18, 20 and 25/01 StartCraft, Co-innovating the future of crafting

During the month of January, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg will organize three professional networking forums: StartCraft, Co-innovating the future of crafting.

These professional networking forums are part of the StartCraft project, an initiative managed by the Chamber and funded by the Erasmus + program, with the aim to develop and offer training and practical education in entrepreneurship for artisans.

StartCraft, Co-innovating the future of crafting, is aimed at crafts or future crafts- entrepreneurs.

Participants may choose to attend one of the following forums:

  • Monday, January 18th from 12:30 to 13:30
  • Wednesday, January 20th from 12:30 to 13:30
  • Monday, January 25th from 12:30 to 13:30

During these meetings, participants will be able to discover in detail the set of educational materials for craftworkers that will be developed by the project, including free online training courses and a market training tool.

They will also be able to exchange their impressions about the needs that craftworkers have when starting a business, the challenges that managing a craft business presents, the skills and abilities needed to be a successful crafts entrepreneur, as well as the challenges that they have faced due to the current sanitary crisis.

Based on the conclusions of these forums, the StartCraft programme will develop specific training materials that respond to the expectations of the crafts sector and, at the same time, cover any gaps in training observed in the field of entrepreneurship.

All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

These forums will be held in English or French, depending on the needs of the participants.

You can register here.

For more information on the StartCraft project, check out our website.

Webinar: “Towards new urban mobility: new alternatives to the automobile, digital technologies and transport innovations”

Last Friday December 4th, the Cultural and Scientific Department of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium, and the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, with the collaboration of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and the Spanish Office of Science and Technology (SOST) organized the third edition of the “Mediodías de la Embajada”, within the framework of the Spain means Innovation program.

The webinar was focused on “Towards new urban mobility: new alternatives to the automobile, digital technologies and transport innovations”, as part of the program of scientific diplomacy and dissemination of science, technology and innovation of Spain in Belgium. The event explored the innovation and business opportunities between Spain and Belgium in the field of electric mobility.

The Spanish Ambassador in Belgium, H.E. Mrs. Beatriz Larrotcha, started the event with the welcoming words and stressed the successful collaboration between Spain and Belgium in the field of science and technology among many others. H.E. Mrs. Beatriz Larrotcha thanked all the attendees for their presence and the speakers for sharing their story. Mr. Mikaël Van Eeckhoudt, mobility advisor, followed in the use of the floor on behalf of Elke Van den BrandtBrussels’ Minister Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety, and highlighted the efforts carried out in Brussels and many other cities around Europe to ensure the correct transition into e-mobility taking care of aspects as the required infrastructures or reduction of pollutant mobility.

Noshin Omar, CEO of Belgian company Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (ABEE) shared its experience of collaboration with Spain in the development of electric mobility solutions based on good practices and knowledge sharing as a fundamental part of the partnership without forgetting the importance of commercialization. From Ikerlan, the Spanish counterpart in this collaboration, Igor Villarreal SarriaHead of Department, detailed the different initiatives and projects they are currently working in as well as the fluid relation with ABEE. After that, Marina Martínez, H2020 Programme Officer in the CDTI-SOST Office in Brussels, explained the very different opportunities for research and development of e-mobility solution under EU projects for Spanish companies.

Finally, during the debate moderated by Beatriz Ríos, Journalist, the speakers had the chance to discuss about the potential and future of green mobility innovation in the transition towards a decarbonized economy, the importance to put the citizens welfare in the center of all mobility policies, the need to smooth project management and reduce the administrative burden as well as the sensible issue of the origin of some critical raw materials like cobalt or lithium in some African countries.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, we want to warmly thank all the attendees for their presence and the speakers for their interesting presentations.

New collaboration with the business association Agoria

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg is starting a new series of collaboration with Agoria, a Belgian association that brings together more than 1600 technology companies and whose main objective is to provide its member companies with personalized advice, access to market studies and a network of companies interested in collaborate in the field of technological innovation.

Last Thursday, November 26th, the Chamber co-organized with Agoria’s Energy Technology Club a webinar focused on the opportunities to invest in Spain in the energy sector.

P.J. Provoost, Agoria’s Business Development Manager and Marta González, the Chamber’s Secretary General, welcomed all the member companies and expressed their satisfaction with this new collaboration. After them, María Palanca, Counsellor of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy, explained the main energy policies in Spain and presented the areas in which investments are a priority as well as the relevant actors. For its part, the guest company, Iberdrola, described its main projects and explained the technologies in which they are interested in investing, through Diego Diaz Pilas, Head of New Ventures & Technology Prospects.

Webinar: Insurtech report: Discovering Future of Insurance

On November 26th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on ‘Insurtech report: discovering the future of insurance’ in collaboration with its member company everis. The event took place within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta Gonzalez Benguria, Secretary General of the Chamber, introduced the webinar thanking the collaboration of everis and the participation of the panelists.

She then passed the floor to Richard Calvo, Insurtech Project Leader at everis, who began by presenting the fourth edition of the ‘InsurTech Outlook’ report, recently published by everis and NTT Data.

This report began to be prepared in 2016, when the investment in Insurtech produced the first impacts on the market. The growing trend of the sector has not stopped since then, reaching 6,300 million dollars in investments in 2019. Richard Calvo highlighted that among the different models of Insurtech, on-demand models and insurance for use, based on technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence or Cloud&Mobile Applications, are those that have acquired the greatest importance, becoming the recipients of 90% of the investment. He also spoke of the main actors involved in the world of Insurtech, including investors, insurers and technological giants.

The report presented by Calvo also analyses the patterns that are repeated in successful startups, for which he uses the concept of ‘EXIT’, which refers to the purchase of a startup by another company and is an indicator of success.

Finally, the speaker indicated the main changes that have taken place in the Insurtechs sector as a result of the COVID19 crisis, among which he pointed out: the slowdown in investments, the variation in the Burn Rate KPI, and the creation of new investment opportunities such as in the Telemedicine and genome sector.

During the question time, attendees were able to present their doubts and comments on issues of interest, which were answered jointly by the everis experts: Dirk Croenen, Head of everis BeNeLux Insurance sector, Marc Durante, Director Insurance everis Luxembourg, Carlos Ordoñez Sanchez, Global Head of Digital Insurance and Richard Calvo. Thus, questions such as the possible change of paradigm in primary health care due to the combined effect of Covid-19 and digitalisation or where Europe is in the race to be at the head of the Insurtech sector with respect to the main players: China, the United States and India were dealt with.

The Chamber presents the EYE programme at KU Leuven University

On 16 November, the Chamber presented the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme to 35 students of the Master’s in Business Economics in the specialisation of entrepreneurship and innovation at KU Leuven University.

During the class “Foundations of Entrepreneurship”, Paula Úbeda, Project Assistant of the Chamber, gave the students information about what the EYE programme is, who can participate, the registration process and the benefits of this programme. Furthermore, as an additional element, the Chamber presented the profile of a Dutch host entrepreneur interested in new entrepreneurs in the sustainable design sector in Belgium.

This presentation and collaboration with the department of administration, strategy and innovation of the Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven demonstrates the importance of cooperation between universities and organisations to continue promoting and supporting future entrepreneurs in Europe.

The Chamber appreciates the invitation of KU Leuven University and Professors Michael Moedl and Pieter Vermeulen to present this international entrepreneurship opportunity to their students and looks forward to continuing collaboration with them to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise among university students.

If you would like to know more about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, please contact Soraya Bravo (project manager) sending an email to erasmus4youngentrepreneurs@e-camara.com.

Webinar: Substance requirements and future application of the MLI to Spanish infrastructure and real estate structures

On November 12th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on “Substance requirements and future application of the MLI to Spanish infrastructure and real estate structures” in collaboration with Deloitte Luxembourg, with the participation of three experts from Deloitte in this area: Francisco Da Cunha (Partner), Samara Brey (Senior Manager) and Victor Sanlorien (Senior). The webinar took place within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta González Benguria, General Secretary of the Chamber, who acted as moderator of the event, introduced the speakers and thanked them for their participation.

Francisco da Cunha then took the floor and thanked the Chamber for the invitation and all the attendees for their interest in the event. The speaker began by explaining the concept of ‘Substance’ in the context of tax treaties against double taxation and how this concept has evolved throughout the different versions of the treaties in terms of impact and coherence.

Samara Brey went on to discuss the Multilateral Instrument (MLI), which is currently operational in 94 different jurisdictions including Spain and Luxembourg. She explained what steps were needed for the MLI to apply to a Double Taxation Convention between two countries and what the minimum standards were that countries could not change. Samara also explained the principle purpose test (PPT), the test which seeks to determine whether treaties to which the MLI applies are not used to create opportunities for non-taxation or reduction of taxation. Therefore, Brey recommends that companies document that their operations have a substance and legitimacy that goes beyond mere tax reasons. The rapporteur went on to talk about the Danish Cases, and the case law they have created.

Victor Salorien spoke about the interpretation of these rules by the Spanish administration and justice and in particular the interpretation of the term ‘substance’ in Spain and Luxembourg respectively.

After the presentation, a question session was opened during which the attendees were able to raise all the doubts that had arisen during the event.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Deloitte Luxembourg and the speakers for their collaboration in organising the webinar.

In collaboration with:

Deloitte Accountancy - Credit Expo België

Virtual breakfast-debate with MEP César Luena López: Priorities of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

On Friday 13th November 2020, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a new conference as part of the “Breakfasts with the European Parliament” cycle, a platform for meetings between Spanish companies and the European Parliament. The breakfast focused on “The priorities of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) for the new legislature” and was attended by MEP César Luena López, vice-president of the Committee.

 Pablo López Álvarez, Vice-president of the Chamber and moderator of the event, made a brief introduction of the speaker to whom he thanked for his participation as well as all the attendees.

César Luena López began his speech by emphasizing the recent approval of the European Parliament’s position on the European Climate Law. This position includes a series of binding targets for Member States and the Union as a whole with the aim of reducing emissions by 60% by 2030, establishing intermediate targets for 2040 and finally achieving climate neutrality on the continent by 2050. The speaker also wanted to highlight from this draft legislation, which now moves to negotiations under trilogues, the implementation of a budget linked on carbon and a European council on climate change. The rapporteur on the European strategy for biodiversity gave a few insights on the dossier that will establish binding targets, generate a paradigm shift in consumption or adaptation of agriculture and fisheries with appropriate budget support. This biodiversity strategy must be based on funding of at least an additional 10% apart from the existing climate funds and address issues such as legal protection of soil and the management of invasive alien species in our ecosystems.

During the question time, the attendees were able to present their doubts and comments on many issues of interest. Thus, topics such as improving collaboration between sectors involved in animal health, the strategy “farm to fork”, the latest trends in Brexit or the potential impact of U.S. elections on environmental issues were discussed.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank César Luena López and all those present for their participation.

 

Webinar: The Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Green Exchange: market trends and regulatory developments

Last Monday 26th October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on ‘The Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Green Exchange: market trends and regulatory developments’ in collaboration with Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), and with the participation of its Head of Regulatory Affairs, Paula Redondo Pereira. The webinar was organised within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta González Benguria, General Secretary of the Chamber, introduced the speaker and acted as a moderator of the event.

Then, Paula Redondo took the floor and thanked the Chamber for their invitation, as well as to all the attendees for their interest in the event. The speaker began by explaining the activity and functioning of the LuxSE, an institution with more than 90 years of history. Paula explained that the LuxSE is owned by market participants (banks, financial institutions, etc.) as well as by the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The different activities developed within the LuxSE were presented, with special emphasis on listing, which is the main activity. The position of Spanish issuers, which currently stands at 43, was then outlined. This number is expected to grow in the near future due to the significant benefits of the LuxSE for issuers and investors.

The second part of the webinar focused on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), the first and so far only platform dedicated exclusively to sustainable financial instruments, created in 2016. The LGX is contributing to the regulation that is taking place in this field on the initiative of the European Commission, as it is part of the ‘EU Commission’s High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance’ and the ‘EU Commission’s Technical Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance’. Currently, the possibility of creating standardized Green Bonds at the European level is being considered, an initiative in which LuxSE takes part.

Following the presentation, a question time was opened during which the attendees could ask all the doubts that arose during the event.

From the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Paula Redondo Pereira for accepting the invitation and all participants for their attendance.

Webinar on “Spain as remote working destination”

Last October 13th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a Webinar on “Spain as a destination for teleworking“, in collaboration with Business Cluster, a group of companies formed by Euro Economics, AgioGlobal, MADSkills, Quintessence and with the participation of EPS, IFAS and Modern Nomads. The Webinar was held by Wim Zwaenepoel, lecturer at the IE Business School and consultant at Netexpat, and by Jeroen Oskam, founding partner of Euro Economics.

To begin with, during this Webinar the lecturers presented some general data on the impact of the Covid-19 on Spanish society, and specifically, the impact that the health crisis has had on the economic and labour fields. The trends of telework in Spain before the Covid-19 were explained, as was its evolution until today, in addition to the forecasts that analysts estimate about this modality of work in the future. Additionally, the economic and labour policies adopted by the Spanish authorities to try to mitigate the negative effects of the Covid-19 were reviewed.

Moreover, the speakers focused on analysing, in second place, the so-called “STEM” sector (“Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics”), highlighting the growing lack of technical workers in the Benelux countries. On the other end is Spain, where there is a large pool of STEM sector professionals with excellent technical training. In the Webinar, a vision of the possibilities offered by the different modalities of teleworking in Spain was presented as a way to overcome the lack of specialized STEM personnel in the Benelux.

Thirdly, the emerging trend callednew nomads was introduced, referring to professionals from the Benelux who are moving their workplace to Spain thanks to the advances in the implementation of teleworking. The speakers highlighted the many benefits of this new way of working and its advantages, such as a lower tax burden or a lower cost of living. An example of this trend is the Canary Islands, where more and more foreigners are choosing to work remotely while having settled in the archipelago. The speakers emphasized the attraction of Spain as a territory from which to work remotely, due to its infrastructure, connectivity, and availability of resources, among others.

Finally, our speakers addressed the legal and tax implications of this practice of teleworking from Spain for workers in the Benelux countries, pointing out several possible alternatives, both for employees and for freelance.

After the presentation, some time was spared for a round of questions, in which the attendees raised several questions to the speakers. These questions dealt with the tax implications for those Benelux workers whose stays in Spain are less than the 183 days established by tax regulations, or everyday issues to take into account when choosing to work remotely from Spain, such as having a private health insurance for greater security.

From the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg, we would like to thank Business Cluster for its presentation, as well as all the attendees for their presence.

In collaboration with:

Webinar on “The tax obligations in Spain for individuals living abroad”

 

Last September 14th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on “The tax obligations in Spain of people who have moved abroad”, in collaboration with its member company B LAW&TAX. The webinar was given by Inmaculada Pineda and Almudena Soler, partner and tax advisor respectively at B LAW&TAX.

During this webinar the different tax obligations that displaced persons abroad can have in Spain were explained. For this purpose, in first place, the criteria used by the Spanish administration to determine tax residence through the personal income tax law or the different double taxation avoidance agreements were explained. The particular case of diplomats and officials of the European institutions was also addressed. In addition, it was presented the different formal requirements for making the change of tax residence effective.

Secondly, they discussed the different implications of tax residence in terms of taxation and profits, income from work for services rendered outside Spain, as well as the requirements for applying any exemptions in these cases. With regard to wealth tax, the applicable regulations were presented according to the residence, the limits and benefits applicable together with their different applicable deadlines. Then, the Model 720 for the declaration of goods and rights abroad was discussed, explaining who is obliged to present this model, the content, the deadlines and possible sanctions.

Finally, participants studied the implications of non-residence for taxation and tax benefits under Spanish law. They determined the possible taxation of income from real estate or movable capital, capital gains as well as the declaration models and deadlines. Lastly, new developments in the taxation of individuals were addressed.

Throughout the different blocks the participants were able to express their different doubts with the speakers. The questions dealt with different cases such as posted workers, the case of taxation of non-work income for officials of the European institutions or the formal obligations when indicating the address of residence.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank BLAW & TAX for their excellent presentation as well as all the participants for their presence.