefore, provides all the services required by cross-border e-commerce.


The Liège Airport is situated at the heart of the Amsterdam-Paris-Frankfurt golden triangle, a highly dense area of production in Europe. It connects not only a large number of airports across the world but also all of the largest western European cities. It is thus able to access a market of up to 500 million consumers within just one day.


The first EU CBEC event could not find a better location to express the concept of “incubator” and “hub” for cross-border trade, as well as for cooperation and East-West exchange.

The European edition of the Cross-Border E-Commerce Forum at the Liège airport will be held thanks to the cooperation between AWEX and Cifnews雨果网, which is the first and largest Chinese media specialized in cross-border e-commerce with its international team based in Padova, Italy.

However, other partners that are joining the cooperation are the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the leading Belgian business association for companies engaged in doing business in or with China; the EU-China Logistics; and OBOR Consulting, a digital marketing and cross-border e-commerce consultancy firm that connects European companies with the Chinese market and vice versa.


EU CBEC 2019 - liege airport - wallonia - cifnews

© Liège Airport. In 2017, the full cargo services offered by Liège Airport had beaten a record, with almost 717,000 tonnes of goods processed. In 2018, the number increased by 21.5%.


Thanks to the collaboration between Wallonia and Cifnews, international resources are mobilized to organize the most comprehensive event ever held in Europe on cross-border e-commerce. All the categories will be represented on stage and the most relevant topics in the field will be discussed. Digital marketers, manufacturers, brands or logistics service providers, the goal of the forum is to gather representatives from all the parts of the cross-border e-commerce supply chain.

Given that the cross-border e-commerce environment is changing rapidly, especially in China, the first edition of the forum aims to provide a clear overview of what cross-border e-commerce will be in the next years and how to take advantage of great opportunities for Europe, China, and Asia. The EU CBEC event thus represents a unique chance to unlock unprecedented business opportunities with the Dragon today.

Here, participants will receive in-depth analysis of the latest trends in cross-border e-commerce from Europe and China, as well as the chance to share their vision with the best players in the industry from both sides of the globe. It is a networking space for the industry’s representatives, institutions, and businesses.

From marketing in the Old Continent and abroad to what the BRI will mean for EU e-commerce players, numerous talks and workshops will cover all the hottest topics in cross-border e-commerce. The first EU CBEC Forum will open a window on the most innovative and fastest-growing market. But it will be you to build the bridge.


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