From 10th to 16th September, Mr. Jeannot Erpelding, Director of International Affairs of the Chamber of Commerce headed a delegation of 40 business people, during an economic mission titled ‘Belt and Road’ to China. With logistics and cross-border E-commerce as main sectors, the mission visited three cities in China: Hong Kong, Zhengzhou and Shanghai.

The mission started in Hong Kong by attending Hong Kong Belt & Road Summit (B&R) on Monday, Sep. 11. The summit is organized by the partner of the Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Trade de Development Council (HKTDC). This second edition of the summit gathered more than 3000 worldwide participants, including high level politicians and influential economists from China, East South Asia and Central Europe.

One Luxembourg project of multimodal transportation has been published in the brochure of the summit, which made Luxembourg the only Western Europe country that appeared in the book; as  the major projects promoted at the summit were the partnerships with ASEAN, and their growth through infrastructure, and financing opportunities through Hong Kong, etc. However the Luxembourgish companies got deep understanding and concrete action plans with regard to how to use Hong Kong as a platform for entering into the Asian or particularly Chinese market as well as how to take part on Belt and Road opportunities via this portal reaching 48% of the B&R population within 5 hours.

The delegates took also profit of the different sessions such as the transport & logistics infrastructure and urban development, followed by an integrated matchmaking and networking platform connecting project owners & operators, investors and services providers from related business sectors. The Asian financial sector was largely present at the summit as well as many Asean delegations but even German regions like North Rhine Westphalia had a presence.    

A networking reception was organized on Monday evening, in the presence of the Honorary Consul of Luxembourg, Mrs. Sophie Leung, where the delegates had the opportunity to meet the local Luxembourgish and Hong Kong business community.

On Tuesday morning, before heading to Zhengzhou, the delegation visited Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) and was, despite the heat and the humidity, very impressed by the unique world-class facilities, highly efficient operation, and innovative technology of  one of the world’s leading air cargo terminals. (Picture with Cargolux and Cathay Pacific)

The highlight of the mission was the Henan - Luxembourg Belt and Road Economic Forum - Air Silk Road enhances deep cooperation, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in Zhengzhou on Wednesday, 13th September. Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province, thanks to its geographic situation, becomes China’s logistics hub for air, rail and road. Since the establishment of the relation between HNCA and Cargolux in 2013, the exchange between Luxembourg and Henan became more and more frequent and meaningful with 16 weekly flights currently.

The recent bilateral visits effected by Henan and Luxembourg high officials together with the business cooperation between both sides strengthen this link. More than 125 people participated at the forum, not only from Zhengzhou but also other cities of Henan, even other provinces of China, to listen to the overview of the Henan and Luxembourg economy, presented by the Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) of Henan and Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce respectively. (Picture)

Two Memorandum of Understandings had been signed between the CCPIT of Henan and Chamber of Commerce, as well as between Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment Co., Ltd. (HNCA) and Chamber of Commerce. Both  entities were  partners of the organization of this forum. The representatives of Luxembourg government from the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure were sitting amongst the VIP guests; Mr. Rol Reiland, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg in China gave a welcome speech, while Mr. Luc Decker, Consul General and Executive Director of Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office (LTIO) in Shanghai made the concluding remarks, the former announced that the new Ambassador of Luxembourg to China Marc Hübsch presented his credentials on the same day and the latter highly praised the successful organization of the forum.

A company testimonial was given by Mr. Maxim Strauss, Executive Vice President & CFO of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. to share its success story of collaboration with HNCA. The forum continued by a Panel discussion: Henan - Luxembourg Logistics Prospectives, moderated by Mr. Malik Zeniti, Director of the Cluster for Logistics, the panelists were Mr. Liu Jianbao, General Manager of HNCA, Mrs. Xu Ping, Chairwoman of Henan Bonded Logistics Center, and from Luxembourg side, Mr. Stavros Evangelakakis Manager Global Product Management of Cargolux and Mrs. Barbara Chevalier, Director of strategy and business development of CFL Multimodal, concluding “Who wins Henan wins China”

Following the panel discussion was a B2B Matchmaking, Luxembourg companies hosted their stands allowing the individual negotiations with Henan business people; networking lunch gave the occasion to deepen further exchanges.

Apart the forum, the programme in Zhengzhou included also the visit of 5 companies. Immediately after the matchmaking, the delegation went to Yutong Bus Co., Ltd.  Headquartered in Zhengzhou, Yutong Group is a large scale industrial group mainly specialized in the bus manufactory, but it’s also active in some other businesses such as construction machinery, automotive components, real estate and so on. In 2016, Yutong Group delivered totally 73,703 units of buses and construction machinery, up to 4.4 percent yearly. The turnover of Yutong Group reached 45.2 billion RMB (5.73 bn €), increasing  8.1% vs previous year, it continuously ranked first in the world’s bus industry in terms of the enterprise scale and sales performance. Every year, Yutong buses totally run 43 bn kilometers and carry  34 bn passengers.

Visit China (Henan) Pilot Free Trade Zone

Building China (Henan) Pilot Free Trade Zone is a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and a major initiative deepening reform, opening up and promoting “Belt and Road” Initiative overall development at home and abroad under the new background. According to China (Henan) Free Trade Zone Program, Zhengzhou, Kaifeng and Luoyang areas were established as pilot districts.

Henan Bonded Logistics Center

BLC is a group providing B2B and B2C cross border E-Commerce administrative and distribution services.

Established on January 7th, 2010, it is the only dedicated logistics center in Henan province. It covers total area of 550,000 square meters and has a sum of RMB 2 billions (253 million €) plan to be invested in 3 phases. It has 4 functional Zones : bonded logistics center zone, functional service zone, comprehensive service zone, and special logistics trading zone. Recently it just applied the Ecommerce business in this center, so it looks for the proper partners.

Amongst the companies implemented in the bonded logistics center zone, the delegation visited Xiaohongshu, an overseas shopping tip application for people to review merchandise bought overseas, in just two years, it has attracted 15 million consumers and $200m in annual merchandise sales. And already it's raised $120m at a $1bn valuation from investors such as TenCent, ZhenFund, GGV Capital and GSR. A perfect example of how fast businesses scale in the newly mobile connected China. 

At Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co., ltd., the delegation was attracted by the TV screen showing in real time their trains transporting the merchandises between Zhengzhou and Europe with Hamburg and Munich as terminals. The company had negotiated with CFL Multimodal to set up Luxembourg as sub terminal in a  soon future.

The company visit ended at Henan Zhengzhou Airport logistics platform, the delegates had the exclusively chance to visit the ground handling enter onto the tarmac and visit on of the 16 Cargolux flights ready to fly back to Luxembourg.

The 3rd and last destination of the mission was Shanghai. On Friday, 15th September, a Luxembourg Cross border E-Commerce workshop was organized at the Consulate General and LTIO in Shanghai. The delegation was warmly welcomed by Mr. Luc Decker, Consul General and Executive Director of LTIOin Shanghai, whose team has also given a great support during the mission.

Three speakers experts in Cross Border E-Commerce in China, Mr. Rafael Jimenez, Business Development Advisor, from EUSME Center, Beijing, Mr. Maverick Fang, Tmall Global, in charge of European selling to China, Alibaba Group and Mr. Robbert Gorris, Business development Manager, Sovereign (China) Limited explained to the delegation new trends and how to do E-commerce in China by setting up a WeChat shop to sell via cross-border e-commerce; via Ali eco-system on Tmall, etc.

For more information regard this mission and the ‘Belt and Road’ serial seminars co-organised by the Chamber of Commerce and the ChinaLux Chamber (on 16th October, 2017 for ICT and on 10th November, 2017 for Finance), please contact International Affairs team at , or by telephone to Ms. Na Shi and/or Ms. Violaine Mathurin at +352 42 39 39 364/481.] As a bonus, the delegates also listened to a presentation of the Sino-Benelux Business Survey 2017, given by Mr. Raoul Schweicher, Manager of Moore Stephens, but also a Luxembourgish expatriate living in Shanghai. It highlighted that salary and lease/rent increases as well as increasing rules and regulation did not discourage any responding Benelux company as 5-20% turnover increase and China’s contribution  compensated for this