Meeting of the Board of Directors

On March 29th, the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce held a telematic meeting.

During the meeting, the activity developed by the Chamber during the first quarter was reviewed, the working commissions Competencia España and Spanish Financial Forum were discussed as well as the different European projects managed by the Chamber. Finally, the next scheduled events were detailed.

Likewise, the list of members for 2020 was approved and possible new collaborations of interest for the members were evaluated.

The Federation of Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Europe,Africa,Asia and Oceania, FEDECOM, renews its Boards of Directors and announces new incorporations

The Ordinary General Assembly of the Federation of Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM) unanimously approved in a virtual meeting a second term of President Eduardo Barrachina, who is also the President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the vice presidencies of Europe, Africa and the Middle East and Asia and Oceania were elected. For Europe José Miguel García was elected, who will combine the vice-presidency of Europe with the Presidency of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in France. For Africa and the Middle East Guillermo Cobelo, President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the United Arab Emirates, and for Asia and Oceania, María José Rodríguez , President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Australia has also renewed her position.Yolanda Gimeno, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Italy, joins the General Secretariat of the Federation.

For the first time in the history of the Federation, three vice presidencies have been constituted to energize FEDECOM and address the challenges that the Board of Directors has set. Regarding the new Board of Directors, Eduardo Barrachina said that “It is enough to see the trajectories and profiles of the three Vice Presidents and the Secretary General to realize in the act that it is an extraordinary team of professionals with extensive experience in the international chamber system”.

With this new Board of Directors, FEDECOM adopts a much more strategic and sophisticated stance when it comes to coordinating all initiatives in a Federation of Chambers that covers four continents.

The opening in the last two years of four new Official Chambers in India, the Czech Republic, Singapore and Senegal, reinforces the work and the important support that FEDECOM and the Official Chambers that compose it, provide for the benefit of the general Spanish interests in the country where it lies and in promoting Spanish exports and investments in key markets for Spain. With the new additions, FEDECOM now brings together 23 Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce, recognized by the Spanish State and established in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania: Germany, Australia, Belgium and Luxembourg, Casablanca, Qatar, Czech Republic, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Philippines, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malta, Portugal, United Kingdom, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Tangier and Tunisia.

FEDECOM reflects the dynamism of Spanish enterprises and is a key economic intelligence instrument in the internalization of Spanish companies and the foreign action of the State. The main mission of FEDECOM, an international non-profit association, consists of defending the general interests of its associated Chambers and companies that compose them, information on adequate instruments for the proper development of its activities, collaboration with the Chamber of Spain, as well as relations with other international institutions. The Spanish Chambers of Commerce abroad belong to the global network of Chambers of Commerce promoted and coordinated by the Chamber of Spain.

“Our dialogue and coordination with the Chamber of Spain and the Secretary of State for Commerce is very close and constant. The creation of the three vice presidencies will allow us to work in a more efficient way”, said Barrachina.

With the election of the new FEDECOM Board of Directors, Barrachina highlighted the extraordinary relationship that exists between the Government (through the Secretary of State for Commerce), the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and the rest of the Foreign Chambers of Commerce. The President of FEDECOM has taken the opportunity to remind those present, of the future projects in which the Federation is working: the digitization of these institutions to bring the network of Chambers to all its users, the development of a map of services to collaborate with the Spanish Public Administration in its foreign action and the improvement in communication and visibility to value the work that the institution does and create more opportunities.

At FEDECOM we work for Spanish companies from Lisbon to Sydney via London, Rabat, Dubai, New Delhi or Manila. So many things have never been done, but, above all, never with such coordination and in such a way aligned with the needs of Spain, which it inevitably means, that internationalization will once again be a motor for the recovery of the Spanish economy.



FEDECOM General Assembly 11th February

Among the issues discussed during the General Assembly of FEDECOM, held on 11 February, it is worth mentioning the interventions of Cristina Olazabal, representing the Secretary of State for Trade and Jaime Montalvo, International Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement made at the previous GA on subsidies, through the General State Budget, is pending the approval of the Recovery and Resilience Funds. The subsidies will be for the digitalisation of the external network of the chambers of commerce (CAMACOES). Work is being carried out on the possibility of funding under different headings, including: adaptation of technical resources (bandwidth, intranet, etc.), adaptation of physical facilities, investment in technical and human resources.

Agreements will be signed between the Secretariat of State and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, or with the CAMACOES. The timetable being studied for the implementation of improvements in digitalisation covers the three-year period 2021-2023.

On the other hand, the aim is to position and consolidate the CAMACOES network. The objective is to enhance its current qualities, promoting network projects, designing joint strategies with OFECOMES and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, sharing software equipment.

There is a lot of work being done to optimise the website of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce by means of a link with the CAMACOES, presenting a map of services. A microsite will be created with maximum visibility, which will be a place for companies and institutions. Moreover, a chamber intranet will be opened, at the disposal of the CAMACOES and the Secretary of State for Trade.

It is planned to update the services by creating a catalogue for companies and government institutions.

Finally, information was provided on the development of the Global Network project, whose objective is the creation of the “Community of Spanish business managers in the world“, in which both OFECOMES and CAMACOES play an important role.

Virtual meeting of members domiciled in Luxembourg

On February 18th, the first assembly meeting of Luxembourg-based members took place. During the meeting, a review of the main activities carried out by the Chamber’s delegation in the Grand Duchy was made, and the next actions to be carried out were detailed.

Likewise, a new structure of the Management Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg, the management body of the Chamber’s delegation in the Grand Duchy, was voted. Finally, the appointment of the four members, representing their respective companies for a period of four years was unanimously elected:

  • Hector Esteban Moreno (Bankinter)
  • Mónica Hortelano (Quintet)
  • Álvaro Laorden (RBC Investor & Treasury Services)
  • Jesús Vicente (Vicente et fils)

These four partners will join the four members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors who are domiciled in Luxembourg and are full members of this Committee.

Lastly, H.E. Mr. Bernardo de Sicart Escoda, Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg, took the floor to congratulate the new members of the Committee and to wish them good luck in their work.

The Chamber wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021.

We would like to inform you that the Chamber will be closed from Wednesday December 23rd until Sunday January 3rd. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Pedro Sánchez presents the award granted by FEDECOM to the company SEAT

The Federation of Spanish Official Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM), of which the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg it is a member, presented its annual award to SEAT on Monday December 14th in Paris.

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

The ceremony, which took place at the Residence of the Spanish Ambassador in France, counted on the presence of Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish Government. Sánchez presented the award in a ceremony, highlighting SEAT’s projection as a recognised Spanish brand worldwide, an example of an export company that serves as a model for so many other companies, their commitment to sustainability and innovation, their resilience and capacity to reinvent, its alignment with European values and its commitment to the Spanish chamber system.

SEAT is the leading Spanish industrial investor in R&D and the leading export company in the Spanish manufacturing industry with an export volume of 9 billion euros in 2019. Its constant innovation and transformation over the past 70 years have marked its path to become a reference for mobility.

The President of the Government presented the FEDECOM Prize to the Director General of SEAT France, Robert Breschkow. Robert Breschkow underlined the satisfaction of “being recognised for promoting trade, the business development and our contribution to the good name of Spain and Spanish companies abroad”. Breschkow added that “we have been, are and will be a company that wants to generate wealth, share prosperity and offer the best mobility solutions to make life easier for people”.

FEDECOM President Eduardo Barrachina also spoke at the award ceremony held at the Spanish Embassy in Paris. Among other things, Barrachina said that “SEAT is industrial heritage and economic history of Spain”, adding that “SEAT has a place in the memory and emotional universe of the Spanish, precisely because their cars have accompanied our prosperity”.

Barrachina has highlighted the extraordinary relationship between the Government (through the of State for Trade), the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Chambers of Commerce abroad, of which SEAT is a major and very important player. Furthermore, the President of FEDECOM took the opportunity to remind those present of the future projects in what the Federation is working on: the digitalisation of these institutions to bring the network of Chambers closer to all its users, the development of a map of services to collaborate with the Public Administration and improvement in communication and visibility to enhance the value of the work that is carried out by the institution does.

The FEDECOM Prize award ceremony was attended by about 40 guests, including personalities and representatives of Spanish companies in France.

Meeting of the Forums Committee

On Thursday, December 17th, the fourth meeting of the Forums Committee took place online. The main functions of this working group are the proposal, the organization, and the supervision of all the events organized by the Chamber.

During the meeting, which was chaired by Pablo López Álvarez (FTI Consulting), an assessment was made of the latest events organised in the framework of the “business circle” tribune, as well as the online training course “Public advice strategies and dialogue with European institutions” which took place in mid-November.

In addition, the activities carried out and the events planned within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum and Competencia España Committees were discussed. Finally, several topics and possible speakers were proposed to hold events that may be of interest to members and the Chamber’s network in the run-up to 2021.

About the Committees of the Chamber

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

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

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 16 December last, the Board of Directors of the Chamber met remotely.

During the meeting, a review was made of the current situation that the Chamber is going through as a result of theCOVID-19, the Competition Committees and the Spanish Financial Forum, two new working Committees recently created by the Chamber, were discussed, and the upcoming events and activities programmed were detailed.

Additionally the budget for 2021 was also presented and discussed. Finally, Bert Dehandschutter, from the law firm Racine, was appointed treasurer of the Chamber.

General Assembly of FEDECOM

On November 25th, the General Assembly of the Network of Official Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, FEDECOM, held an extraordinary meeting, attended by representatives of 23 Chambers, spread over the 4 continents.

The Assembly, chaired by Eduardo Barrachina (President of the Chamber in the United Kingdom), was attended by Cristina Olazabal, Deputy Director General of the Secretary of State for Trade and Jaime Montalvo, International Director of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce. Our Chamber was represented by our President, Juan Rodríguez-Villa.

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting the network’s chambers with different intensities, and synergies are being sought between chambers and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce to enable them to overcome the current situation.

FEDECOM’s structure into three Vice-Presidencies (Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Oceania) improves the service provided to the network as a whole.

Direct financial assistance is not considered in the GIPs, which are currently under discussion.

The draft budget includes an item of approximately EUR 800 000 for the digitisation of official cameras abroad, which are integrated into CAMACOES (FEDECOM + FECECA).

Information is provided on actions aimed at strengthening public-private collaboration: agreement between the Secretary of State for Trade – Spanish Chamber of Commerce – CEOE and possible opening up to advisory agreements, which may allow for effective interaction between the Administration and the business world. The chambers abroad should also play a leading role in the implementation of these actions.

Social communication networks are a privileged vehicle to use in communication. The exchange of information between cameras will give FEDECOM greater visibility.

FEDECOM Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceanía

For the third time so far this year, the General Assembly of the Federation of Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM) was held.

On this occasion, the main reason of the meeting was to inform about the measures planned to face the consequences, essentially economic, that affect the chambers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with the Strategic Plan presented by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, specially aimed to reinforce the relationship between the territorial chambers and the network abroad, some formulas that affect the financial support necessary to cope with the crisis are under study.

The intervention of the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez, revealed the difficulties to find an immediate solution to the problem, that some chambers of the federation are starting to struggle with.

During the meeting some formulas were raised, that will be studied, to deal with the rising treasury needs.