Ordinary General Assembly 2022

On 20 June, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg held its Ordinary General Assembly at the Cervantes Institute in Brussels. The day resumed the attendance lost during the last assemblies due to Covid-19 and gathered a large number of members and different personalities among which the Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, H.E. Ms. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma, stood out.

The event was opened by the President Pablo López-Álvarez who wanted to thank all the members present and, in particular, the Honorary President, the already appointed Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, for their attendance. López-Álvarez also wanted to show once again his gratitude to everyone for the trust they placed in him more than a year ago when they appointed him President of the Chamber.

Following the Agenda, the Secretary General of the Chamber, Marta González Benguria reviewed the main activities and events organised by the Chamber in the past financial year 2021. She highlighted the positive trend that the organisation has been following in recent years in relation to the increase in the number of members and, consequently, in the number of dues. He also highlighted the increasingly relevant presence of the Chamber as a platform for debate and dialogue with EU institutions, as well as the diversification of its activities and participation in various European projects.

In the absence of the Treasurer and having previously sent the necessary documentation to the members, the Secretary General made a brief review of the accounting situation of the Chamber, having obtained a profit of almost 60,000 euros in the financial year 2021 and a total asset of 1,281,476 euros. Both the Secretary General and the Vice-president, Abelardo García, affirmed the good financial health of the entity and highlighted the high diversification of the income derived from its different commercial activities. This diversification was exposed as a great value that ensures the economic viability of the entity, making it less dependent on the difficulties that may arise from situations such as Covid.

The annual accounts and the disclaimer of the Board of Directors were approved by the assembly, and the next item on the agenda was the revision of membership fees and the reform of the Articles of Association.

After explaining that the Chamber’s membership fees have been frozen since 2016, the President pointed out that the accumulated inflation of this period has amounted to 13%, so that after deliberation the Board of Directors, as the governing body, proposed a 20% increase in membership fees for all members, exempting members in the “entrepreneurs” category.

The increase in fees, which was unanimously approved, will come into effect on 1 July for both renewals and new registrations. Automatic indexation for subsequent years was also ruled out, so that future assessments will be based on the economic situation and the state of inflation.

Regarding the reform of the statutes, the members were informed that a draft of the statutes had been consolidated and that work is underway on an explanatory report on the statutes. Once these two documents have been completed, the Economic and Commercial Department will be responsible for submitting them to the State Attorney General’s Office, which will be responsible for their revision, after which the statutes will again be submitted to the Board of Directors and subsequently presented to the members at the Extraordinary General Assembly for final approval.

The Secretary General announced the names of the members who will complete their term of office, as well as the candidatures received, which, in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, are standing for re-election.

This year, due to the limited number of nominations (6 nominations for 6 seats), all candidates were elected to serve as members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors for the next 3 years by popular acclamation.

The new members of the Board of Directors, as well as those revalidating their posts, are:

– Joseba Arriortua, Individual Member (Member)

– Eva Chamizo, Iberdrola (Member)

– Susana Garayoa, Zabala Innovation (Member)

– Andrea Oriol, LaLiga (Member)

– Angel Rebollo, Arpa EU Affairs & Communications (Member)

– Miguel Troncoso, Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Member)

Departure from the Board of Directors:

– Juan Rodriguez-Villa Matons, Aspro Parks Group (Past President and Member)

– Manuel Mostaza, Atrevia (Member)

The President took the opportunity to thank the members who are leaving the Board of Directors for their intense work and dedication during these years, highlighting the important value and legacy that Past President Juan Rodriguez-Villa Matons leaves in the Chamber and his always unbeatable disposition for advice and accompaniment.

Ms. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, took the floor and expressed her gratitude to all the Spanish companies for representing a solid and fundamental business fabric for the Spanish economy. She highlighted the good work of the Chamber and its position as the most active of the national chambers, as well as its recognised prestige as a centre for debate and dialogue with the European institutions. He urged the highest representatives of the organisation to continue in the current line of work and stressed the importance of finalising the new statutes that guarantee a solid legal framework with regard to the administrations and members.

At the end of the Assembly, the President thanked the Spanish Ambassador, who will soon be leaving her diplomatic mission in Belgium. Rafael Chamorro Martín, the representative of the Spanish Tourist Office, was also bid farewell, highlighting the good relations that had been enjoyed during the years of his mandate.

Finally, the President of the Chamber thanked the Secretary General and her team for the work they have been doing. He highlighted the work of the interns who have been part of the team during these months, wishing them good luck in their professional future and highlighting their good work, training and knowledge acquired in the entity.

 

 

Pablo López-Álvarez elected as Fedecom’s new Vice President for Europe

On May 5th, our president Pablo López-Álvarez was elected as the new Fedecom Vice President for Europe for the next 3 years.

López-Álvarez thanked the confidence placed by the rest of the European chambers and made himself available to all of them for the next assembly of the chambers abroad that will take place in Madrid at the beginning of July.

*Photo: Pablo López-Álvarez and Věra Jourová Vice-President of the European Commission 

 

The Chamber presents its Yearbook 2022

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has now released its Yearbook 2022.

You can download the yearbook in its digital version through the Chamber’s Intranet by clicking here.

This publication includes information on the available services to our members, the report of the activities organized by the Chamber during 2021, a description of the programmes in which we are involved, as well as a directory of members by activity sector.

From the Chamber, we would like to thank all the associated companies for their support, which allows us to continue improving and to respond to the needs of our members.

The Yearbook is available in both Spanish and English.

We would also like to thank the advertisers for their collaboration in the 2022 Yearbook, which allows us to finance the production of this publication:

               

Three new projects coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce

In February, three new European projects financed by the Erasmus+ programme and coordinated by the Chamber have started: Softimprove, START and DG-VET.

  • Softimprove’s principal goal is to provide entrepreneurs and professionals with the knowledge and practice of soft skills needed to increase their employability, improve their professional prospects, and increment their chances of success. Its duration is three years and the countries where the activities will be implemented are: Spain, Belgium, Francia, Germany, Iceland and Estonia.
  • START has a duration of two years and brings together 5 partners from 6 countries particularly active in the retail sector: Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Poland, Romania and Chipre. The project’s main goal is to help current and future retail professionals in the development of an international strategy for their business. The aim is to provide them with an adequate training which will guide them during the internationalisation process and its successful implementation.
  • DG-VET aims to provide young NEETs from rural areas with the digital and green skills required by the labour market in order to improve their employability, through the development of an innovative training methodology and materials. The project has a duration of two years during which the Chamber, together with the other consortium members, will implement a series of activities in different European countries: Spain, Belgium, Greece, Chipre, Bulgaria and Austria.

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg is the coordinator and contact point for these projects for Belgium and Luxembourg .

For further information, please contact:
María Robledano, project manager

  • dgvet@e-camara.com
  • start@e-camara.com
  • softimprove@e-camara.com

Forum commission meeting

On  February 15th, the last meeting of the year of the Fora Commission was organised telematically, working group whose task is to propose, organise and monitor the events organised by the Chamber.

During the meeting, chaired by Carlos Rodríguez Cocina of Telefónica, an assessment was made of the latest events organised by the “business circle” tribune and the priorities and upcoming activities for the coming months were defined.

Finally, the priorities and upcoming activities for the next months were defined.

About the Chamber’s Commissions

The Commissions are composed of some of the members as well as the person in charge of the area in question in the Chamber.

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

At any time, a member can ask the chairman of a Committee to join it or ask the Secretary General to set up a new group.

The Chamber participates in the presentation of the FEDECOM Annual Award to Técnicas Reunidas in UAE

The Federation of Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM), of which the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg is a member, presented its Annual Award to Técnicas Reunidas on Wednesday 2 February in Dubai.

With this recognition, FEDECOM distinguishes each year a Spanish company that stands out for its commercial activity and international profile in one of the member countries of the Federation.

The award ceremony, which took place during the Gala Dinner of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United Arab Emirates, was attended by Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry and Xiana Méndez Secretary of State for Trade. The Minister presented the award to the company in a ceremony that was the last event of the activities to commemorate Spain Day at Expo Dubai 2020. The Minister congratulated Técnicas Reunidas for the FEDECOM Award and highlighted the strong presence of Spanish companies, both large and small, in practically all sectors of a market as competitive and demanding as the Emirati one. He also highlighted the prestige and esteem that the Spanish business sector enjoys among local companies and governmental institutions.

 


Representing the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, the event was attended by its president Pablo López Álvarez and its secretary general Marta González Benguria.

Técnicas Reunidas is one of the most important Spanish companies in its sector on an international scale, with a presence in 25 countries and a track record that totals more than 1,000 industrial plants in its 61 years of experience. In November 2021, Técnicas Reunidas and its Emirati partner Target won a $950 million contract in Abu Dhabi for the design and execution of the onshore facilities required to process gas from the Dalma field on the country’s northwest coast.

Técnicas Reunidas’ activity is mainly focused on the development of engineering projects, design and construction of industrial plants and technology for the energy transition, with leading positions in clean fuels, sustainable chemistry and natural gas, and solutions linked to the circular economy and decarbonisation, such as CO2 sequestration and capture, renewable hydrogen, biofuels, waste recovery, etc., initiatives that make its headquarters in Spain a centre of excellence in engineering.

The Minister of Industry presented the FEDECOM Award to the President of Técnicas Reunidas, Juan Lladó, who thanked her “in recognition of the company’s long history in international markets, the contribution of its initiatives to our country’s export capacity and its constant incorporation of Spanish companies in the development of its projects”.

During the award ceremony, the President of FEDECOM, Eduardo Barrachina, stressed that “when we think of the United Arab Emirates we think of prosperity, a prosperity in which so many Spanish companies have played an important role. None more so than Técnicas Reunidas, tonight’s winner”.

The Chamber wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2022.

We would like to inform you that the Chamber will be closed from Friday December 24th until Monday January 3rd. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Meeting of the Forums Committee

On  December 20th, the last meeting of the year of the Fora Commission was organised telematically, working group whose task is to propose, organise and monitor the events organised by the Chamber.

During the meeting, Carlos Rodríguez Cocina of Telefónica was elected as the new chairman of the Committee. Likewise, an assessment was made of the last events organised by the “business circle” tribune as well as the training on “Strategies for public consultancy and dialogue with European institutions” which took place in mid-November.

Finally, the priorities and upcoming activities for the next months were defined.

About the Chamber’s Commissions

The Commissions are composed of some of the members as well as the person in charge of the area in question in the Chamber.

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

At any time, a member can ask the chairman of a Committee to join it or ask the Secretary General to set up a new group.

Meeting of the Board of Directors

On December 1st, the Board of Directors of the Chamber held a hybrid meeting.

During the meeting, the different European programmes in which the Chamber participates were reviewed and the secretary general made a balance of the activities carried out by the Chamber throughout the year.

In addition, the actions carried out in the Luxembourg Delegation were presented, as well as the activities developed in the Grand Duchy in the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum. Details of forthcoming events planned by the Forum Commission were explained too.

Finally, the Board of Directors approved the budget for the year 2022.

 

The Chamber participates in FEDECOM’s Annual Award Ceremony for Cellnex in London

On the 23rd November, the Federation of Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM) presented in London its Annual Award Ceremony, granted this year to the company Cellenex Telecom.

With this recognition, FEDECOM, of which the oficial Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg is part, distinguishes every year a Spanish company that stands out for its commercial activity and international profile in one of the member countries of the Federation.

Dr Mike Short CBE, Chief Scientific Advisor of the UK Government’s Department of International Trade, took part in this award ceremony for Cellnex.

Upon receiving the award, Cellnex’s CEO Tobias Martinez stated the following: “We are very honored to receive the FEDECOM Award in recognition of Cellnex’s growth since its IPO in 2015. Cellnex has grown substantially in the last years, from operating in Spain to being active in twelve countries in Europe. One of the keys to this growth has been the successful integration of acquisitions in different countries. In each country, we have always felt supported by the relevant Business Chambers, which have been key to helping us make important contact with the economic, business and cultural communities of each country and integrate into it.”

The president of FEDECOM and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom, Eduardo Barrachina, also welcomed the guests to the reception and mentioned that “thanks to a strategic and sustainable approach, Cellnex leads the digital transformation in Europe.”

Barrachina also stressed that Cellnex is not just about telecommunications, G5, broadband and cellular sites, but has a very human side. “It is a company strongly committed to human rights, both in the Cellnex group and among its stakeholders. Only hard work, common sense, the right talent, ethical management, social values, cultural awareness and employee diversity can explain why a company like this reaches these staggering levels of market penetration in many European countries.”

The president, Pablo López-Álvarez, past-president, Juan Rodríguez-Villa and the Secretary General, Marta González, were the representatives of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg in this event.

Celebration of the FEDECOM General Assembly

The following day, the FEDECOM’s General Assembly took place. There, its president made a balance of the year, discussed about the statement of accounts of the organization and made an update on the digitization aid destined to the Chambers abroad.

During the course of this meeting, a tribute was also paid to Juan Rodríguez Villa, to honor his work as head of FEDECOM for more than 6 years.