Luncheon-debate with Ignacio García Bercero, Director at the DG for Trade of the European Commission


Last Wednesday, 16 September, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate with Ignacio García Bercero, Director at the DG for Trade of the European Commission, about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its implications to Spain.

The event, sponsored by Repsol, was attended by representatives of European Institutions , lobbyists, members of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and corporate executives, among other participants.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, welcomed the attendees and presented the speaker to the audience, going over his trajectory and highlighting his relevant professional experience.IMG_8636

García Bercero presented the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership pointing out that it is “the most ambitious” agreement within the European Union. It is, in fact, a “winning proposal for the EU and the US” that will establish the rules and principles that will regulate the commercial and investment relations between both sides of the Atlantic.

After two years of conversation, and supported by the majority of the European Parliament, the agreement is still in the “hard negotiation” phase, but will hopefully be concluded before the next presidential elections of the United States.

The TTIP broaches traditional subjects such as custom duties, service trade restrictions or public procurement, but goes further, dealing with delicate and sensitive subjects for both sides, such as investment and energy. Consequently, the final partnership has to be “balanced, competitive and ambitious above all”.

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In the second part of his intervention, the speaker focused on the benefits that the agreement would bring to the Kingdom of Spain, explaining that big companies but also SMEs would profit from it.

Following the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask Ignacio García Bercero questions. They raised their doubts about Intellectual Property, dataflow and CETA to which the Director of the DG for Trade provided detailed replies.

The event ended with the delivery of a gift to García Bercero by the Chamber and by Repsol, as an expression of gratitude for his collaboration with the institution. The wine served during the event was sponsored by Pernod Ricard.






Atrevia, consultancy communication sector leader, is installed in Brussels

The communications consultancy Atrevia has installed in Brussels in the context of its international expansion. Atrevia is present in 11 countries in Europe and America.The Atrevia’s team in Brussels is directed by Ángel Rebollo, expert on the institutional and european framework with experience as a European Parliament advisor. The office of Atrevia in Brussels is located in the facilities of the Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg (Rue Belliard 20, 1º- 1040 Brussels).

Atrevia thrives in the field of institutional relations and public relations with the inauguration of the new office in Brussels. With its opening, Atrevia will closely be in charge of relations and related projects with the corporations.

The president and founder of Atrevia Nuria Vilanova said “Atrevia is growing to follow its clients in their strategic projects, because large Latin American and European companies need specialists in the field of consulting bodies which are near major decision-making bodies”.

“For this reason the company decided to open an office in Brussels, where they hope to represent and to monitor key issues of institutions and multilateral agencies. Atrevia has to be present where important decisions are made”, he claims.

As explorers of new communication paths, Atrevia has become a benchmark on innovation and knowledge about internal Communication, being pioneers in research in fields such as internal communication, female leadership, digital communication or values and culture in the family business. They are disseminators of knowledge through research forums and meetings in collaboration with business schools like IESE or IE, as well as through the edition of reports and publication of books.

New Year’s Cocktail 2015

Last 21st of January the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated in Luxembourg a New Year’s Cocktail where members, entrepeneurs and senior management and representatives of European Institutions and other local institutions were present. Furthermore, it counted with the presence of His Excellency Mr. Carlos de Lojendio and Pardo Manuel de Villena, Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg.

Mr. Juan Rodriguez-Villa, President of the Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the assistants and highlighted the evolution of the delegation of the Chamber in the Grand Duchy since its opening in 2012 and its activity of last year. The President thanked the members of the Board of Directors of Luxembourg for their work and effort during this period.

After that, Sergio de Miguel-Jessel, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, who showed the role of the Chamber last year in Luxembourg and invited the assistants to toast for 2015, predicted a positive growth of the activity and provision of services.

The event, that took place at the Meliá hotel of Luxembourg, counted with a relaxed atmosphere among the more than 60 assistants, who could enjoy an aperitif accompanied with Spanish wine. The cocktail ended with the draw of a flight to Madrid offered by the company Luxair.



Change at the Secretary of State for Trade

D. Jaime García-Legaz Ponce, Secretary of State for Trade, now dependent of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, assumed the leadership of a new executive that inherited competences of various secretaries and undersecretaries.
The Secretary of State for Trade will assume extremely important issues, part of which will be the same as the ones from the old Secretary of State for Trade, among these the relation with the Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain Abroad (CAMACOES).
His work will consist of continuing the promotion of Spanish exports, key issue at a moment of negative perspectives for global trade, deal with themes such as tariff issues and fight to ensure the competitiveness of Spanish exports. He will also have to take decisions, also abroad, in which the objective of defending a unified market is stressed.

ONCE Foundation. Assessment of the “Added value of the ESF programmes managed by the ONCE Foundation since 2000”

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg was elected, for the second time, to frame a mission of the ONCE Foundation, during its visit to Brussels in the Hotel Sofitel Brussels Le Louise on 22 November 2011.

The chairman of the ONCE Foundation, Miguel Carballeda, was present at the event as well as the chairman of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons. Luis Planas was the speaker of the ambassador of the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU.

IMG_1504The ONCE Foundation is currently at the same time Spain’s biggest private employer, carrying out various activities. As Juan Rodríguez-Villa Maton emphasized: “This organization is recognized for its importance in business, such as the social goals it pursues and achieves.”

Along these lines, Mr. Carballeda pointed out that, although the situation of the citizens of the European Union has improved “the crisis in which we find ourselves and of which we hope it will gradually disappear is proof of the fact that we cannot relax our vigilance”. Thus, he requested social and labor “to be a priority in future strategies of the European Union and that they devote sufficient resources.”

Another present assistant of the Spanish ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium was Silvia Iranzo Gutiérrez and the President of the European Disability Forum, Yannis Vardakastanis.

The main objective of the ONCE Foundation is transferring its organization model to the organizations in order to give a boost to the employees that are disabled.”