Alibaba will open its logistics centre in Belgium, obviously bypassing Balkans and contrary to earlier media reports.
The Chinese e-commerce giant decided to open the logistics centre in Liege, a city on the border with Germany and Luxembourg, and close to Brussels.
This is the fifth logistics centre of this company in the world. In Europe, they have one more logistics centre – in Frankfurt.
Liege joins international Alibaba distribution centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Moscow. The Belgian city, about 160km northwest of Luxembourg City, beat out Maastricht in the Netherlands to host the facility, according to L’Echo newspaper.
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The media also report that Alibaba would consider creating a second or third hub in Europe in the coming years, based on the company’s performance.
For months, there had been speculations that Alibaba would open such centre somewhere in the Balkans with the company’s representatives crisscrossing the region – from Croatia, via Hungary and Romania to Bulgaria and Serbia – looking for a strategic partner for the construction of a large distribution centre in this part of Europe.
The opening of such a centre would allow not only the distribution of products produced by the Chinese companies but also the goods produced by Serbian companies too, it was reported at that time.
The Croatians even visited Alibaba following the news that the company had expressed interest in building a European logistics centre although Hungary was considered the main competitor since the country strongly lobbied for the centre to be built there.
(Nova Ekonomija, 18.11.2018)
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