First meeting of Spanish Chamber’s Plenary

Last 18th of February, the Plenary of the newly formed Spanish Chamber met in Madrid under the presidency of José Luis Bonet.

The Plenary is the supreme governing body and general representation of the Spanish Chamber and it is consists of more than 75 entities related to commerce. The President of the Spanish Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, participated in Plenary as President of FEDECOM.

During his opening speech, José Luis Bonet appealed to the responsibility of the organization, which includes more or less three million of businesses, to continue efforts in order to overcome the crisis that it is affecting our economy.

The President of Spanish Chamber appealed to the common sense, not sharing the opinion of those who predict a change in the system of society. “Thanks to the current system -he said- we have lived a long period of progress and have enjoyed an advanced welfare state”. The future, Bonet thinks, goes through a review of the mistakes instead of changing a system that has proven its effectiveness.

Juan Rodriguez-Villa intervened on behalf of FECECA (America) and FEDECOM (rest of world) to express his appreciation to the Government’s legislative initiative, which will promote cohesion between the Chambers in Spain and the network of the Official Chambers abroad. He also thanked the Bureau of the House and the responsables of International Relationships the mission being carried out to achieve a great cooperation between the Chambers in Spain and the Spanish Chambers abroad.

Rodriguez-Villa also wanted to stress that it is necessary that both the administration and the entrepreneurship work together in the process of internationalization.

Presentation of the new Spanish Chamber of Commerce, chaired by H.M. The King

His Majesty the King Felipe VI chaired the presentation of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation. Felipe was accompanied by the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness Luis de Guindos, the Minister of Equipment Ana Pastor, the Minister of Industry, Energy and Turism José Manuel Soria, the president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce José Luis Bonet and the High Commissioner of the Government for the “Marca España” Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros.

During his intervention, Felipe remarked three aspects in which the Spanish Chamber of Commerce is destined to do a very valuable contribution, boosting the freelancer and innovative spirit: the internationalization, the competitiveness and the helps for SMEs and freelancers.

About internationalization, the King stressed that “we are living in a world that is still accelerating his globalization and expanding his effects, a world where the economic progress of Spain and the future of young generations depends on how we face this important challenge. It is essential for our companies going abroad. Most of them have already done it, others are trying it and some of them have not started this adventure yet. But it is important for Spanish enterprises to be aware that their future depends on the opening to foreign markets“.

The president of the Spanish Chamber, José Luis Bonet, expressed during his speech: “We must strengthen our enterprises for the progress of Spain and the welfare of the Spaniards”.

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce was established last November under the Law 4/2014, of the 1st of April, substituting to High Council of the Chambers of Commerce as the representative and coordinator of all the Chambers of Commerce.

The Spanish Official Chambers outside of Spain are represented in the Plenary of the Spanish Chamber. The president of FEDECOM -Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania- and president of our Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, and the president of FECECA -America- Rafael Roldán, attended the event of the last 9th of February. Both of them are members of the Plenary of the Spanish Chamber.

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Spain is born (Chamber of Commerce of Spain)

Freixenet president, José Luis Bonet, has been elected as the new president of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation by taking a vote during the constituent sitting of the Plenary celebrated today at the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. He is being accompanied by the president of Santander Bank, Ana Botín, and the presidents of the Chambers of Commerce of Barcelona and Cantabria, Miguel Valls and Modesto Piñeiro, who will occupy the three vice-chairman of the Executive Committee appointed by the plenary members. Barceló group president, Simón Pedro Barceló, will hold the position of Treasurer.

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce replaces the High Council of Chambers by virtue of the Law 4/2014 of 1st of April, approved with the support of all of the Parlamentary groups. The main goal of it is updating and revitalizing the Spanish business landscape, mainly consisting of Pymes, and the contribution to the growth of the Spanish economy and the employment creation. It is born with the vocation of being a meeting point where they can discuss and work together with the main actors of our economy.

The Chamber, that keeps the legal nature of a corporation under public law, will be supervised by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and will represent and coordinate all of the Chambers.

It will also have to develop the Chamber´s plans of Competitiveness and Internationalization of the economy, in collaboration with national and international network of Chambers and Public Administrations, as well as the momentum of the dual vocational training in collaboration with the companies.

Furthermore, it will operate in the areas of entrepreneurship or mediation and arbitration.

 

 

Composition of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Chamber

PRESIDENT Freixenet Group: Mr. José Luis Bonet Ferrer

Vicepresident 1st Santander Goup: Ms. Ana Patricia Botín

Plenary Assistant: Enrique García Candelas

Vicepresident 2nd Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona: Mr. Miguel Valls i Maseda

Vicepresident 3rd Chamber of Commerce of Cantabria: Mr. Modesto Piñeiro García-Lago

Treasurer Barceló Group: Mr. Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell

 

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

Chamber of Commerce of Lleida: Mr. Joan Horaci Simó y Burgués

Chamber of Commerce of Andújar: Mr. Eduardo Criado García

Chamber of Commerce of Madrid: Mr. Pedro Antonio Martín Marín

Chamber of Commerce of Valencia: Mr. José Vicente Morata Estragues

Chamber of Commerce of A Coruña: Mr. Marcelo castro-Rial Schuler

Chamber of Commerce of Bilbao: Mr. José Ángel Corres Abásolo

Chamber of Commerce of Miranda de Ebro: Mr. Fernando Escobillas López de Silanes

Chamber of Commerce of Cuenca: Mr. Félix Aceñero Morillas

 

BIG COMPANIES

Grupo Corporativo Fuertes: Mr. Tomás Fuertes Fernández

Grupo Iberdrola: Mr. José Gasset Loring

Grupo ACS: Mr. Antoni Garcia Ferrer

Técnicas Reunidas: MR. José Lladó

Grupo Volkswagen: MR. Ramón Paredes Sánchez-Collado

Repsol: MR. Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri

Grupo Inditex: MR. Antonio Abril Abadín

Grupo el Corte Inglés: MR. Juan Ignacio Lamata Cotanda

Caixabank: MR. Juan Antonio Alcaraz García

Telefónica: Ms. Maria Garcia-Legaz Ponce

Indra: Ms. Emma Fernández Alonso

Grupo BBVA: Ms. Eva Piera Rojo

Grupo Planeta: MR. Patrici Tixis

Asisa: MR. Francisco Ivorra Miralles

  

CEOE

MR. José María Lacasa Aso

MR. Agustín Cordón Barrenechea

MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND COMPETITIVENESS

Ms. Carmen Cárdeno Pardo

MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, ENERGY AND TOURISM

MR. Víctor Audera López

ORGANIZATION OF AUTONOMOUS– ATA

Ms. Soraya Mayo Alonso

Source: Spanish Chamber of Commerce

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New Law of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Spain

The Official Spanish Chambers abroad gathered in Madrid

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the meeting of Spanish Chambers abroad that took place in Madrid on 6 and 7 November, gathering a total of 58 members from Spanish Chambers abroad. The meeting was called by the “National Council” which will be renamed to “Chamber of Spain” in a near future. Besides the Spanish Chambers, 17 Chambers from American countries, 7 from Europe and 4 from Asia gathered together in order to strengthen ties and study future ways of coordination and cooperation.

The presentation of the meeting was given by the general chief of the Council, Mr Javier Carretero, who explained the attendees the highlights of the new Law of Commercial Chambers, pointing out the challenges that the new Chamber of Spain -that will be set up on 19 November- will have to face.

Once the presentation was closed, a round table was organized with the purpose of exchanging experiences and point of views between the Chambers both in Spain and abroad. The roundtable was conducted by the General Secretary of the Council, Mrs Carmen de Miguel, and in it, took part the General Manager of the Spanish Chamber in México, Mrs Joana Torrents, the General  Secretary of The Spanish Chamber in Belgium and Luxembourg, Mrs María Catalán, the General Manager of the Chamber of Almería, Mr Fernando Ruano, as well as the internalization and Sales Manager of the Chamber of Castellón, Mr Joaquín Andrés.

The chairman of the National Council, Mr Manuel Teruel closed the first day of the meeting together with the chairman of FECECA, Rafael Roldán, the chairman of FEDECOM, Mr Juan Rodríguez-Villa and the Managing Director of ICEX, Mr Francisco Javier Garzón.

In the second day of the meeting, member of different departments in the Council discussed the project and services the National Council has channeled through a National Chamber Network. The areas presented, besides aspects related to corporative and marketing proposals, were International Commerce, Certification Service, Formation and Employment, Arbitrage, Retail Commerce and Tourism, Funding and Innovation.

For all of the Spanish Chambers abroad interested in the programs and projects before exposed, a networking was arranged by members from the Council who explained further details about them.

Source: High Council of Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Spain.

Farewell of the Vice-President of the European Commission Joaquín Almunia

On 3 November, the Board of Directors of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels organized an act of farewell for Vice-President of the European Commission, Joaquín Almunia.

The Council would thus like to thank the former Competition Commissioner’s continued readiness and collaboration with the Chamber and Spanish companies, as well as recognize their excellent career and work within the European institutions in recent years.

With regard to its European biography,  Joaquin Almunia was Economics Commissioner from April 2004 to November 2009, the date on which the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, assigned Vice Chairman and Portfolio Competition of the European Commission.

Visit to the Job Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in France

On 29 October, the General Secretaries of the Official Spanish and French Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber in BeLux met in Paris, in order to exchange experiences on the management of Youth Programme and assess possible ways of collaboration in the supply of services for young Spaniards unemployed seeking a job abroad.

Both chambers, FEDECOM members, have developed since last March a program to help young Spaniards under the age of 35 living in France and BeLux, respectively. The activities under the program are supported and subsidized by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security.

Breakfast meeting with Spanish Euro-parliamentarians

On 16 October a business meeting with business representatives and Spanish Members of the European Parliament of the Group of the European People´s Party, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe was organized at the European Parliament in collaboration with the High Council of Chambers of Commerce in Spain.

During the meeting partners of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, representatives of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce and the Euro-parliamentarians had the opportunity to discuss community matters that affect business competitiveness.

The Chambers of Commerce proposed the creation of a mixed Commission consisting of Chambers/Euro-parliamentarians so that the problems and interests of Spanish SMEs arrive at the European institutions. This proposal emerged as an answer to the generalized request of the Spanish political Groups present at the European Parliament to the Chambers themselves so that they serve as a communication channel and a connection with the real Spanish production system: SMEs and Micro-SMEs.

The main issues that were discussed in the course of the morning were: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the internationalization problem of small enterprises, the consequences of economic measures adopted by the EU against Russia, especially about the Spanish food sector, and the set of measures and incentives announced by the President of the European Commission, Juncker, which will involve an important infusion of funds.

Regarding the energy issue, the strategic position of Spain was dealt with with special interest, to connect with energy storage resources in North Africa with Europe through France, and the necessity of making the energy efficiency compatible with climate change policies.

Concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Popular Party confirmed that it will be advantageous for the SMEs, especially in the field of the homologation of products, since one of the main themes dealt with with the United States is that, if a product is homologated in the European Union, that it will automatically also be homologated at the American market.

Farewell of Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco

On 20 August a lunch was offered, as a farewell tribute, for Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco, who has been the Commercial and Economic Counselor of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg until now and whose mandate expired this month.

Since September 2010, at the same time a new destination was incorporated in Brussels, he was integrated in the Board of Directors of our Chamber as Honorary Vice-President by responding to the condition of being institutional ex-officio member, as stated in the Statutes.

The professional experience and the Chamber’s vocation of Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco implied an impulse for the Chamber during these last 4 years in which we entered a new phase which we can, at the very least, assess positively.

The summer period prevented the physical presence of all of the members of the Board of Directors. The President, accompanied by board members Nathalie Charpentier and David Luengo and the Secretary-General María Catalán, expressed full recognition of the Board and offered best wishes to the honoree.

At the same time this event served for the informal presentation of the new Commercial and Economic Counselor, David Martínez, who will integrate in the Board of Directors of the Chamber as Honorary Vice-President. We will keep our partners informed about this important change, as soon as we officially welcomed David Martínez.

 

David Martínez Hornillos, Director of Commercial and Economic Office for the Spanish Embassies in Belgium and Luxembourg

David Martinez Hornillos is the new responsible of Economic and Commercial Affairs of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg. Due to his position, he is Honorary Vice-President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, having technical advice functions.

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David Martinez Hornillos, comes from the Cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, in which he worked as Economic Advisor Board Member. Besides, he has occupied other important positions in the Spanish Administration, stressing his position as Spanish representative in EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – London).

On 4 September, the incorporation of the new Honorary Vice-President took place at the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chamber. We wish David Martinez Hornillos all the best in his new position and we offer him all our support to ensure a common approach, which is none other than the defence of the interests of the Spanish Economy and hence the good name of Spain.

The Chamber collaborates with the Eurpean Commission to eliminate regulatory barriers

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has been invited by the Internal Market Management of the European Commission to participate in a project whose purpose is to remove obstacles from the provision of cross-border services in the European Union.

The Spanish Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has been invited by the Internal Market Management of the European Commission to participate in a project whose purpose is to remove obstacles to provision of cross-border services in the European Union. The initial aim is to identify examples of barriers (regulatory, administrative, fiscal, concerning standards, etc.) that companies have to deal with and put them in a disadvantage position compared to domestic competitors. This fact shall form a basis for a possible review of the Directive of Services, in force since 2006. We would thank our members if they could send us any information about examples of possible barriers and discrimination they suffer when they operate in the Belgian and Luxembourgian market. We encourage you to participate in the online survey which the Commission has run and which is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/internal-market-services-businesses?surveylanguage=en