Questions on opening a store in Luxembourg? A new online portal should provide the answers. Henceforth, the Benelux countries will bundle all the necessary information regarding trading in the three countries to stimulate international expansion.
Benelux Retail Information Point
All information regarding retail trade in the three Benelux countries, i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, can now be accessed on an online portal. Benelux's ministers of economy have launched "Benelux Retail Information Point" to inform both existing and new retailers on the relevant legislation in the three countries, whether they want to set up a company, e-commerce or trade activities in another Benelux country.
In the Benelux counties, retail accounts for more than 219 billion euros in turnover, 984,000 jobs and 198,000 companies, and, therefore, is of enormous economic importance, argue the six different ministers of economy of the three countries. But internationalisation and cross-border trade still have a lot of development potential, they say. That is why the portal wants to lower the threshold for doing business across borders or establishing a business in a neighbouring country.
Major lack of knowledge
A 2017 study already showed that a lack of knowledge is one of the main obstacles to internationalise retail. The portal, hence, aims to provide information on a wide range of topics, from contract legislation on product requirements to rules around setting up webshops. The Covid (support) measures in each country can also be found on the platform. On top of that, the portal has a reporting role: if traders come across unnecessary or contradictory regulations and procedures between the Benelux countries, they can report it there.
"This portal is a new and unique cross-border instrument that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to develop their activities in the three Benelux countries", says Willy Borsus, minister of economy in Wallonia. "Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to obtain first-hand information about the legislation relating to retailing and business creation of our Benelux neighbours. Therefore, it is an important step towards more clarity and more trade and economic activity within the Benelux."