12/09 Breakfast-debate with Miguel Ceballos Barón, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Cecilia Malmström

Next 12th September the Chamber organizes a breakfast-debate with Miguel Ceballos Barón, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Cecilia Malmström, who will be presenting: “Between commercial wars, the EU and Mercosur conclude an historic agreement“.

The European Union and Mercosur reached on June 28th an agreement on a new trade framework – part of a wider Association Agreement between the two regions and becoming the largest trade agreement the EU has ever concluded. It will create a market of 780 million people, providing enormous opportunities for EU businesses and workers. The agreement will save European companies over €4 billion in duties at the border.

The event will take place from 8:45h to 10:00h at the premises of the Chamber: Rue Belliard 20, first floor. The conference will be held in Spanish.

We invite you to fill in the inscription to confirm your participation.

Workshop on “Digitalize your Business”

Last 18 June, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in collaboration with Senda Consulting, organized the workshop “Digitalize your Business”. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an insight into the functioning and the utility of the digitalization for SMEs. The course, given by the entrepreneur of the Chamber, David Sánchez from Senda Consulting, was of great interest to the attendees, who were able to deepen their knowledge in the area. Sánchez began with an introduction to the term digitalization, its meaning and the reasons why it is presented as a point of interest for every business.

During the workshop, the necessary concepts to guarantee the security of the servers as well as the different online programs and platforms available for the management were tackled. The basic structure of the digital communication was also exposed and the mode of use and the characteristics of MailChimp, Google Analytics or Yoast, among others, were mentioned. To finish, Sánchez explained the benefits of digitalization for any business and resolved the doubts of the attendees.



1st Edition doubles paddle tennis tournament

 Last 15th June the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized, in collaboration with La Casa del Padel, its first doubles paddle tennis tournament for the expat community in Belgium and Luxembourg with the aim of promoting professional networking among its contact network.

The event started with an introduction to paddle rules for all participants. After that, the division by groups was structured and the matches started. Among the 18 doubles teams, the winners of the absolute category were Ladislao Checa and Carles Giner, in the same way, Alberto Orsi and Stefano Delfino won in in the amateur group.

The participants enjoyed a nice evening of paddle followed by a networking cocktail and the awards ceremony, in which a Spanish food basked was given to the winners on both categories, and a raffle among the participants was made.


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IV edition of the Social Networking Night

Last 13th of June took place in Brussels the IV edition of the Social Networking Night, an activity organized by the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg in the framework of its program Empleo BeLux. The main objective of this activity is to optimize the tools available in BeLux for the job search. The event took place at the BNP Paribas Fortis facilities in Brussels.

First of all, the Secretary General of the Chamber, María Catalán, thanked all the attendees, speakers and sponsors BNP Paribas Fortis and Esade Business School for their presence, and presented the program of the event and the website Empleo BeLux.

Then Salvatore Orlando, Expat Manager of BNP Paribas Fortis, addressed some tips for expats in Brussels, emphasizing how to develop and where to expand their contact network.

The first presentation of the event was in charge of Andrés Álvarez, Project Officer at the European Commission, who presented the different possibilities and options that exist to work in the European Union. Álvarez explained the range of possibilities for having access to institutions, emphasizing the different options available without the need to access through EPSO competitions, such as contractual contracts.

For her part, Ursi Van der Herten, Associate Director International Executive Programs at ESADE, made a presentation on how to study an Executive MBA can help accelerate your professional career, highlighting the importance of the business school choice. Among the advices, she remarked to seek information through the alumni network for the choice of the school.

Francesc Cots, Financial Director at Eurofirms, underlined the importance of the Personal Branding to finding employment and placed particular emphasis on Personal Branding on social media and specifically on LinkedIn. Cots advised to share activities carried out by the company that you work through your personal profile.

In this edition, the success story of “Emprende Belux” was led by Paloma Cantero, CEO of YouthProAktiv and CWC Consulting. Cantero shared her experience as an entrepreneur in Belgium and explained the difficulties she had to face, as well as the satisfactions and motivation to undertake in a foreign country. Likewise, the entrepreneur participates in the Erasmus Program for Young Entrepreneurs of the Chamber, which Arturo Ibáñez subsequently explained.

Arturo Ibáñez and Soraya Bravo, Project Managers of the Chamber, explained the main features of two Chamber’s programs related to entrepreneurship: the Erasmus Program for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE), a European program of transnational exchanges that offers new entrepreneurs and people who want to create a business the opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs who run small businesses in other participating countries, which the Chamber is a local point of contact, and the Emprende BeLux, a program to support Spanish residents in Belgium and Luxembourg on the long road to entrepreneurship and business consolidation.

Among the different interventions, the attendees had the opportunity to participate in three workshops. In the first one, Asier Marquina, from Arcelomittal, highlighted the techniques to enhance networking and contact network, through a dynamic and participate intervention. In the second one, the life coach Marta Cela gave the keys to successfully answer the cheating questions in a job interview and she outlined the self-confidence and attitude when facing the interview as a candidate. In the last workshop, Victoria Martinez, HR Talent Acquisition Consultant in Everis, developed the importance of social networks as a jobs search tool and provided useful advices for making an attractive curriculum for the employer.

Finally, the attendees enjoyed a networking cocktail, in which they could interact with the speakers and other participants in a relaxed atmosphere.

Introductory tasting of Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

On June 12 the Chamber organized, in collaboration with Alma Cervera, an “Introductory tasting of Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)”. Alma Cervera has recently launched her business focusing on the tasting and distribution of Spanish EVOOs, selecting products with the best varieties.

EVOOs from different Spanish regions were tasted, learning about the different tasting techniques and the principles of oil making.

Alma Envero was one of the tasted oils, 100% virgin extra, cultivated, picked and processed through traditional techniques and environmentally friendly. The crop is located in the north east of Murcia, with centenary olive trees and from the varieties of Picual and Arbequina.

The oil SUCUM, from the company Dehesa Frías S.L., was also tasted. From this “finca” located in the north of Seville, the oil is extracted from the first crop from olives of the variety Picuda from Baena.

The oils were tasted with innovative pairings, such as preparation of potato and cod, melon and cucumber cream and different charcuterie such as jamon serrano, manchego cheese and cecina.

For more information we invite you to visit Alma Cervera’s website: www.almaove.com

Conference about “new Companies and Associations Code”

The Chamber, in collaboration with Estudio Legal Muñoz Gonzalo SLP and Philippe & Partners, organized next Tuesday June 11th  a conference in Brussels about “new Companies and Associations Code”.

To the event attended different entrepreneurs form the EmprendeBelux program, an initiative which aim is supporting Spanish entrepreneurs in Belgium and Luxembourg, serving as a platform for ongoing training and generating new contacts.

Among the main novelties of the new Companies and Associations Code that came into force last 1st May 2019 and were presented at the conference we can highlight:

  • The replacement of the «Société Privée à Responsabilité Limitée» (SPRL) by the «Société à Responsabilité Limitée» (SRL). 
  • The requirement of a minimum capital disappears.
  • The requirements for the financial plan are reinforced.
  • Limitation of the administrator’s responsibility.
  • English is allowed to be used in different statutory documents.
  • The rule of the distribution of dividends is linked to a dabble test:

      Balance test: The distribution of dividends will not be allowed if the net equity is negative.

      Liquidity test: The distribution of dividends will not be allowed if the company can not comply with its actual and future debts.

This new modification will imply a simplify and give greater flexibility to the new societies, with a diminution of the societal form; the Belgian code reduce from 17 to 9 the total amount of societies.

The companies have now until 1st January 2024 to adapt their statutes to the new regulation. However, since 1st January 2020 the new changes will apply to all companies.



Ingelia presents its HTC technology in Brussels within the Spain Means Innovation program

Last 4th June 219, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg , in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Kingdom of Belgium, organized the conference “Spanish Science Diplomacy. Ingelia, the success of a Spanish business model in Belgium based on HTC technology” within the Spain Means Innovation program.

During the conference, Marisa Hernández Latorre, founder of Ingelia and nominated last year for the EU Prize for Women Innovators, presented the technology developed by her company for 12 years, which has the aim of transforming waste into raw materials. Hernández highlighted the importance of HTC technology to support the local circular economy, not just because waste becomes raw materials that could be used for other industries, but because CO2 emission from transport could be reduce by installing transformations plants near the cities.

Moreover, the representative of Renasci, Luc Descender, partner of Ingelia in Ostende, standed out the difficulties that innovative technologies have to face, both administrative and funding, as well as the ones in product exportation.

The speakers remarked the relevance of this Spain means innovation’s kind of conferences in order to interact with other innovative companies and technologies, due to the fact that it was in a scientific forum where both companies met and started to collaborate together.

Lastly, Andrés Martínez, representative of the CDTI, highlighted the funding opportunities offered by his institution to innovative companies such as Ingelia, with which they have collaborated in its launch and growth.

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“Connecting you with the World of Finance” Seminar, organized in Madrid with the participation of Pierre Gramegna

The Vice-president of the Chamber, José Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, and the Secretary General, María Catalán, participated in the seminar “Connecting you with the world of finance” organized the 4th June in Madrid by Luxembourg for Finance.

The seminar was attended by Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, who presented his vision regarding Brexit, the challenges facing Europe and the respective positioning of the Grand Duchy.

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance,  and representatives from lhoFT, Luxembourg Green Exchange and Fondation de Luxembourg also took part in the seminar. They presented, from different points of view, the opportunities offered by the Luxembourg financial sector.

Thereafter, there were several discussion panels on wealth management, life insurance, alternative investments and private assets, among other topics.

The seminar had a wide audience mainly specialized in the financial sector.

Conference: “The Canary Islands: investment destination”

Last Tuesday 21st May, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized in collaboration with PROEXCA, a public company whose main objective is the attraction of strategic investments in the Canary Islands, a conference under the topic “The Canary Islands: investment destination”. The event aimed to inform Belgian companies of renewable energy, ICT, BPO, audiovisual sector and animation about investment opportunities in the Islands.

María Catalán, Secretary General of the Chamber delivered welcome remarks and thanked the participation of all the attendees.

Afterwards, Pablo Martín-Carbajal, Chief Executive Officer of PROEXCA, presented the key economic assets of the Islands for foreign investment, highlighting, among others, the most relevant and booming sectors and tax advantages. He also explained several potential investment angles.

Later on, Jerónimo Falcón, Project Manager of the Canarian Society of Economic Development, presented the general panorama of the energy sector in the region, and in particular of renewable energies. He highlighted the unique natural characteristics of the Islands, as well as the differential infrastructures. In addition, he noted that the government offers various aid for productive investments in the sector and sustainable investment activities.

On the other hand, Olga Martín Pascual, Director of the ZEC (Canarian Special Zone) Consortium, announced the economic and fiscal opportunities of the Canary Islands Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) and other benefits provided by operating in them. He also spoke about tax incentives such as the corporate tax of the Islands, the most advantageous in all of Europe and the particularities of the ZEC.

After the speeches, the participants were able to ask their questions and to have one-on-one meetings with the speakers.

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Presentation LaLiga: ‘Economic-Financial Report of professional football’

On May 9, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized, in collaboration with LaLiga, a presentation detailing the “Economic-Financial Report of professional football” during the 2017/2018 season. The event was attended by journalists, public bodies and representatives of Belgian and Spanish companies.

In the first place, Andrea Oriol, delegate of LaLiga in Benelux, gave a few words of welcome to the attendees and presented the work of LaLiga and the clubs that compose the competition. Afterwards, the economic-financial results of the last season were described.

LaLiga has reached the highest records of the competition in its history. According to the last Economic-Financial Report of Spanish professional football, corresponding to the last season concluded (2017-2018), LaLiga’s clubs recorded revenues of € 4,479 Mn, representing a growth of 20.6% compared to the season previous.

This is the largest annual positive change achieved in recent years, which is very remarkable as it has been produced after several years in which it has grown steadily at a double-digit rate.

The gross operating profit (EBITDA) of LaLiga amounted to € 945 Mn (+ 20.7%), the operating result (EBIT) stood at € 325 Mn (+ 11.4%) and the net result of the year reached € 189 Mn (+ 6.7%).

The 2017-18 season has been surprising due to the emergence on the scene of two new growth engines of LaLiga: commercial revenues and income from transfers, which have stolen prominence as drivers of annual growth to retransmission revenues.

In the case of commercial revenues (not including the billing from advertising), the annual increase reached 34.1%, until the turnover reached € 838 Mn, which is indicative that Spanish clubs are becoming increasingly attractive media for sponsors.


On the other hand, the income derived from the transfer of players (i.e. sale price), the annual increase of 104.3% allowed to double in a single year the billing for this concept, with a record of € 1,018 Mn.

However, the audiovisual billing received by the clubs managed to exceed the level of € 1,500 Mn for the first time and will regain its prominence as of the 2019-20 season, as a consequence of the new audiovisual cycle negotiated by the national market and the signed international agreements.

It is very important to note that these results have been achieved coinciding with an increase in operating expenses (OPEX) and at a time of high investment intensity (CAPEX).

It is equally important to point out that LaLiga 1 | 2 | 3 not only contributes more and more to the revenues of LaLiga as a whole, but also to the results (all the indicators are already in positive terrain and growing sense) and to the generation of cash flow and the value of the activity.

All of the above has led to obtaining a business profitability index (ROIC) that stood at 12.3% (15.1% adjusted) in the 2017-18 season, six tenths higher than the previous season and that, in any case, is substantially above the levels of other reference competitions.

In addition, the LaLiga clubs create a professional football industry that generates an impact on economic activity equivalent to 1.37% of the national GDP and employs directly or indirectly close to 185,000 people (0.98% of the population). average used in Spain in the last year).

After the presentation, a round was given to questions in which the delegate of LaLiga answered all the questions of those who wanted to obtain more information about the exposed subject.

The complete Economic-Financial Report can be consulted here