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Chantal Leonard
Name Chantal Leonard
Organisation  AWEX - Agence wallonne à l'exportation et aux Investissements étrangers
Job title Coordinator EU affairs

Sector expertise:


  • Head of?ce: Brussels
  • 7 regional centres in Belgium (advisory and local of?ces)
  • 60 Economic and Commercial Counsellors  on 5 continents
  • 6 Scientific Liaison Officers
  • SOFINEX (fund management for the ?nancing of international projects)
  • AWEX EU Office (cooperation  with EU Commission, clusters and companies)
  • Number of Walloon companies supported per annum: around 2000
  • Certi?ed ISO 9001 since April 2002


Promotion and information mission among foreign and Walloon companies.

On behalf of foreign buyers, prescribers, importers and foreign prospects, on request, the Agency can:

  • transmit economic data on Wallonia and its exporting potential
  • provide information on products and services available among Walloon companies
  • ?nd Walloon companies for the conclusion of international partnerships
  • disseminate lists of Walloon exporters.

For companies and clusters, the Agency is their full-service partner abroad and offers them a vast range of services and activities covering the entire exporting process:

  • general and commercial information on foreign markets
  • drawing up of individual market studies on request
  • organisation of commercial prospection campaigns (participation in international fairs, organisation of economic missions, sectoral contact days…)
  • contacts with international organisations
  • promotion of Wallonia and its exporting potential abroad
  • ?nancial support and funding of exports
  • training and heightening of awareness in preparation for an international career
  • EEN Wallonia network’s co financing for international actions


Promotion, prospection and information of potential investors; active support to investors established in Wallonia; search for foreign buyers for   industrial sites undergoing regeneration. 


Relative Expertise on Clusters and technologic partnerships

AWEX proposes tailor-made services to assist Walloon SMEs and clusters in their international development. Financial incentives and support structures (regional centres, specialised geographical market units, international commercial network, welcome offices and incubators abroad…) are made available for all stages of the internationalisation process:

  • Development of export strategies
  • Training and recruitment of personnel
  • Conception of marketing and communication material
  • Market exploration (trade fairs, trade missions, buyers’ invitations, market studies, etc.)
  • Training of clients
  • Creation of commercial offices abroad
  • Development of international partnerships and networks
  • Risk coverage, financing and insurance of exports

Since 2001, AWEX has acquired an extensive experience in promoting the international development of   competitiveness clusters in several high growth sectors which are at the cornerstones of a wide-ranging regional economic development plan :

  • Aeronautics and aerospace
  • Life sciences and biotechnologies
  • Agri-food
  • Mechanical engineering and advanced materials
  • Transport and logistics
  • ICT and micro-technologies
  • Environmental technologies

These clusters and networks are powerful engines of economic growth and innovation in Wallonia and fundamental drivers of the export potential of SMEs.

Over the last decade, AWEX has been a major promoter of the internationalisation of Walloon clusters and networks through the setting-up of specific financial incentives and programmes suited to their demands and needs.

AWEX supports on an annual basis the international action plans of all   clusters and networks.  Financial incentives are available for the following actions :

  • Assistance in recruiting export managers and market specialists
  • Development of communication and promotional material (Web sites, CD-ROMs, brochures)
  • Development of visibility and advertising campaigns at the international level
  • Organisation of foreign trade missions
  • Participation in major international fairs
  • Invitation of foreign buyers and prospects
  • Production of market and strategic studies
  • International networking and partnerships with foreign clusters

Since 2001, AWEX’s track record in helping  clusters and networks expand on international markets is very impressive. With the financial support of AWEX during the 2001-2014 period,  clusters and networks have :

  • Carried out more than 1.600 international projects or initiatives
  • Made close to 700  contacts with foreign clusters and other organisations abroad (federations, chambers of commerce, public institutions, research centres, etc.) 
  • Undertaken 260  commercial actions abroad in cooperation with AWEX
  • Signed 34 cooperation agreements with foreign clusters, networks or federations
    in 21 countries, including China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Canada and the United States.

The network of Scientific Liaison Officers (SLO) ??completes the international network of AWEXI with a special focus on research and innovation. This network provides a link between the stakeholders of the Research & Innovation Platform of AWEX and their respective counterparts in the priority countries. At the beginning of 2015, a network of six SLOs is serving in their country of assignment and various agreements have been signed with institutions which are internationally recognized for their excellence in research and innovation.

  • the promotion and facilitation of cooperation between research and innovation stakeholders of Wallonia-Brussels and those from partner countries;
  • the organization of a scientific and technological watch on the potential projects which could interest economic operators;
  • the identification of industrial and/or financial partners to create bilateral partnerships and joint spin-offs ;
  • the submission of joint research projects to the regional, national, European or international authorities;
  • the assistance in the submission of applications within the existing funding sources of foreign partners ;
  • the organization of prospecting missions for project promoters of Wallonia-Brussels in its country of assignment ;
  • the promotion and activation of mobility programs for researchers (excellence grants and specialization scholarships in particular).


Rue de la Loi, 61-63
Phone 32 2 233 03 84

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