Companies in Wallonia: A Database that could raise the interest of African Customers.

Companies in Wallonia: A Database that could raise the interest of African Customers.

Companies in Wallonia: A Database that could raise the interest of African Customers.

/ POLITIQUE / Tuesday, 31 August 2021 08:50

source photo: www.entreprisesdewallonie.be

 

By Jean Paul HABIMANA

 

I would like to invite you to take a short trip to the vast continent of Africa. This  land  has suffered from all kinds of problems for many years. Economically, it does not seem to yield its full potential ; it has experienced several problems among which  political instability and  close links with former colonial powers etc... This is the image of Africa  many people have. This is what  comes into their minds when they think of this continent.

 

Still , Africa has been considered for the last two decades,  one of the future major markets of  the world with nearly 1.2 billion  consumers1. However, this « potential »African market does not solely depend on the deployment of world powers, but also on the regional ones, as they could take advantage of the economic and cultural ties of proximity that can give a certain comparative advantage. This is the case of countries in America, Asia, and regional groups in Europe.  This is also true for more restricted entities which are refining their commercial strategies to attract an international clientele in search of quality but also competitive services.

 

In this race for the best outcome, the distinction between "big" and "small" companies is thin, because what counts, ultimately, is the strategy that gives visibility to the product or activity to be promoted. The regions, more than the countries, are put forward: Dubai, a city and an Emirate of  the United Arab Emirates and investors in Europe who focus their strategies on a common language which could strongly effect the impact of their commercial approach.

 

In the latter case, we can refer to the approach taken by the Public Service of Wallonia, which, in order to support the promotion  of regional economic activities. set up a database containing the  list of companies operating in the Region of Wallonia.

 

The database dedicated to Walloon’s companies, highlights the skills and know-how of companies according to specificities which are important to know in the decision-making process such as : location of the Head Office in Wallonia, date of creation of the company, the most significant sector of activity(ies) such as industry, metal and plastic-elastomer sector, subcontracting, business services, eco-businesses, and more. This database of a technical nature makes it possible to know the quantitative, qualitative and capacities of each company.

 

For the client, investor or foreign partner, the information provided on each company is first-hand: full contact details (addresses), number of employees, main managers, parent companies, qualifications, approvals and distinctions earned by the company, the possible existence of a design office and/or a quality control department, their main activity sectors, languages ​​spoken within the company, operating offices in Brussels and Flanders,if the case,  target export markets and general activities.

This database offers the possibility of carrying out a multitude of searches, either by a single selection criterion (simple search), or by combining several of these parameters-(settings) (multi-criteria search), or  by using thematic tables, nomenclatures or maps.

 

This information is also available in the form of a software which offers the possibility, for the selected companies, to print labels, their addresses or  personalised sheets, to send them an e-mail or to export their general data in an Excel sheet.

Walloon companies have traditionally been among the world leaders in the steel industry, metal construction, glassmaking and heavy chemicals.

Yet, nowadays a new generation of companies raises. These companies   focus their economic efforts on high added value sectors that have the support of private or university research centers and intense R&D activity. These sectors are the following: aeronautics and space (Skywin), life sciences (Biowin), transport and logistics (Logistics in Wallonia), agro-industry (Wagralim), fine mechanics and nanotechnologies (Mecatech) and green chemistry and sustainable materials (Greenwin).

 

Many companies in all these sectors have gained real international recognition and some have achieved world leadership. A large majority of these are SMEs3 (95% of the Walloon economic fabric). Wallonia's central position in Europe and multimodal communication infrastructures also guarantees them fast and "just in time" delivery conditions. These various and highly developed economic sectors will certainly attract the African counterparts.

 

To summarise, the customers of this great continent, this giant marketplace of Africa will be interested in this remarkable Wallonia’s data base.

 

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