Chambers of Commerce

GM of Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Belgium

October 7, 2019

Wouter Van Gulck, the General Manager of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce was happy to share his insights after the 2 day TIAO workshop “BusinessWithoutBarriers’.

How did you find the workshop?

The workshop certainly met my expectations: plenty of networking, opportunities to exchange good practices, ideas to improve the platform. Participants felt energized by each other, by the discussions, by the many possibilities that still remain untouched. Good job by TIAO and by all the participants!

What do you think went well?

The highlight of the 2-day workshop was the session on the value questions: listening to how others dealt with identifying member needs and converting them in business opportunities, with matching published opportunities, with converting trial members into full members. Everybody spoke freely, expressed the problems they experienced and was open to suggestions from colleagues on how to overcome them. It was the spirit of a learning network that we know so well in chambers of commerce, since we organize them all the time for our members.

It was also great to meet the moderators of the different networks. Virtual networks are fine, but face-to-face meetings are necessary. Knowing the moderator of another network in person makes it so much easier to contact him for future opportunities. Certainly if you had a beer together!

What can we improve?

People come to exchange ideas, to learn what works well and what doesn’t. The focus should be as much as possible on practical and operational aspects. So try to limit the more general presentations to an absolute minimum. An idea for next meeting is to have small groups actually work on the value questions through different real-life scenarios.

In his current position as General Manager of Belgian Chambers, Wouter has a clear focus to strengthen the chambers of commerce in Belgium in their role as the preferred interlocutors for companies in the field of international and sustainable business. Furthermore, based upon the experience gathered through the online applications for certificates of origin ( and ATA carnets (, his ambition is to assist the chambers in their digital transformation.

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