The Chamber’s Trade Missions

Among the different services the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg offers, a series of trade missions are proposed , both direct and inverse and of different magnitude. This service is available to any interested company, either member of the Chamber or not, although our members do benefit of preferential rates.

The first stage of a trade mission consists on the prospection of potential future clients, as well as their characteristics, always under the parameters set before hand by the contracting company.

Once such potential clients have been targeted, a second stage is put in motion when the Chamber proceeds to reach to these clients in order to present the contracting company, reinforcing its corporate brand thanks to the Chamber’s.

During the third stage, a series of meetings are set with those potential clients who proved to be interested in the company’s activities during the previous stage.

This kind of trade missions allow companies to improve its knowledge regarding the market of their interest, a vital asset when it comes to defining marketing, prospection, promotion and sales strategies.

Our last trade mission was developed for Begoña Pascual Hormías, CEO of our member company Ipsa Ratio S.L, a language consultancy firm based in Malaga which proposes an exclusive learning model for an adult and professional public looking for results due to differentiation and exclusivity.

All their learning schemes are concentrated in a short period of time of one or two weeks thanks to a complete language immersion and themed workshops, during which the learning experience is paired with different sport, cultural, gastronomical and social activities.

In Ipsa Ratio’s trade mission, our member sought potential final clients for its services or possible agents to represent its company, both in Belgium and Luxembourg; the Chamber therefore prepared a meeting agenda which included firms fulfilling their parameters as well as some proposals from our own Commercial department. Moreover, a trade advisor accompanied her to the meetings, and the Chamber’s Headquarters were made completely available to have any desired corporate meetings.

In Begoña Pascual’s own words, the trade mission’s result and its final success can be summed up as follows: “the representatives and employees at the Chamber immediately identified which could be the greatest potential for my company’s services in Belgium and Luxembourg. I was regularly updated regarding the meeting agenda and its final version was closed a week prior to my visit. What is most remarkable is the fact that the Chamber’s team kept looking for business opportunities for my firm to include in the agenda until the last second. The Chamber helped me understand the tools which help promote direct contact with the local market and its operators. The Chamber’s both human and organizational support throughout the three stages has been excellent”.

If you were interested in arranging a trade mission, do not hesitate on contacting our Commercial department:

Collaboration of the Chamber with the fishing sector in Galicia

The Secretary of the Galician Federation of fishermen’s associations, Mr. Sergio López García, showed his gratitude for the collaboration received from the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in the organization of the Galicia-Flanders fishing matters meeting, held on the 6th December in the headquarters of the Vlaamse Visveiling, entity controlling the marketplaces in Zeebrugge, Oostende and Nieuwpoort.

The federation looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Chamber in the interest of the Galician fishing sector and the improvement of the commercialization of  sea products.

The Chamber welcomes the service given to the fishing sector in Galicia and opens the door to new opportunities for cooperation.

The Chamber meets with a group of entrepreneurs of Extremadura

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg received last 16 December a group of entrepreneurs from the region of ExtremaduraThe visit was part of an institutional agenda organised by the Cáceres and Badajoz Provincial Councils and developed for the entrepreneurs on 14th, 15th and 16th of December in Brussels.

The Secretary General, María Catalán, presented the particularities of the Belgian and Luxembourgian markets and the support offered to new entrepreneurs in both countries. Thus, the group, some of whom had started to run their companies in incubators of Extremadura and others had just won an entrepreneurship award, got to know the programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE), in which the Chamber participates as a local contact point in BeLux.

The entrepreneurs, one of whom is going to take part in the Erasmus For Young Entrerpreneurs next January, had the chance to talk to the Secretary General and to solve their questions about the Belgian and Luxembourgian markets.

Galicia-Flandes meeting about fishery issues

Last Tuesday 6th of December, in the headquarters of Vlaamse Visveiling, the institution that controls the fish markets of Zeebrugge, Oostende and Nieuwpoort, took place a meeting between representatives of Galician organizations and ship-owners and their Flemish counterparts. The event was organized by the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in collaboration with the Foundation Galicia-Europa.

Johan Van de Steene, Director of the fish market (Vlaamse Visveiling), was in charge of the presentation of the trading system.

The Belgian Fisherman’s Association (Rederscentimg-20161207-wa0002-003rale) were represented by Emile Brouckert, Director of Rederscentrale (Oostend), who talked about the characteristics of the Belgian fishing fleet, their fishing areas and the relationship with Belgian and European authorities in relation to quotas and legislation. Brouckaert expressed his concern about sustainability, quotas and Brexit’s consequences.

The Galician delegation was accompanied by our President, Juan Rodríguez-Villa.

The Chamber, the  Galician Foundation and Delegation of Fisherman’ and shipowners would particularly like to thank you, the kindness, the explanations and the attention received from Jan Buisseret, Director of Business Development of Vlaamse Visveiling, who, speaking a perfect Spanish, was a key person for the success of the meeting.

“Internationalization of Spanish fashion: get to know the benefits of Brussels!”

Imprimir invest-export logo-me

Brussels, 20th October 2016. – The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in collaboration with Brussels Invest & Export, organised in Brussels on the 20 October the congress “Internationalisation of Spanish fashion: get to know the benefits of Brussels!”. This initiative, supported by “Marca España” and the Spanish Embassy in Belgium, brought together 12 Spanish fashion firms. These ones were informed about the advantages that Brussels-Capital offers for setting new branches in this sector.

The conference began with Jorge Notivoli’s welcoming words, the Business representative ad interim of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium, who expressed the continuous support of the Embassy in the promotion abroad of Marca España, and acknowledged the interest of the Spanish companies who joined the initiative. Afterwards, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, the President of the Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, thanked Brussels Invest & Export and the Spanish Embassy in Belgium for collaborating in the organisation of the event. Ariane Leonard, Brussels Invest & Export’s trade advisor in Spain, highlighted the excellent cooperation between the Chamber and her company, which can be used by the participating companies to facilitate their establishment in Brussels-Capital region. Likewise, she pointed at the creativity of the European capital and its name in the fashion sector.


Jorge Notivoli, business representative ad interim of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium


Attendees to the congress


Ariane Leonard, Brussels Invest & Export’s trade advisor in Spain


Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, president of the Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg

The fashion and design centre MAD, represented in the event by Elke Timmerman, presented a global view of the fashion sector in Brussels and the role they play in the capital for foreign enterprises. To complete their presentation, MAD distributed among the attendees a guide including information about the market in Brussels and the potential for future investors.

Later, Francorp and Racine Avocats explained how the franchise market works. First, Nick Boury, managing director of Francorp, reviewed the consumption trends of the Belgian citizens: “When going shopping, in Belgium we prefer the street to shopping malls” and explained in detail the different franchise models in Belgium. Bert Dehandschutter and Stijn Clays, from Racine, focused their speech on the legal aspects that have to be taken into account to open a franchise in Brussels.


Nick Boury, Managing Director – Franchise expert from Francorp


Stijn Clays, lawyer from Racine Avocats

The recruitment of workers in Brussels was the next issue discussed. Jarra Jellouli and Aleida Delefortire, from the Brussels employment agency, Actiris, talked about the different types of contracts and explained the advantages they offer to search new employees. Jinbao Zhang, from Group S, gave a deep explanation of the labour costs in Belgium.


Zarra Jellouli, Consultante Employeurs from Actiris


Jinbao Zhang, International Social Advisor from Group S

The local grants for opening new shops in Brussels was also an aspect of interest for the Spanish companies. The speaker David Azaerts introduced the opportunities offered by Impulse agency, as well as the information centre for entrepreneurs in Brussels, “The subsidies are mainly targeted to small and medium enterprises”, he pointed. Ward Verdeyen, from KBC bank, introduced the support for investment that his company offers, including credits, rent guarantees and online payments


Ward Verdeyen, Relationship Manager Corporates from KBC bank


David Azaerts, Advisor & Social Network Manager from Impulse

The person in charge of introducing the identification of business premises service offered by the public agency Atrium was Julien Bacq. He attracted the attention of the participants making comparisons of the main commercial spots in Brussels with the most emblematic shopping districts in Spain.


Julien Bacq, Chief Retail Officer from Atrium


Attendees a la jornada

Stefaan Lenaerts, from Brussels Invest & Export, gave some details about the services his entity offers for foreign companies who intend to establish in Brussels. Among all, the Welcome Package was the most highlighted one, due to the fact that offers free installations during a period of three months for the firms interested in evaluating on site the opportunities that this region has to give.

The program finished with the intervention of Maria Catalan, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, who thanked the visit of the Spanish enterprises and their interest. Likewise, she introduced the activities of the Chamber, as a point of reference and contact for all Spanish firms in Belgium and Luxembourg.


Stefaan Lenaerts, Area Manager Americas & Southern Europe from Brussels Invest & Export


María Catalán, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg

After the networking lunch offered by Hispania Brussels, B2B meetings were organised.

This initiative forms part of the celebration of the fashion month in Brussels and its Brussels Fashion Days. Spanish fashion is experiencing an internationalization process as never known before. Companies are using as elements of differentiation abroad competitive factors less related with price and more with quality, creativity and business excellence. In 2015, Spanish textile exports broke a new record, growing 7.8% over the previous year. Belgium is the seventh country where Spain exports the most. Moreover, the weight of the sector in the whole industry is more important in Spain than in Europe, reaching 5.7% (out of 12) compared to 3.4% in the rest of the European Union. This effort also leads Spanish companies to be world leaders in the sector and are internationally renowned.

dsc_0386 dsc_0395

The Chamber and Brussels Invest Export would like to thank all the participant companies for their collaboration, as well as to the Spanish companies, which participated at the event, and made its contribution to the success of it.

Brussels-Capital Region present at the IMEX exhibition

Brussels Invest & Export was present at the IMEX fair on 6 and 7 April in Madrid with a delegation representing the Brussels-Capital Region consisting of Ariane Leonard, Economic and Commercial Adviser of the Brussels-Capital Region in Spain, Stefaan Lenaerts, Area Manager Southern Europe & Americas at BIE, María Catalán, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Bert Dehandschutter, lawyer at Racine Advocaten and Jorge Cisneros, CEO of Swan Consulting. The delegation presented Brussels as a key city for the internationalization of European SMEs during the fair.

During its 14th edition, IMEX counted more than 3000 participants and consolidated this way its position as Spain’s largest international business fair.

This meeting brought 60 exhibiting companies together of almost every activity sector. The main support and sponsors came for another year from ICEX, Banco Santander and DHL and the visitors who attended this annual event were mainly professional entrepreneurs, mainly from Spain, that held more than 4000 b2b business meetings with commercial agents from 61 countries.

Wallonia and La Rioja strengthen business and institutional partnerships

Between 16 and 19 February, a delegation of the Walloon Region participated in an institutional journey to La Rioja, which aimed to establish local contacts and to identify business opportunities and collaboration between the two regions.

The Walloon delegation was presided by the General Director of AWEX (l’Agence wallonne à l’exportation et aux Investissements étrangers), Jean Pierre Marcelle, and consisted of the Economic and Commercial counselor of Wallonia in Spain, Frédéric Biava, responsible for public affairs at AWEX, Geoffrey Parks, as well as the General Director of roads and construction, Denis Cornet and the director of the agri-food cluster Wagralim, Isabelle Grommet. María Catalán, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber in Belgium and Luxembourg, accompanied the delegation.

The program started on 16 February with a visit to Starglass, where the delegation was welcomed by its Financial Director, Jack Medina. The company, dedicated to the production of laminated as well as tempered glass for all types of vehicle applications, directly distributes to its clients in Belgium from its production center in La Rioja. During the meeting the delegation offered its collaboration to strengthen the commercial relations with the Walloon region.


The city of Logroño and the Walloon Region strengthen their institutional links throughout this year, especially their commercial links, based on the exchange of experiences in the ‘smart city’ and the TIC

The session of 17 February was led by the visit to the Town Hall of Logroño. Cuca Gamarra, mayor of the city Logroño, presided a meeting in which municipal and business leaders of the capital of Rioja participated. The visit was organized as a result of the established contacts during the third Meeting for internationalization of the City of Logroño and was realized by the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce of La Rioja last November in Brussels. Its agenda was coordinated by the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The leader of the Belgian delegation, Jean Pierre Marcelle, emphasized the importance of sharing experiences “and the continuation of partnerships”, especially, as the Walloon economic and commercial counselor Frédéric Biava emphasized, for themes concerning new technologies “of which we see interesting actions in Logroño”.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce of La Rioja, José María Ruiz-Alejos, indicated the importance of increasing the relations with Belgium, “a permeable country for our excellent products” and he advocated for strengthening links “to improve the commercial balance” between both zones, favorable right now for Belgium, “from whom we buy 60 million and to whom we sell 40 million”. Belgium is the sixth importer in La Rioja, whereas it is the ninth country to which the community exports.

The city council of Logroño presented the delegation the app Logroñ and the website Red de Ciudades Inteligentes de España. Furthermore, a presentation about the remote management model of the municipal facilities was given focusing on the control and reduction of energy use and the projects for smart mobility and the pilot program about lighting in LIFE Green Tic were presented.

The representatives of the City council of Logroño started a presentation about the website Red Española de Ciudades Inteligentes; founded in our city in 2012 and the mayor of Logroño being vice-president and at this moment 65 associated municipalities. Afterwards the app Logroñ was presented, which offers more than twenty services and was already downloaded 30.000 times.

This first part of the day closed with the presentation of the project “Digital Wallonia” in charge of Geoffrey Parks, through which more than 500 million euros will be allocated to the development of Smart Cities in the region the following years. The delegation presented its strategy to the representatives of La Rioja and proposed collaboration between both regions in the digital field.

Then, the members of the Belgian delegation attended various practical demonstrations of projects Logroño is developing. In particular the applications of the app of the water and irrigations Cycle ; energy Efficiency in sports facilities and urban and interurban mobility.

The day about getting acquainted with the various innovative initiatives Logroño is currently developing ended with the presentation of the pilot program about lighting in LIFE Green TIC.


To end the visit, the mayor announced that, during the year 2016, a visit will be made that “will not be institutional but entrepreneurial” to Wallonia, “in order to work together for the establishment of important business relations and to generate opportunities for our companies who are the ones that developed the successful systems we presented to you”. “They have experience with success stories such as some of the ones already implemented in Logroño we were able to teach about today. It is interesting that they establish partnerships with other companies, in this case Wallonia, who is also working in this field”. Indeed, this collaborative model is the model the “smart cities” promote, “some cities that generate opportunities for companies”.

In the afternoon the delegation had a meeting with the Cluster AERTIC 
(Agrupación Empresarial Innovadora del sector de las TIC de La Rioja), with the aim of exchanging experiences in the field of information and communications technology.

The secretary Javier Ridruejo and various companies of AERTIC interested in getting acquainted with the development of these technologies in this Belgian region and the possibility of establishing business partnerships participated in the meeting.


Under the wing of the Federación de Empresarios de La Rioja (FER), AERTIC channels the interests and necessities of a wide technological area related to the Information and Communications Technology in La Rioja.

The day ended with a visit to ADER (Economic Development Agency of La Rioja).

The manager of the Economic Development Agency, Javier Ureña, welcomed the delegation and informed them about the strengths La Rioja offers and about the fact that they convert these into a suitable location for receiving each type of business investment.


A business mission from La Rioja is expected to travel next October to the Belgian region Wallonia, with the wish to lead commercial exchanges and to look for mutual negotiation formula between companies of both areas

On 18 February, the delegation met with members of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of La Rioja, headed by its President, José María Ruiz-Alejos; “Since today we have started to build a solid collaboration bridge for business and trade between La Rioja and Belgium, primarily for the companies of both regions, of La Rioja and Wallonia, and we hope that it is already a lifelong bridge”, Ruiz-Alejos stressed.

He added that it is about “a bridge that has its pillars in the Chambers of Commerce of La Rioja and the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg”, since these will be the institutions that will be the reference for the companies.

He also referred to the fact that other possibilities of collaboration between the companies of both countries could focus on the joint participation in European programs of possible mutual interest.

Marcelle remembered that this meeting was the second part of a gathering that started at the end of 2015 in Brussels and that it will continue in the future because “La Rioja and Wallonia are two very similar regions”, that can collaborate in many aspects.

Afterwards, a meeting with Cluster Food+i took place. The installations of the Centro Tecnológico Empresarial Alimentario CTIC-CITA en Alesón (La Rioja), partner of Cluster FOOD+i, were the setting of this meeting between entities from La Rioja and Wallonia, who share the objective of fostering the competitiveness of the agribusiness industry of the respective regions by means of innovation.


Thus, during the meeting they could give a short presentation of the sector, in addition to dealing with issues such as innovation policy or participation in common European projects. They analyzed the main lines of research of both clusters with the aim of establishing the bases for future collaborations.

The final meeting was held with representatives of the company Constantia Flexibles.

With a production plant in Belgium, the company, originally from La Rioja, is leader in its sector with more than 3.000 clients and nearly 10.000 employees around the world.

Logroño and Brussels enhance ties after their III Internationalization Institutional Meeting

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized on 18 and 19 November an agenda of meetings for a delegation from La Rioja led by the Mayor of Logroño, Concepción Gamarra, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Rioja, José María Ruiz-Alejos Herrero. This mission is part of the III Institutional Meeting for the Internationalization of Logroño, which aims to promote the economic development of Logroño, thanks to their external projection, and attract investments presenting the opportunities offered by the city which already developed in the last years in London and Germany.

The meetings were set up based in three areas: strenghtening of existing relationships, establish new institutional contacts and draw lines of business and commercial collaboration with public and private organizations.


This third meeting started on Wednesday 18 November at the headquarters of the company Constantia Louvain SPRL, group leader in the field of packaging and labeling, which has a factory in Logroño for over 80 years (Constantia Tobepal). The day after, they met with the Computer Centre for the Brussels Region, a public organization focusing on the field of smart cities, with the AWEX agency, body for the promotion of foreign trade and welcoming foreign investment in the Walloon region and they ended the morning schedule with an official reception at the town hall of Brussels.

During the afternoon, the agenda was resumed with a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and Union of Enterprises in Brussels, also known as BECI-its acronym in French- or “Chamber of the companies”, which represents thousands of companies, ensuring the defense of their interests and offering numerous services in order to facilitate the management of their businesses. After this meeting, they met with Hector Benitez, director of the Delegation of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, advisory and cooperation body from the government of Spain for matters of trade, industry and services.


A particularly important aspect to highlight is the relationship that has been established with the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg. The president of the Chamber of La Rioja, José María Ruiz Alejos, signed with the president of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, and the mayor of Logroño as a witness, an agreement that formalizes the partnership between the two organisms. In the articles of the agreement detailed issues such as “promotion and support of economic, industrial, technological, scientific, educational, cultural and tourism in both regions; “promote the implementation of programs for cooperation and industrial investment”, “promoting the participation of representatives of the other part in congresses and conferences of international character” or “effective exchange of information, documentation and other material” are present.


On 19 November the Smart City Expo Barcelona was celebrated: Seminar “Brussels, key city for Smart City opportunities”

Last 19 November the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the seminar organized by Brussels Invest Export in the event Smart City Expo in Barcelona. During the seminar, the opportunities offered by the Brussels Capital region were presented to Spanish businesses within the framework of the project Smart City, that the Belgian city intends to develop shortly.

Ariane Leonard, Commercial Counselor of the Brussels Region in Spain opened the seminar to inform participants on the advantages Brussels offers for the establishment of foreign companies and investment. Carole Van der Borght, head manager of Smart Cities in the region of Brussels, presented in detail the action plans of development of Brussels within the framework of the Smart City project, promoted by the “Centre d’Informatique” for the Brussels Region the next few years.

David Simon, associate director for Bell Pottinger, continued the seminar by offering the attendees a global vision regarding the opportunities offered by the European institutions in Brussels and the access to credit lines. Subsequently, Bert Dehandschutter, Racine Avocats lawyer, explained the legal aspects of representation in Brussels. Finally, Stefaan Lenaerts, representative of Brussels Invest Export and María Catalán, Secretary General of the Official Spanish Chamber, presented respectively the Welcome Package, a free service establishment in Brussels for three months for foreign companies, and complementary services offered to Spanish companies for their activities in the Belgian capital.

The seminar counted on the participation of numerous local companies, as well as representatives of Spanish and Belgian public entities.

Logroño, a city for investment


Logroño is a perfect vantage point for any company in the world that wishes to establish an operations centre in Spain and target their market towards Europe and the Mediterranean, for its optimal economic environment and the standard of living it offers. Logroño is a modern, smart, sustainable and ideal city for the establishment of foreign companies.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Rioja, José María Ruiz-Alejos Herrero and the Mayor of Logroño, Concepción Gamarra, will travel to Brussels on 18 and 19 November with the aim of presenting the offer the city represents for potential investors in Belgium.

Are you interested in obtaining information on investment opportunities in Logroño? Please contact us (

10 reasons to invest in Logroño

  1. Logroño is an excellent place to invest because of its social peace, accessible industrial land and competitive labor costs.
  2. Logroño allows quick access to major cities, ports and airports and it is a gateway to Europe.
  3. The economy grows in a stable way, even in years of crisis, with a per capita greater than the EU-27 GDP.
  4. Logroño is quality of life. They have public and full private health and a life expectancy of 83 years.
  5. In 2012, almost 300,000 visitors revealed its attractive tourism including wine tourism, gastronomy and Spanish as its main attractions.
  6. In its economy, services and a powerful industrial sector stand out.
  7. At I+D+i a research network with various research institutes and technology centers has been created.
  8. There are support companies for industrial land, energy resources and infrastructure, entrepreneurship, internationalization …
  9. Logroño has two universities, public and private, which are connected to the business world.
  10. Logroño is a great city to live: food and wine, entertainment and culture, parks and sports….

More information – Logroño a city for Investment