The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awards Company of the Year to Grupo Social ONCE

On November 6, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awarded the Grupo Social ONCE, in its V edition, the Company of the Year Award 2018 in an act which took place in the residence of the Embassy of Spain in Brussels. Through this award, the Chamber annually awards the promotion of trade and business development in Belgium and Luxembourg.

With this award, the Chamber wanted to recognize the Grupo Social ONCE for its unique business model in the world and for its leadership at an international level. Its active participation in Brussels within various business and disability organizations at European level, shows its commitment to the integration process. This award aims to contribute to closer business relationships of the Grupo Social ONCE through the provision of goods and services to companies from Belgium and Luxembourg markets.

In addition, its constructive and ambitious contribution to the community legislative process, seeking the right balance between business and social dimension and its partnership with the European Commission through the Operational Program for the Training and Employment of People with Disabilities – it has been an example of good practices for two decades-, have also been reasons for this concession.

The ceremony began with the words of the Ambassador of Spain in Belgium and President of Honor of the Chamber, Beatriz Larrotcha who said that this award was a right decision: “Grupo Social ONCE is more than a company, it is a cooperation between institutions and companies (…) the ONCE is the image we want to show abroad, for this reason it is an honor to give them this award “.

The president of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, joined in the congratulations of the ambassador and described the ONCE foundation as a “revolutionary movement” that has achieved a progressive improvement in social advances and levels of inclusion: “It is a modest award, which recognizes the merits of the Spanish company. Grupo Social ONCE works for social normalization and inclusion, for them it is easy to recognize the feeling of pride”.

Pride that also shared the Minister of Economy and Business, Nadia Calviño, who has a strong link with the foundation and who was responsible for delivering the award. “The ONCE foundation is a unique model for eight decades. It is a model that shows its commitment to Europe and its collaboration with the European Commission (…). This award is granted for its contribution to Marca España. I only have two words, admiration and gratitude”.

The president of the Grupo Social ONCE, Miguel Carballeda, accepted the award. During his speech he wanted to remember his years as a seller of ONCE coupons and thanked the award on behalf of all his colleagues at the foundation: “Who would have told me that after selling coupons for 10 years, I would be here today collecting this award on behalf of my colleagues. (…) We (Grupo Social ONCE) have to remain the best company, to be a reference for citizenship, for all those people who come daily to our 20.000 coupon sellers”. In addition, he took the opportunity to remember that the ONCE is the world’s first employer of the disabled and the fourth employer in Spain.

The event ended with a cocktail that all the guests attended. The Chamber thanks the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and all the participating companies for their contribution so that the event has been a success.








The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awards its Company of the Year Prize 2016 to everis

On February 1st, 2017, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awarded everis, in its fourth edition, the “Company of the Year” award 2016. Through this prize, the Chamber annually awards the promotion of commerce and Spanish business development in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The award was given at an event organized by everis with the collaboration of the Chamber, attended by such figures as Alexander De Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Cecilia Yuste Rojas, Spanish Ambassador in Belgium, Miguel Aguirre de Cárcer, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain in NATO, members of the Chamber, business executives, members of the Spanish and international diplomatic corps, as well as representatives of European institutions.

Everis is a company of the NTT DATA group that offers business solutions, strategy, development and maintenance of technological applications and outsourcing. The company, which operates in the telecommunications, financial, industry, utilities, energy, public administration and healthcare sectors, achieved a turnover of 816 million euros in the last fiscal year. Nowadays, it has more than 17,000 professielsblatononals distributed in its offices and centers of high performance in 15 different countries.

The Catalan technology consultant lands in Belgium in 2011 with only two people. Five years later, everis has grown steadily, reaching 39 million in the 2016 financial year. Its accelerated growth in staff (expected to reach 450 people working on its projects by March) has led to the relocation of its Belgian headquarters to their new offices.

As part of the inauguration of its new headquarters in Brussels, an event was held in which attendees could tour the new offices, meet their employee-robot Pepper (with whom they could interact and take photographs) and live different demos of some of the activities carried out by the company.

Later, Els Blaton, CEO of the company in Belgium, gave a welcome speech to all attendees, in which she thanked their presence and reviewed the results obtained by everis Belgium in these five years.

She underlined that she feels “proud of the group for three specific reasons: the culture of the company, the results obtained and their showing of talent, creativity and innovation.” In addition, she wanted to highlight the diversity of her workforce of 28 different nationalities and gender equality, reaching almost 50%.

decrooNext, Alexander de Croo, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post Office, made a pro-digital exhibition focusing on the importance of technology in people’s lives.

De Croo pointed out the need for political forces to foster the flow of information that could benefit citizens, as well as the importance of investing in education: “the real infrastructure of today are human beings.”

Following the intervention of De Croo, the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa with Ambassador Cecilia Yuste awarded the “Company of the Year” prize 2016 to Óscar Abril, Managing Partner at everis BeNeLux. Rodríguez-Villa acknowledged the role of everis in Belgium and expressed the Chamber’s commitment to support the establishment of Spanish companies in Belux.

abrilÓscar Abril was excited about the prize: “this award means a lot to us. We celebrate success and growth, our relocation to these offices and our establishment in the Netherlands.”

Making a synthesis of their trajectory in Belgian territory, the difficulties and the good results obtained, Abril concluded “of what I am most proud of is the team and its evolution. We have good people who share the everis values and ambitions. ”

After the intervention of Abril, Marc Alba, father of robot Pepper, made an exhibition in which he explained the benefits of technology combined with human capital within the company.

Finally, all the attendees enjoyed a cocktail to celebrate the anniversary of everis, the inauguration of their new offices in Brussels and the award given by the Chamber.



The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg awards its Company of the Year Prize 2015 to Orona

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has awarded Orona, in its third edition of the Company of the Year Award 2015. This prize is awarded every year by the Chamber to a company for the promotion of Spanish trade and business development in Belgium and Luxembourg.

ORONA is a business group with more than five decades of experience, is formed by 30 companies in Spain, France, Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Brazil and Poland that employs more than 4,500 people.

Its activity centres on the design, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and modernisation of urban mobility and elevation solutions, such as lifts, escalators ramps and moving walkways. All of this from an integral service perspective and for all sectors, from residential to commercial, public health, heritage buildings and heavy loads.

The well-known Basque company came to Belgium in 1996 through a distribution network. Orona then acquired in 2010 and 2011, respectively, CoopmanLiften y Ascelec Ascenseurs. In 2015, the company has implemented a brand unification process that offers services and innovative solutions all over the country. 250 people are currently part of the international Orona project in Belgium and Luxembourg, where they carried out important works like the Metro of Brussels. Belgium is now one of the countries where Orona combines a large number of service contracts with new installation contracts.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa, President of the Chamber, said that “The key to success of Orona group has to be found in their own research, which implies technological independence, combined with the commercial spirit and thanks to the ambition of a team who spares no effort to become one of the leading companies of the industry at international level”.

For its part, Aitor Mendia, Corporate Board of Orona International, told that “At Orona we are very proud to get this award because Belgium (and Luxemburg too, in the corresponding dimension), means a lot to us. Orona in Belgium is actually a Belgian company, managed with  effort and collaboration of our human Belgian capital aimed to providing mobility solutions that help to improve the quality of life of Belgian people. Orona has a major presence in this country, both in volume facilities, unique solutions and maintenance contracts. It is increasingly difficult to understand Orona without Belgium and we also aim to make it difficult to understand Belgium without Orona”.

The prize was awarded by Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for the Environment of the European Commission, who highlighted that Orona is the first company in the worldwide elevation sector that is certified with Ecodesign ISO 14006. International leaders and representatives of local, Spanish and European public institutions also participated in the event.

Orona´s figures:

  • Business Group consisting of more than 30 companies in 11 countries.
  • 1 out of every 10 new lifts in Europe is from Orona.
  • More than 100 countries have Orona products installed.
  • 250,000 lifts worldwide with Orona technology.
  • Number 1 in Europe in terms of capacity for producing complete lifts
  • Two production plants in Europe.
  • 4,500 professionals with strong commitment to service.
  • The worldwide lifting company certified with Ecodesign – ISO 14006.
  • 2014 consolidated sales: 578 million euros.
  • 2014 investment: 38 million euros.
  • 2014 consolidated profit: 77 millon.


Company of the Year Award 2014 – Indra

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated its Annual Gala Dinner where the Award Company of the Year 2014 was presented, in its II Edition, in recognition of its track record for innovation and its international trajectory, to the Spanish Consulting and Technology company:


Indra has a permanent presence in Brussels, with a corporative office in the European District (Rue Froissart nº 95-99, 4º -1040 Brussels) for the business development and support to operations at BENELUX, EU and OTAN.

The dinner took place at the Métropole Hotel in Brussels and counted, among others, with the presence of top-level management of several Spanish and international companies, members of the Spanish diplomatic community, representatives from Spanish institutions, Directors-General of the European Commission and Council, members of the European Parliament, and the EU Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

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The President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, addressed to the more than 110 assistants referring to the activities carried out by the Chamber during the 2014, emphasised the new Programa Jóvenes BeLux among others. The Program counts with the support and the grant of the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security and it has allowed, among other goals, that a third part of the youth who have attended to the Chamber, have been able to find a job in BeLux in the last months. On the other hand, he pointed out the new Chamber of Spain, formed the last month of November, incorporates a main role to the Official Chambers abroad inside the national system of the Chamber.

Furthermore, he noted that since the Chamber applied for the creation of a mixed commission European Chamber-Parliament to give the chance to the SME’s of join this necessary dialogue to legislate. “The Chamber, is the right framework for the dialogue of the company with the European institutions and we want to continue improving the good relationships”, he argued.

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The Spanish ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Ignacio Matellanes, spoke at the event to highlight the evolution of the Spanish economy, the important commercial relationships with Belgium and the country as an investment destination.


The EU Commissioner of Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, presented the Award to the President of Indra in Europe. The Commissioner highlighted that Indra “represents globally the success and the competitiveness of the European Industry” and pointed out feeling “doubly satisfied because of it as European and Spanish citizen”.

Cañete added the multinational is also an “example of the continent’s industrial renaissance” and highlighted the European Commission “wants the European industry to represent the 20% of the European GDP in 2020”, a level which was already reached in the 90s, while nowadays it represents more than the 15%.

_JRC4457Santiago Roura, the President of Indra in Europe, pointed out the award “is the recognition of a collective effort and a brand”, besides “it generates illusion for the 40.000 people who work in this project”. He also added “the firm, a multinational which exists in 138 countries and leader in Spain and Latin America, is a long-term business project” and among its goals is “the immense challenge of becoming in a global company fundamental for Europe”. “We want to be in Europe and work from the world for Europe”, noted  Roura.

Indra’s represent highlighted the importance of the Spanish Chamber, “it is fundamental for the ones who try to have our products in a good position, solutions and services of the global market”.

After presented the Award Company of the year 2014, the assistants enjoyed the dinner accompanied by wonderful Spanish wines offered by the associated company La Buena Vida.

The pianist Mauricio Vallina charmed his audience with his Classic Cuba performance.

Thank you for sharing this magnificent dinner with the Chamber.

Company of the Year Award Air Europas and cellebration of the 75th Anniversary

On November 28th of 2013, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized, for the celebration of its 75th anniversary, a Gala Diner that gathered more than one hundred selected guests.

La Cámara cumple 75 años_2Among the attendees people could find his Excellency the ambassador of Spain in the kingdom of Belgium and Honorary President of the Chamber, Mr Ignacio Matellanes, as well as other personalities within the Spanish and Latin-American diplomatic environment.

The celebration started at 19:30 at the NH Hotel du Grand Sablon. The menu was provided by the chef Luis Salinero, executive chef of the seventeen Michelin Stars group Lamoraga.

Mr Juan Rodríguez-Villa, President of the Chamber, welcomed the guests during his speech, commemorating the 75 years of existence of the Chamber and emphasising the important role of its founders. He pointed out the long labour of all the different Presidents and General Secretaries who have gone through the Institution, as well as the rest of members of the board of directors. He also had some words of gratitude for the fundamental support from the different Spanish institutions settled in Belgium and Luxembourg and also for the proved trust of all the members of the Chamber.

Along the evening event, a short award ceremony took place in which the first edition of the “enterprise of the year” award went, decided by the Chamber’s board of directors, to the Spanish company AIR EUROPA. The award was handed over by the ambassador Mr Ignacio Matellanes to the CEO of Air Europa in France and Belgium, Mr Alcino Ribeiro. He expressed gratitude for the prize in the name of the Globalia Group, to which the airline is part of, and also in the name of the Global CEO, Mr Juan José Hidalgo. He remarked that this recognition “is a big reward” for the workers in Brussels, who have been present for already one year in such a complicated market as the one in Belgium.

La Cámara cumple 75 años_3Mr Ribeiro admitted that “getting in the Belgian market has not been and yet it is not easy”, due to a very strong competition in the country in which, besides the leisure travel, they also want to work on the corporative market. At the same time he indicated that the airline “aspires to become the reference company to travel to Spain and Latin America from Belgium”.

Finally the ambassador of Spain, Mr Matellanes, concluded the ceremony with an intervention in which he stated the strength of the Spanish economy and its important commercial relation with the kingdom of Belgium.

A show with the Spanish guitar player, Raúl Corredor, and a “cantaor” and thereafter a riffle of products and services donated by the Chamber’s members, were the icing on the cake and meant the end of the soiree.