Foreword from Glenn Vaughan, Chief Executive of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium

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Glennvaughan _Wim Kempenaers 08 CROPMost people are surprised to learn that Belgium, with only 11 million people, is one of Britain’s top 10 global export markets. Why? Because it’s close, a good test market and a gateway to success in the rest of Europe.

Being able to get to your market quickly and easily is a huge advantage. You can meet potential partners and customers face-to-face. It’s easier to see opportunities for real and solve problems if you can get there easily when needed.

Many companies use Belgium as a test market because it’s small and diverse. It has a wealthy, open and highly competitive market with opportunities in most sectors. If you can learn how to sell your product or service here, that sets you up really well to move on to other markets close by, and it can be easier to enter than starting with larger European markets.

As Belgium is at the centre of a rich region including Germany, France and the Netherlands, with great logistics facilities and expertise, it’s a natural gateway to those bigger markets. It’s a recurring factor in the success stories of British exporters, like SuperDry, that they learned how to succeed in exporting here, then went on to ever greater success in Europe and beyond.

The long shared history and cultural ties between Britain and Belgium helps too.

It’s not all easy of course. Belgium can be complicated and it pays to understand the market and how it works. Luckily, that’s where the expertise of the Institute of Export & International Trade, and the connections on the ground of the British Chamber of Commerce, comes into its own.


Glenn Vaughan
Chief Executive - British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium


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