AFP or licensors

"Belgium wins battle for Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba"

Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba are to pick Liège Airport as the site for their first logistics hub in Europe. That's according to the financial daily De Tijd and Het Laatste Nieuws. 

The spokesman of Liège Airport told VRT NWS that negotiations "have entered their final phase". Belgium has been bending over backwards to get Alibaba to choose Belgium, with PM Charles Michel receiving Alibaba boss Jack Ma in July. However, the Netherlands were also trying to convince the Chinese to choose their side. The arrival of Alibaba could create hundreds of jobs. 

However, the European director of Alibaba is now suggesting they have picked Liège Airport in Belgium. The last couple of weeks have seen two flights per week between Liège and Hangzhou, which can be interpreted as a confirmation of the rumours. The Liège Airport spokesman admits talks are reaching their final phase, but does not want to speak of a final deal before the official signature.

Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) is delighted with the news. "After several meetings with CEO Jack Ma, Alibaba have confirmed they will invest in Liège. Belgium's attractiveness has convinced. It's good news for employment and economic development."