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.

General Assembly FEDECOM

The consequences of the pandemic affect specifically to the Chambers abroad, whose financial structure corresponds to non-profit organizations, which due to their official status they represent Spain, lacking of administrative resources and are managed by the representatives of associated companies. The cancellation of activities, the withdrawal of members, sponsorships and other sources of income, give serious difficulties to most of the chambers. FEDECOM is working to alleviate the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the circumstances, the FEDECOM chambers, thanks to the enthusiasm and professionalism of their staff, keep their commitment to Spain and with their members.
On May 28th, FEDECOM Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, the federation of the 23 official chambers of commerce on the 4 continents, gathered its General Assembly, with extraordinary character, to debate on the support measures claimed from the Secretary of State for Trade and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, during the meeting on April 16 last. The agenda also included the approval of the constitution’ statutes of the new association.
Regarding about the financial support measures requested from the Administration, at the moment, they have not been addressed.
Respecting the measures aimed to strength the network of the Chambers abroad (CAMACOES), the Spanish Chamber of Commerce proposed a series of strategic lines in order to increase institutional and representative activities and promised to enhance the business activities and services.
FEDECOM has been an association under Belgian law until the recent decision to transform it into Spanish law. During the meeting, the new statutes were approved.

Board of Directors Meeting

On May 19th, the Board of Directors of the Chamber met telematically.

During the meeting, a review of the current situation of the Chamber derived from Covid-19 was made, the Competition Commission and the Spanish Financial Forum, two new working Committees recently created by the Chamber, were discussed and the upcoming events as well as the scheduled activities.

Likewise, the Board of Directors approved the annual accounts for the 2019 financial year for presentation at the Ordinary General Assembly that will take place by the end of June.

FEDECOM Ordinary General Assembly

The Federation of the Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania (FEDECOM) held last April 16, virtually, its Ordinary General Assembly.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, the President, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, participated in this meeting. The Assembly was mainly focused on the effects of the COVID-19, especially, on the economic and social impact that it has on the chambers integrated in the federation.

In the meeting participated 18 of the associated chambers. It was also attended by Cristina Olazabal, Deputy Assistant General Director for Internationalization Strategy, reporting to the Secretary of Commerce, and Jaime Montalvo, International Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

In their respective speeches, the participants offered to find solutions to the problems that the COVID-19 crisis is causing to the different chambers.

The President of FEDECOM, Eduardo Barrachina (UK), explained the need for an urgent reaction to face this serious threat, which puts the continuity of some of the entities at risk, if the appropriate measures are not taken.

All the representatives of the chambers explained the effects of the crisis in their respective territorial areas.

President Mr. Barrachina established a calendar for monitoring the actions of requesting aids, addressed to the Secretary of Commerce and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber creates a Competition Commission

The Chamber has just set up a new Competition Commission, to deal with specific issues and aspects of competition law and policy that may affect the Chamber‘s member companies. This new commission joins the other existing bodies: Forums, Legal and Financial.

With its establishment, the Chamber’s Board of Directors has decided to pursue three priority purposes:

  • To serve as a meeting and exchange point of knowledge between member companies that are interested in or affected by the European competition policy.
  • To provide a platform to discuss in “neutral territory” between companies, lawyers, consultants, DG Competition officers and the Spanish administration.
  • To reinforce Spain’s leadership as a European benchmark in Competition Law and Policy, both from a public and a private perspective.

For this purpose, the new Commission, which will be called “Competencia España”, foresees different lines of activity:

  • Organization of work meetings to discuss specific issues and initiatives of DG Competition.
  • Holding breakfast-debates or similar events with officers from the DG COMP and national authorities.
  • When appropriate, the preparation of opinion statements on specific legislative/regulatory proposals.
  • Preparation of documents/guides on competition policy, intended for Spanish companies.

To be part of this new Commission, it will be required to be a member of the Chamber and to have a proven experience in the field of competition.

“Competencia España” will be led by Miguel Troncoso, member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and managing partner in Brussels of the prestigious Gomez-Acebo y Pombo law firm.

Those partners interested in joining the Commission or in obtaining further information may contact Marta González or Miguel Troncoso sending an email to