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.

consejoAdministracion-1024x262

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

Meeting of Board of Directors of AISBL FEDECOM & Higher Council of Spanish Chambers of Commerce

On 15th May, a meeting of Board of Directors of FEDECOM was held in Brussels, where the main issue focused on the present and the future of the Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce abroad within the framework of the Basic Law of 1 April 2014 of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation.

Members of the Board of Directors of FEDECOM attended the meeting as well as other representantives of the Federated Chambers of Commerce. Javier Cantero, Director General of Higher Council of Chambers and Juan Talavera, International Department, also attended as guests.

The new adopted Law of Chambers and its repercussion on official chambers abroad was debated. The law provides the connection between the Chamber of Spain and the net of the official Chambers abroad, with the main aim of taking part in the Internationalisation Plan for Spanish companies. Moreover, the possibility of representation of the Chamber of Spain in relevant territorial areas was also suggested.

Furthermore, Joseba Arriortua was appointed as Deputy Chairman of FEDECOM and María Catalán was appointed as General Secretary of the Federation during the meeting, both unanimously.

The Chamber presents Brussels as a business and investment destination for Catalan companies

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Spain and Luxembourg participated on 8 May in a conference in Barcelona about business and investment opportunities in Brussels, organized jointly by Brussels Invest & Export, the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona and the Belgian Government. About fifty Catalan business representatives attended this event.

During the event, the Vice-president of the Chamber, Pablo López Álvarez, referred to Belgium as an investment destination and to the close trading relationships between Spain and Belgium. “In spite of its small size, Belgium is the twelfth Spanish supplier and the seventh client of our country”, reminded López Álvarez, also highlighting the potential of Brussels as a “platform to access other European markets and to establish dialogue with the European Union which finds itself at the origin of nearly 80% of the laws affecting Spanish companies”. Likewise, the Vice-president explained the services offered by the Chamber and the partnership the Chamber has with Brussels Invest & Export to offer Spanish companies that want to open a market in Belgium the adequate accompaniment.

Among other personalities the event counted the participation of the Ambassador of Belgium in Spain, Jan de Bock, the economic and commercial counselor of Brussels Invest & Export in Spain, Ariane Leonard and the head of international relations of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, Josep Maria Cervera.

 

Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco, Counselor-Chief of the Economic and Trade Office of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg

The Board of Directors of the Chamber wants to thank the collaboration of the Economic and Trade Counselor, Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco, who, for the last 4 years, has accompanied us as the Honorary (institutional) Vice-president.

Before his establishment in Brussels, Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco was General Director and Vice-president of the Spanish High Council of Chambers of Commerce. His integration in the Board of Directors of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg involved the contribution of his exceptional experience in the world of chambers.

This experience, combined with his serious and friendly character, allowed to define the aims of the Board of Directors. We highlight his decisive intervention in the integration of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in our Chamber.

With Fernando Gómez Avilés-Casco, Spain had an economic and commercial leader in Brussels, who’s efficient and loved and who showed, next to his wisdom, his diplomatic soul.

His new destination in Spain, allows him to change routines and passions, born out of a professional life to dedicate himself completely to his priority passion: his family.

Thank you for everything, Fernando.