The Chamber participates in the opening of NH Collection Grand Sablon

Last June 6th, the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, participated in the opening of the NH Collection Grand Sablon, new hotel of our member NH Hotel Group in Brussels.

Located at the very heart of the city, NH Collection Grand Sablon is in the Sablon district, renowned for its many antique shops and art galleries. The hotel comprises 192 fully refurbished rooms, as well as 11 function rooms which can host 250 people.

The commitment of the company’s upper-upscale brand to haute cuisine is once again obvious in its second NH Collection hotel in the city. Those staying at NH Collection Grand Sablon or those who wish simply to enjoy the finest quality cuisine in Brussels can do so at Hispania Brasserie and at Hispania Gastronomique, the restaurant headed up by renowned chef, Marcos Morán (1 Michelin star). Visiting the brasserie or the restaurant will satisfy not only the most discerning palates but also those who like to enjoy lunch or dinner in an ambiance of inspired decor. The interior design of both establishments bears the signature of Lorenzo Castillo, the renowned Madrid interior decorator, for whom elegance and contemporary style have become his hallmarks.

With the opening of the Company’s second hotel in Brussels under its upper-upscale brand, NH Hotel Group is continuing to consolidate a brand which only last year appeared in countries like the Netherlands and Germany and on a entire continent, as was the case in the Americas, as well as reopening flagship hotels in Rome, Madrid and Barcelona.


AIR EUROPA celebrates the 30th anniversary of the airline company in the Spanish Embassy in Belgium

The airline company Air Europa celebrated on the 15th December its 30th anniversary in the Spanish Embassy in Belgium. The event were attended by the Ambassadors of the countries where the company operates, as well as by members of the diplomatic body, representatives of the chambers of commerce and colleagues from the tourism and press sector.

During his speech, the Director General from Air Europa in France and Belgium, Alcino Ribeiro, undertook a brief overview of the beginnings of the company, whose success is the work of the president of the Globalia Group, Juan José Hidalgo, who emigrated to Switzerland at the age of 19. Thanks to the savings earned from working as a painter, a waiter and a builder, he bought a Mercedes that he used to transport migrants who wanted to enter in Spain. Soon after, he bought a bus and, afterwards, the acquisition of a bus fleet came to his mind. According to Ribeiro, that is how he founded the Halcón company, a travel agency he bought later.

Then, as Ribeiro reminded, Hidalgo started up a flight between Madrid and Zurich, which was his first experience in the airline sector.

The origins of Air Europa as we know it nowadays comes back from 1986. “It was called Air España at the time”, as the Director-General in France and Belgium indicated. This company was created by an English businessman to flight between Spain and the UK. The first commercial flight went from Tenerife to London the 21st November 1986, 30 years ago, the reason why this anniversary took place in Belgium the 15th December.

Ribeiro related that five years later, in 1991, Juan José Hidalgo bought the company, after the bankruptcy of the English stakeholders, and changed its name to Air Europa.

Some of the key dates on the history of the company:

  • 1993: Air Europa, charter flight Company, transforms to a regular Company and starts to operate in the domestic Spanish flights.
  • 1995: International flights started like the London or the New York
  • 1996: Air Europa reaches 750 weekly flights and initiates another symbolic one: Madrid-Paris.
  • 1998: Creation of the Globalia Group, integrated by companies such as Halcón or Travelplan, of which Air Europa is the main subsidiary.
  • 2000: Close to 6 million passengers reached on board of Air Europa.
  • 2007: Air Europa joins SkyTeam Alliance and suggests Flying Blue.
  • 2008: Air Europa asks for 8 Boeing 787 that it is receiving currently.
  • 2012: Air Europa performs a record year in terms of creation of new flight lines, Brussels-Madrid line deserves a special mention.
  • 2015: It is the beginning of the modernization plan of the fleet, the exclusive on board services and the release of a new corporate image. Air Europa reaches over 10 million passengers.
  • 2016: This year Air Europa opens new long distance flight lines: Bogota (Colombia, 28th June) Guayaquil (Ecuador, 16th December) Cordoba (Argentina, 18th December).
  • Air Europa disposes of a 51-plane fleet: 11 Embraer 195, 20 Boeing 737-800, 15 Airbus 330 and 5 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
  • 2017: two new routes are expected: San Pedro Sula (Honduras) in April and Boston in June.

The event was supported by the Spanish Tourism Office in Belgium, the Tourism Office from the Dominican Republic, and the Tourism Office from Peru. The Hispania restaurant also contributed to the success of this celebration.

Air Europa received in 2013 the Company of the Year award of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in recognition of its quick commercial positioning in Belgium.

Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of ZABALA Innovation Consulting in Brussels

Last 12th of April, ZABALA Innovation Consulting celebrated the 30th anniversary of the company in Brussels with an event that included the participation of the Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, Dominique Ristori, as well as the collaboration of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg.

During the event, the Chamber recognized José María Zabala, Founder and CEO of ZABALA Innovation Consulting, for his entrepreneurial spirit and the promotion of innovation in Europe.

About hundred institutional representatives (offices of the Autonomous Communities in Brussels, representatives of the European Commission) as well as representatives from companies with headquarters at the Belgian capital and representatives from European business associations, attended the event.

In recognition of him, the Chamber emphasized the personal and professional worth of José María Zabala, who founded ZABALA Innovation Consulting in 1986. The company started with two employed persons and employs more than 200 professionals distributed among 9 offices nowadays: Pamplona, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Vigo as well as Brussels, London and Paris.

Dominique Ristori declared that “Europe needs creators like José María Zabala who are capable of working with actors from all over Europe. This encourages unity and reunites them for common projects”. Furthermore, he pointed out that innovation and the Energy Union are strategic elements for the future of Europe. In this regard, he emphasized the contribution of ZABALA in the promotion of innovation as a strategic element in companies.

During his speech, José María Zabala went over the track of ZABALA and recalled the fact that Brussels is a place of particular importance for the company since Europe has been present in the DNA of the organization since the beginning. Its specialization in European projects allowed the company to open offices in Brussels in 2003. Since then, its activity in this area has not stopped growing.

The opening of the offices in Brussels was crucial for the international dimension of the company. In particular for the European area, this meant they could reach a return for their clients of 500 million euro of the Seventh Framework Program or they could obtain more than 120 million euro in the second year of application of the Horizon 2020 Program, by leading about 300 projects.

In order to reach these milestones and to manage a portfolio that reaches 1500 clients, ZABALA nowadays consists of a team with an expertise focusing on four large areas: Life Sciences (health, biotechnology, chemistry and agribusiness), Social Challenges (Smart Cities, energy, transportation, environment and socioeconomic issues), Technology (ICT, open data, security, equipment and internet), and the industrial area (Production technologies, industry, processes and products).


NH Hotel Group launches its NH Collection brand in the Netherlands

With the re-opening of three out of twelve Amsterdam NH Hotel Group hotels, the Company’s upper-upscale brand NH Collection has been officially launched in the Netherlands on 7 April.

After a period of refurbishments, NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, NH Collection Doelen and NH Collection Barbizon Palace have been inaugurated as flagship hotels in the presence of CEO Federico J. González Tejera and Managing Director for the Benelux, UK, France and Africa, Maarten Markus. Likewise, the FEDECOM President (Federation of Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Europe-Africa-Asia-Oceania), Juan rodríguez-Villa Matons.

Federico J. González Tejera, Global CEO of NH Hotel Group has personally travelled to Amsterdam to be part of the launch. “We feel very proud of launching three iconic NH Collection hotels today in this key strategic country”, stated González Tejera. “This launch brings us a step closer to our ambition which is that one day, whenever anyone contemplates a trip to a city for an overnight stay or meeting, for business or pleasure, they will always ask themselves if there is an NH at their destination”  highlighted the CEO of the Company.

Apart from the three NH Collection Hotels, NH Hotel Group also invests in other Amsterdam properties. Amongst others, NH City Centre Amsterdam and NH Schiphol Airport have been refurbished as well. Also, this summer the construction of nhow Amsterdam RAI will start, which will become the largest hotel of the Benelux with 650 rooms and 91 meters altitude.

“We are continuously working on the optimization and expansion of our NH Hotel Group portfolio. The launch of NH Collection in the Netherlands is the next milestone. The three flagship hotels have been fully refurbished and the results are stunning. Our guests are very thrilled with the new and improved hotels and that is in the end what we are doing all this for: hospitality is our core business,” says Maarten Markus, Managing Director of NH Hotel Group in the Benelux, UK, France and Africa.

Presentation of the Navarra Capital’s Economic Magazine in Brussels

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has the pleasure to invite you on Tuesday 23 February at 6PM at the headquarters of the Chamber (Rue Belliard 20 – 1º, 1040 Brussels) for the presentation of the Navarra Capital’s Economic Magazine in Brussels, with the collaboration of Navarra’s Government, the Economic Planning Director, Izaskun Goñi, and the delegate in Brussels, Mikel Irujo. is Navarra’s first digital informative platform specialised in the dissemination of high value added contents related to the world of economics and enterprises in the Navarra Community. is mainly addressed to the responsibles of the business fabrics and production of our region. From executives, control panels and big companies’ managers; executives and SME managers as liberal and independent professionals; politicals in charge and high rank civil servants linked to the management world; university teachers, researchers and qualified technicians.

The Navarra Capital’s Economic Magazine makes a selection of those facts, analyses, data and relevant ideas that are worth being reread to understand the past, the present and the economic future of the region. They hope that this document will receive a reserved place in hundreds of companies and that it will expand there year after year with news about jobs, wealth and success which will benefit the whole society. Thus, this editorial will be presented in Pamplona (9 February), Madrid (16 February) and Brussels (23 February) with the aim of promoting and making visible the economic muscle of fertile land for companies. A land called Navarra.

For more information please click here to consult the statement issued by Navarra Capital.

After the presentation, a Spanish glass of wine will be offered. Places are limited, so we ask to confirm your attendance at

La Pluie Est Belge presents the members of the Chamber a special offer

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium & Luxembourg has the pleasure to present you La Pluie Est Belge, a firm of exclusive umbrellas manufactured in Spain.

This Project was awarded with the “Young Entrepeneur 2014” award, organized by the Chamber within the framework of its “Programa Jóvenes Belux”.

On the occasion of the launch of its first collection, La Pluie Est Belge provides the Chamber’s members a special offer:

  • 10% discount on all products of the collection.
  • Customized umbrella service, both for private individuals (name, initials and date) and companies (logo or name of the company).

Free shipping from 5 units order.

In order to benefit from this offer, access the Intranet for members of the Chamber.

AECOM settles in Brussels

AECOM consultancy, a specialized company in providing comprehensive advisory and consulting solutions, settles in Brussels. Among the services provided, the firm provides technical assistance for companies, training and knowledge transfer, consulting, studies on economic, financial and social issues and evaluation, tracking and monitoring of development cooperation projects.

They offer services to governments, development support agencies, businesses and institutions. Their current office in Brussels is located at the premises of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce  in Belgium and Luxembourg (Rue Belliard 20, 1 – 1040).

Presentation of the new office of CEDENOR S.A

On 29 October, CEDENOR Consulting, SA, presented its new establishment in Brussels. The event was organized by Brussels Invest-Export and was attended by the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of Belgium and Luxembourg, Maria Catalán, as well as by the representatives of regional offices and directors of Spanish companies in Brussels, among other attendees.

The presentation began with the intervention of Stefaan Lenaerts, responsible of the Department of Latin America, Italy, Spain and Portugal from Brussels Invest-Export, who welcomed the audience and congratulated CEDENOR for its new project in Brussels.

Then, Mr. Alfonso Parizo Castaños, founding member and manager of CEDENOR, gave an interesting presentation about “Examples of process management, industrial collaboration in Cantabria: Consortia for internationalization”.

Mr. Parizo began his statement presenting the origins of CEDENOR, founded in Santander (Cantabria) in 1989, with the vocation of providing an advisory service and integral consulting to companies and individuals, with a team of professionals specialized in different areas who are able to answer the needs generated by its customers over the last few years.

Subsequently, Mr. Pariza based his presentation on the interesting “Blue Lake Strategy” from the 90s, to explain that as a result of the differences between the different markets, CEDENOR has chosen to create a new strategy based on International Marketing. Thus, CEDENOR pretends to look for new customers without the need of dividing the existing markets.

As a result of this new strategy, Mr. Pariza showed the attendees a first video in which the project CEDENOR-SODERCAN was explained: the creation of an exportation consortia between companies of the metal-mechanic sector in Cantabria. Then, a second video was projected in which the models of collaboration and cooperation between the companies of the metal and naval sector, which conforms the first consortia Industrial Manufactures of Cantabria (IMC), were presented.

Mr. Pariza concluded his intervention mentioning the signature of the collaboration agreement between the Ibero-American Federation of Adults Associations-FIAPAM and FIAPA-Fédération Internationale des Associations de Personnes Âgées, an act that count with the auspicious of ANAP-Associazione Nazionale Anziani e Pensionati (Italy) and UNATE-The Permanent University. Mr. Pariza highlighted that through this collaboration agreement Cedenor will support the formulation of projects, programs and activities in the socio-sanitary and research sector to compile and promote great practices directed to adults at European level.

After a question time between the attendees, the manager of GEISSERR&LARR Consultancy in Bilbao, Ricardo Castillo Barrios, cooperation partner of CEDENOR in its project of internalization, closed the act with some words for the attendees, in which he emphasized the importance to help and support Spanish SMEs on their way to internationalization.

Atrevia, consultancy communication sector leader, is installed in Brussels

The communications consultancy Atrevia has installed in Brussels in the context of its international expansion. Atrevia is present in 11 countries in Europe and America.The Atrevia’s team in Brussels is directed by Ángel Rebollo, expert on the institutional and european framework with experience as a European Parliament advisor. The office of Atrevia in Brussels is located in the facilities of the Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg (Rue Belliard 20, 1º- 1040 Brussels).

Atrevia thrives in the field of institutional relations and public relations with the inauguration of the new office in Brussels. With its opening, Atrevia will closely be in charge of relations and related projects with the corporations.

The president and founder of Atrevia Nuria Vilanova said “Atrevia is growing to follow its clients in their strategic projects, because large Latin American and European companies need specialists in the field of consulting bodies which are near major decision-making bodies”.

“For this reason the company decided to open an office in Brussels, where they hope to represent and to monitor key issues of institutions and multilateral agencies. Atrevia has to be present where important decisions are made”, he claims.

As explorers of new communication paths, Atrevia has become a benchmark on innovation and knowledge about internal Communication, being pioneers in research in fields such as internal communication, female leadership, digital communication or values and culture in the family business. They are disseminators of knowledge through research forums and meetings in collaboration with business schools like IESE or IE, as well as through the edition of reports and publication of books.

Dehesa Maladúa

Last 16th of February, the presentation of the ham many consider as the best ham in the world (in any case, the most exclusive one) was organized in the Hotel NH Atlanta in Brussels, since it is produced by “Dehesa Maladúa” made from the “Manchado de Jabugo”; a special variety of the Iberian Ham that Eduardo Donato created in Sierra de Aracena (Huelva). A ham that, in addition to its incomparable flavor, has an Organic certification.

It was on his return from the Biofach Fair in Nuremberg, where he was present with a “stand”, that Eduardo Donato wanted to share with us his excellent ham and the rest of his products, including a unique cream of sobrasada bio with Jerez’s wine Pedro Ximénez.

The tasting also included a lecture by Ramon Jiménez Fraile, member of the company specialized in controlled-temperature storage Friologic, who talked about the characteristics of the Iberian ham and the Spanish legislation in the field of ham. Because of this new legislation, Jiménez Fraile explained, the expression “Pata Negra” can only be used when referring to hams made from Iberian pigs fed in freedom only with acorns and also having a 100% racial purity, as in the case of Dehesa Maladúa. With this legislation, only hams from this type of pigs can have a black seal, while those who have lower quality have a white, green or red seal, and cannot use the expression “Pata Negra”.

The lecture also explained the unorthodox marketing practices around the Iberian pig, the confusion of the consumers and the attitude of the well-known producers that work outside the protected designation of origin.

This prestigious ham has several years of history behind it. Encouraged by environmental and conservation considerations of quality of life, Eduardo Donato settled 25 years ago in the village of Jabugo (Huelva), where he founded “Dehesa Maladúa” and which has 700 hectares in the Natural Park of Sierra Aracena, biosphere preserved by UNESCO.

With both the variety of “Manchado de Jabugo” (easily recognisable by their distinctive stains) and the traditional “Capa Negra”, Eduardo Donato has conquered the palates as he did with the filmmaker Bigas Luna, director of the film “Jamón, Jamón”, interpreted by Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.