Nine agri-food enterprises, together with the Chamber of Commerce and the Provincial Council of Teruel, travelled to Brussels last week, from 25 to 27 September, in order to promote and sell their products on the Belgian market.
The companies participating in this project are producers of olive oil, peaches, ham, and cold meat, saffron, cava, wine, cheese, and truffles. During the three-day trip they visited different gourmet shops: Freshmed, Great Market and Rob The Gourmets’ Market. In these visits, they were able to meet the managers and sales directors, who explained the current situation of their products and competitors, while the enterprises presented their products, with the aim of entering this market in the near future.
In addition to the gourmet supermarket visits, they had the opportunity to attend the Taste of Tavola fair in Kortrijk. There, they were welcomed by JOKA, one of the leading importers and distributors of gourmet products. After exploring the fair, a showcooking was held, led by Hispania Brussels chef Adrián Mancheño, who prepared various tapas that the distributors in attendance had the opportunity to taste.
To complete their stay in the European capital, they attended meetings with representatives of different institutions, to whom they expressed their problems and needs: Miguel Galante from the Office of the Government of Aragon to the European Union; Pedro Yenes, coordinating advisor for Agriculture in the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union; Pilar Ruiz, director of the delegation of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce to the European Union; and Pablo Arias and Gabriel Mato, two MEPs who received them in the European Parliament.
From September 21st to September 25th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a multi-sector Trade Mission in BeNeLux in collaboration with the Chamber of Cantabria and the regional economic promotion body (SODERCAN).
This multisectoral trade mission consisted of an individualised commercial agenda service for four Cantabrian companies from sectors as diverse as agri-food, industrial or cosmetics. Following the monitoring and contact work by the Chamber, a total of 26 meetings were held with distributors or final customers from the different sectors involved, including several of the largest agri-food distributors in Belgium, the steel industry leader in Luxembourg and several nautical companies at the forefront of offshore services in the Netherlands.
Due to the current socio- sanitary measures in force in Belgium and the travel restrictions due to covid-19, all meetings had to be held in a virtual format. Beyond this format, all companies had the opportunity to present their products and/or services to distributors or end customers from all BeNeLux.
PROEXCA, a public company whose main mission is the atracttion of strategic investments in the Canary Islands, organized a reverse mission from November 25th until the 28th in collaboration with the Chamber.
The objetive of teh mission was offering potential foreign investors advice about the opportunities, tax and competitive advantages and the necessary information about the Canary Islands as destination for their businesses. One French and four Belgian companies from the renewable energies and sector ICT attended the event.
During these three days, the companies were able to get to know the main organizations for aid to the foreign investment in Tenerife and Gran Canaria and they had personalized meetings with different local actors according to their profiles.
This mission is the result of the interest shown by the Belgian companies that participated in the conference “The Canary Islands: investment destination” organized by the Chamber in collaboration with PROEXCA last May.
Last Tuesday 21st May, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized in collaboration with PROEXCA, a public company whose main objective is the attraction of strategic investments in the Canary Islands, a conference under the topic “The Canary Islands: investment destination”. The event aimed to inform Belgian companies of renewable energy, ICT, BPO, audiovisual sector and animation about investment opportunities in the Islands.
María Catalán, Secretary General of the Chamber delivered welcome remarks and thanked the participation of all the attendees.
Afterwards, Pablo Martín-Carbajal, Chief Executive Officer of PROEXCA, presented the key economic assets of the Islands for foreign investment, highlighting, among others, the most relevant and booming sectors and tax advantages. He also explained several potential investment angles.
Later on, Jerónimo Falcón, Project Manager of the Canarian Society of Economic Development, presented the general panorama of the energy sector in the region, and in particular of renewable energies. He highlighted the unique natural characteristics of the Islands, as well as the differential infrastructures. In addition, he noted that the government offers various aid for productive investments in the sector and sustainable investment activities.
On the other hand, Olga Martín Pascual, Director of the ZEC (Canarian Special Zone) Consortium, announced the economic and fiscal opportunities of the Canary Islands Economic and Fiscal Regime (REF) and other benefits provided by operating in them. He also spoke about tax incentives such as the corporate tax of the Islands, the most advantageous in all of Europe and the particularities of the ZEC.
After the speeches, the participants were able to ask their questions and to have one-on-one meetings with the speakers.
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The Oficial Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized, jointly with the public agency Brussels Invest & Export (BIE), an investment activity for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector in the Brussels-Capital Region.
This activity took place during the 28th and 31st of May gathering a total of five Spanish companies: Biomedal, Kanteron, ValGenetics, Biopolis y DCN. The different meetings organized for the companies had the objective to showcase the general features of the biopharmaceutical ecosystem and the opportunities that this region offers to foreign companies willing to stablish a subsidiary in the Belgian capital.
The companies had the opportunity to meet with the cluster lifetech.brussels which presented the main figures of the health and life science sector in the Brussels-Capital Region. The companies had also the chance to deep into the research ecosystem and the potential partnerships between companies with a strong focus on R&D and Universities thanks to the meeting carried out with the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
The five companies also visited the BLSI incubator, launched by the Catholic University of Louvain, the Technology Transfer Office of Louvain (Sopartec) and the Brussels-Capital Region. The incubator focuses on the support of companies oriented to life science research.
Finally, BIE and the Chamber provided relevant information regarding the advantages that the region offers to companies and the support scheme for foreign investment. The companies also met with different relevant actors that provide guidance on foreign investment such us BECI, Group S, Actiris and Alter Domus.
The Association of Companies and Entities of the BIO Sector of the Region of Valencia (BIOVAL) provided special support in the dissemination of this activity.
On March 21st, the Extremadura Office in Brussels organized a networking lunch with a delegation from the Extremeña Association of Family Business (AEEF) to the Belgian capital. The AEEF is composed of leading sector companies in the Extremadura region of various branches of productive activity.
During the meeting, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to exchange information on their internationalization projects with partners and representatives of the Chamber. In addition, the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium, David Martinez Hornillos, presented to the delegation the challenges and opportunities of the Belgian market and bilateral trade Spain-Belgium.
The past 21st November 2017, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized in Brussels, in collaboration with the Delegation of the Government of Navarra and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Navarra, a conference at the Hotel Sofitel Brussels about the business opportunities for collaboration in the biomedicine sector between Navarra and Belgium. During the conference numerous presentations from different representatives of universities, companies and institutions, both from Navarra and Belgium, took place.
Bert Dehandschutter, member of the Board of Directors at the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, and Manuel Ayerdi, Vice-president for Economic Development of the Government of Navarra, both said a welcome word.
Afterwards, Kathleen D’Hont, policy officer at the Government of Flanders, presented the biomedical sector in this region, highlighting the universities and active companies on this field, and the specialization of different Flemish organizations on this area.
On the other hand, Izaskun Goñi, Director General of Economy Policy at the Government of Navarra, explained the currently existing development areas in Navarra, focusing on health sector. She also presented the “International Plan of Navarra” which aims to increase, by 2020, the exports and the internationalization, as well as the companies from Navarra that usually export, specially to Belgium, but also to France, United Kingdom and Germany.
After that, Henk Joos, Managing Director at Flanders Bio, presented the organization, which is composed by life sciences clusters, and has its headquarters in Flanders. It counts on more than 355 members from 3 different regions in Belgium, and also from adjacent countries, such as the Netherlands. During his presentation, he underlined that Belgium manages the 18% of the European capital in biotechnology, highlighting that the reasons for this success are related to its excellency, the strong funding, the experience and its geographic location in Europe. It is convenient to point out the big concentration of biopharmaceutical institutions and companies existing in Belgium (Janssen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer, GSK vaccines, UCB, Roche Diagnostics, Novartis, Sanofi, Baxter, among others).
Elke Smits, Professor at the Antwerp University Hospital, attended as representative both from this University and from Flanders Bio. She explained the approach of biomedicine in Flanders, showing how the Research Center at the Antwerp Clinic operates, and emphasizing the importance of the correct use of data in order to achieve significant progresses.
She also mentioned the Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, BBMRI, an organization which aims to create and maintain an infrastructure of Belgian biobank.
Begoña Vicente, Head of Business Development at Research Institutes, attended as a representative of the Public university of Navarra (UPNA), presenting the bachelor and masters degrees existing there, highlighting the ones taught in English in their totality, as well as the research activity that makes them outstand as an education center.
Elías Rodriguez-Toral, Director of the Research Management Department at CIMA (Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada), presented how CIMA works and orientates its activities to the research of new diagnosis and therapeutic products, working together with pharmaceutical companies and other institutions.
Isabel Gil, Scientific Coordinator of NavarraBiomed Biobank and Clara Gahigiro, European Funding Project Manager at the same company, spoke about the Biomedical Research Centre of the Government of Navarra, highlighting the support and collaboration projects at the Spanish biobank network. It takes part of the Spanish Biobank network, an initiative from the Health Center Carlos III, which counts on 52 biobanks.
For her part, Ana Cañada, International Trade Manager at the Navarre Chamber of Commerce and Industry, explained briefly which are the main biomedicine companies in Navarra and the main objectives of each one of them (Cinfa, Palobiofarma, Albyn medical, 3pbiopharmaceuticals, geiser pharma, Lozy’s, Ojer Pharma, Tedcas, Pharmamodelling, making genetics, Innoup farma, eversens, movalsys).
Gert Verreth, Communication Advisor at Essenscia (Belgian Federation of Chemical Industries and for the Life Sciences), emphasized the fact that Belgium is on the world top 10 for pharmaceutical innovation, and the fact that 5 of the 100 essential medicines existing in the world, have been developed in Belgian labs. Thus, after presenting the key Belgian companies for this achievement, he explained the reasons why Belgium is a key country related to bio pharmacy: it is a unique academic and industrial network, it has a strong focus on the innovative research, a highly qualified and productive work power, and it is very well located and provided with excellent logistics infrastructure.
Afterwards, the companies from Navarra attending to the event were introduced. Javier Arnáez, representative of Idifarma, Francisco Fernández representative of Adacen, María Llorente Business Development Manager at Bionanoplus, and lastly, Iranzu Lamberto as Chief Operating Officer at IKan Biotech, did different presentations on behalf of their companies.
Finally, with the aim of turning this event into a productive meeting for both companies and organizations, and in order to create new business relationships, a matchmaking, consisting of B2B meetings between the companies and institutions took place after the presentations
Last Tuesday 7th November, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized in collaboration with Junta de Castilla y León and Instituto para la Competitividad Empresarial (ICE) a conference under the topic “Castilla y León: a region to invest in”.
Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg said a welcome word and thanked the participation of all the attendees.
Afterwards, David Martínez Hornillos, the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Spain in Belgium, provided an overview for foreign investment in Spain, highlighting the most relevant sectors in the economy of the country. He also underlined some examples of foreign companies with active investment projects in Spain.
Later on, Carlos Martín Tobalina, General Director of industry and competitiveness and Vice- President of Economy at the Government of Castilla y León, presented the region and the infrastructures that facilitate its accessibility and its potential investing. He highlighted the most important sectors of the region which are agri-food and viticulture, automotive and aeronautics, pharmaceutical, energy, ICTs, security, logistics and endogenous resources. In addition, he pointed out that the human capital is another strength in this region since there are highly qualified professionals who are specialized in those sectors.
On the other hand, another of the advantages that Castilla y León offers to potential investors is a very favorable work environment. Its main characteristics are: low staff rotation, high stability, low labor conflicts and high labor productivity index. In addition, he pointed out the high quality of life in the autonomous community, highlighting the wide cultural and gastronomic offer. Finally, the speaker wanted to remark all the support that Castilla y León provides to the international investors.
After the speeches, the attendees were able to ask their questions during a space dedicated to networking.
Last June 20th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, represented by it Secretary-General María Catalán, participated in a conference organized by Brussels Invest & Export and the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid on ““Brussels: gateway for the European Western market”. The conference took place in the Chamber of Madrid’s headquarters and had the presence of more than twenty Spanish companies.
After a welcoming introduction by a representative of the Chamber of Madrid, Ariane Léonard, economic and commercial counselor of the region of Brussels-Capital, introduced the reasons why Brussels is considered as a city for stablishing foreign companies and investment projects.
Afterwards, Stefaan Lenaerts, Area Manager Invest Americas & S-Europe at BIE, explained the opportunities offered in the European capital for foreign investors and key sectors for Brussels economy. Thus, he introduced the Welcome Package, a free service that BIE offers to foreign companies interested in settling in Brussels.
Rafael Álvarez Campa, associate lawyer at WBCJ, informed the attendees about tax incentives in Brussels for FDI and innovative entrepreneurship. Bert Dehandschutter, associate lawyer at Racine, summarized the legal aspects that every company should know before stablishing a business in Belgium.
The General Director of Swan Consulting, Jorge Cisneros, explained the European funding opportunities for Spanish companies, underlining the added value for companies stablishing in the European capital.
María Catalán, Secretary-General of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, numbered some recommendations for the companies which were present in the conference and their future establishment in Brussels. She also explained the services offered by the Chamber to recently established companies in Brussels.
To conclude, Ángel Rebollo, Director of Atrevia Brussels Office, talked about his experience as representative of a Spanish company settled in Belgium and beneficiary of Brussels Invest & Export’s Welcome Package.
Once the presentations were finished, the attendees had the opportunity of clarifying all their doubts during a networking breakfast-
Al terminar las presentaciones los participantes tuvieron la ocasión de trasladar todas sus cuestiones a los ponentes durante un desayuno-networking.
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Belgium is currently one of the most open and dynamic economies in the world, with an estimated GDP growth of the 1.7% for 2017, according to the IMF. The geographic location of the country, in the center of Europe, along with its infrastructure in transportation, logistics and communications, allows a very fast access to European providers and markets. Belgium is one of the main foreign-investment recipients.
At the same time, the Belgian Government is applying new tax measures that are very attractive for r+d and software development. The political relecante of Brussels as the EU Capital and many international bodies broadens opportunities for foreign companies. Furthermore, Brussels property market is one of the most competitive in Western Europe.
The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg is a non-profit association whose main objective is the development of trade and investments between Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg. The Chamber offers to the companies a wide range of commercial and promotional services as well as professional contacts and facilitates business networking among its partners.
Rue Belliard 20,
B-1040, Brussels, Belgium
Tel. +32 2 517 17 40
Tel. +352 661 404 399