18/02 Virtual meeting of members domiciled in Luxembourg

On 18th February at 13:00 there will be an assembly meeting of the members domiciled in Luxembourg.

During the meeting, a new structure of the Luxembourg Management Committee, the management body of the Chamber’s delegation in the Grand Duchy, will be elected.

Those members interested in presenting their candidacy to join the Committee must notify the Secretary General of the Chamber before February 4th, 2021 and must comply with the requirements set forth in the call, in accordance with articles 38 and 39 of the Chamber’s statutes.

Please confirm attendance by sending an email to secretariogeneral@e-camara.com.

Letter from the President to the members in Luxembourg

Dear members in Luxembourg,

For obvious reasons, I invite you to drink the traditional New Year’s Toast at home. Before continuing, I suggest you to read the few words I would have said “glass in hand”.

The year that ended does not suggest happiness but mitigates satisfactions.

The coronavirus has affected us from all sides. We have been through anguish and physical suffering among us. Fortunately, to my knowledge, there have been no irreparable losses. However, this is not over yet. Let us remain vigilant.

The project became a reality, and, despite its short history, the SPANISH FINANCIAL FORUM already stands out as an important forum in the Luxembourg financial sector.

I mentioned that satisfactions are mitigated in the current circumstances, but there is still room for praise. And my praise goes to you, to that great majority of members who contribute your work, your prestige and the prestige of the entities you represent, to the good image of our Chamber, to the good image of Spain.

In any case, there is always room for gratitude. We would like to thank our Ambassador, Bernardo de Sicart Escoda. Thank you for your generosity, for your advice and for your active role as Honorary President of the Chamber.

Thank you for your work, to the members who represent you in the team that makes up the Board of Directors, with José Luis Rodríguez, our Vice President, at the head. The spirit that unites us is inspired by the assumption of a common cause.

Thanks to María Catalán, our Delegate. She continues to be the soul of the Chamber in the Grand Duchy.

May the balance of your lives in 2021 be positive.

Once the reading is over, as I suggested at the beginning, it’s time for a toast. Of course, with Spanish cava, although before raising the glass, I conclude by asking for blessings for you and your families.

Happy New Year!

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons,

President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg

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.

Webinar: “Tax changes in Spain – Opportunities and Challenges in wealth planning for high net worth clients”

On Thursday November 19th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in collaboration with its member company The OneLife Company, organised a webinar on  “Tax changes in Spain – Opportunities and Challenges in wealth planning for high net worth clients”, which was attended by more than a hundred of professionals focused on wealth management.

Jose Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, Vice-president of the Chamber, introduced the webinar by thanking the collaboration of OneLife and the participation of the keynote speakers.

Then, Antonio Corpas, CEO of OneLife, highlighted the company’s commitment to the Spanish market in the life insurance sector, highlighting the unit-linked solutions. He also took the opportunity to introduce the team that leads the Spanish market, headed by José Manuel Tara, Luis de la Infiesta and Gonzalo García Pérez. This was followed by a virtual round table discussion with three recognised experts in wealth management in Spain, led and moderated by Gonzalo García.

Enrique López de Ceballos, Partner of the Tax Department of Eversheds Sutherland, began the debate by presenting the latest news and tax changes coming up in Spain, analysing their possible impact on high net worth individuals. Among others, he analysed the possible increase in wealth tax or the change in the tax treatment of SOCIMIS and SICAVS.

Afterwards, Carlos Ferrer, Cuatrecasas’ Partner, continued sharing his thoughts on the tax changes mentioned by López de Ceballos. He highlighted the insecurity that these produce in investors and how one of the main qualities sought by international investors is stability and legal security, so that frequent changes can ultimately lead to a relocation of capital.

Javier Seijo, Head of Corporate Tax at EY Law, added the possibility of a great increase in bureaucracy as a result of the new regulations and referred to Luxembourg as an example in terms of channelling investments due to its great stability and creativity in providing solutions for large investors.

The speakers mentioned beneficial products and solutions for wealth planning, such as life insurance or unit-linked solutions.

During the Q&A session, the attendees were able to express their doubts and comments on many issues of interest. Questions such as the special tax deferral transfer regime or whether the new rules will have a transitional regime after their adoption were discussed. 

The webinar was organised within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

In collaboration with:

 

The Chamber brings young talent together through the PICE mobility program

The European projects consultant and member company of the Chamber, CONEXX-EU, decided to participate in the PICE mobility plan as a host company at the beginning of October. This program offers young Spanish graduates or residents in Spain the opportunity to carry out professional stays in companies in the European Union.

The company discovered this exchange program thanks to an info-day organized by the Chamber and immediately decided to participate because they found it a fantastic opportunity not only for the professional development abroad of the person they were hosting but also for the company itself, allowing them to expand their team and meet new talent. Furthermore, the process of incorporating the candidate and the different steps they had to take had easy and simple results. Therefore, they recommend the program and will undoubtedly welcome new trainees within the framework of the PICE program.

They decided to select Laura Rodríguez for her many qualities and all the value she could bring to their organization. Once the administrative procedures were ready, they drew up a specific work plan for her and organized some introductory sessions both to the organization and to the work carried out by them in order to familiarize her with the new concepts she would encounter during her stay at CONEXX-EU. For the company, Laura’s vision was very enriching, as they consider her to be a very decisive person who has provided new solutions to problems that have arisen in the implementation of the projects in progress at CONEXX-EU. Andrea Escobar, project manager of CONEXX-EU, says that “many times when we are within a project or the same work dynamic for so long, we do things automatically almost by inertia, a new vision helps us to look from another perspective, and thus we update and improve”.

Laura began to work on a face-to-face basis, but at the end of October, due to the increase in cases and the measures put in place by the health authorities, she had to move on to do her work experience remotely. Despite this, she adapted perfectly due to CONEXX-EU’s previous experience with teleworking. Despite having arrived in Belgium in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic with the consequent challenges, Laura was able to integrate easily thanks to the attention and communication with her colleagues and the accompaniment from the Chamber. For her, this was an experience of learning and personal growth, having to move to Brussels in such a particular situation made her develop new skills, giving her at the same time the opportunity to live in another country, meeting new people and living different experiences. For them, I would encourage all interested young people to participate in the program and enjoy the opportunity.

The PICE mobility program continues to offer new vacancies in Belgium on a regular basis and at the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we continue to work at the disposal of companies and interested parties.

Find out more about the PICE program by clicking here.

 

Webinar: Transfer Pricing in Spain and Luxembourg: Trends and Opportunities

On November 20th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organised a webinar on ‘Transfer Pricing in Spain and Luxembourg: trends and opportunities’, in collaboration with its member companies ATOZ Tax Advisers Luxembourg and Bové Montero y Asociados.

The webinar was attended by Beltrán Sánchez, Transfer Pricing Director of Bové Montero y Asociados Spain, Oliver R. Hoor, Partner of Atoz Tax Advisers Luxembourg and Andreu Bové who moderated the event. 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, Secretary General of the Chamber, welcomed and thanked the speakers and attendees for their participation.

Oliver R. Hoor and Beltrán Sánchez presented their views on key transfer pricing issues such as controlled operations in the context of an investment fund, the impact of the COVID-19 situation on the analysis of transfer pricing, current trends in tax audits and different issues that cause controversy in the field, such as the position of tax authorities, and finally, they analysed the concept of substance and its different facets.

During the Q&A session, the attendees were able to present their doubts and comments on many issues of interest.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank ATOZ Tax Advisers Luxembourg and Bové Montero y Asociados, as well as the speakers, for their collaboration in organising the webinar.

    

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

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.

Presentation of the EYE and MobiliseSME programmes as part of the EU OPEN FOR BUSINESS day

On the 21st of October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the event EU Open for Business which took place in Luxembourg.

This annual event, coordinated by the European Commission, aims to highlight European SMEs by promoting the business spirit and helping to create an environment more supportive for small and medium enterprises.

This edition was focused on the economic recovery post-coronavirus and how SMEs in Luxembourg can access to finance, find new business partners, and adapt for the future. This 2-day digital event presented the different EU programmes available for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Luxembourg. Additionally, the visitors had the opportunity to virtually visit the stands of the local supporting organizations and get first-hand information from their experts.

In the context of the event, Soraya Bravo, Project Manager at the Chamber, presented the general objectives, requirements and registration process of the programmes Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and MobiliseSME.

She highlighted that both programmes offer a great added value for entrepreneurs and SMEs, such the exchange of knowledge and experience in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs; or the possibility to boost the internationalization in the MobiliseSME.

Local organizations were very interested in promoting both initiatives and the participation of entrepreneurs and SMEs from Luxembourg, especially in the recently launched MobiliseSME programme.

They also stressed the opportunity that this crisis offers to small and medium-sized companies to reinvent themselves and internationalize, and invited them to take advantage of the European programs and projects at their disposal.

The Chamber thanks DG Grow, the Enterprise Europe Network and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce for the invitation and looks forward to collaborating with these institutions to promote both projects.

 

If you would like to receive more information about the program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs or MobiliseSME, please send an email to:

Contact people: Soraya Bravo | Noelia Sánchez Bravo

Email: erasmus4youngentrepreneurs@e-camara.com | mobilisesme@e-camara.com

 

Meeting of the Forums Committee

On September 25th the third meeting of the year of the Forums Committee, a working group whose mission is to propose, organize and monitor the events organized by the Chamber, was organized telematically.

During the meeting, which was chaired by Pablo López Álvarez (FTI Consulting), a balance of the latest events organized by the “business circle” platform was made as well as new initiatives were proposed to be developed in the coming months, both locally and with the institutions of the European Union. Likewise, the activities carried out and the events planned within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum and Competencia España Committees were discussed. Finally, the call for the 2020 Company of the Year Award, which is currently open, was discussed.

About the Chamber’s Committees

The Committees are made up by some of the members, as well as by the person in charge of the area in question in the Chamber.

These working groups have numerous functions: in-depth studies of proposals, problems, projects, and activities. Through them, the members influence the day-to-day life of the Chamber in order to better adapt the Chamber’s activities to the needs of the members.

At any time, a member can request the president of a Commission to join it or request the secretary general to create a new group.