Webinar: Insurtech report: Discovering Future of Insurance

On November 26th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on ‘Insurtech report: discovering the future of insurance’ in collaboration with its member company everis. The event took place within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta Gonzalez Benguria, Secretary General of the Chamber, introduced the webinar thanking the collaboration of everis and the participation of the panelists.

She then passed the floor to Richard Calvo, Insurtech Project Leader at everis, who began by presenting the fourth edition of the ‘InsurTech Outlook’ report, recently published by everis and NTT Data.

This report began to be prepared in 2016, when the investment in Insurtech produced the first impacts on the market. The growing trend of the sector has not stopped since then, reaching 6,300 million dollars in investments in 2019. Richard Calvo highlighted that among the different models of Insurtech, on-demand models and insurance for use, based on technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence or Cloud&Mobile Applications, are those that have acquired the greatest importance, becoming the recipients of 90% of the investment. He also spoke of the main actors involved in the world of Insurtech, including investors, insurers and technological giants.

The report presented by Calvo also analyses the patterns that are repeated in successful startups, for which he uses the concept of ‘EXIT’, which refers to the purchase of a startup by another company and is an indicator of success.

Finally, the speaker indicated the main changes that have taken place in the Insurtechs sector as a result of the COVID19 crisis, among which he pointed out: the slowdown in investments, the variation in the Burn Rate KPI, and the creation of new investment opportunities such as in the Telemedicine and genome sector.

During the question time, attendees were able to present their doubts and comments on issues of interest, which were answered jointly by the everis experts: Dirk Croenen, Head of everis BeNeLux Insurance sector, Marc Durante, Director Insurance everis Luxembourg, Carlos Ordoñez Sanchez, Global Head of Digital Insurance and Richard Calvo. Thus, questions such as the possible change of paradigm in primary health care due to the combined effect of Covid-19 and digitalisation or where Europe is in the race to be at the head of the Insurtech sector with respect to the main players: China, the United States and India were dealt with.

Webinar: Substance requirements and future application of the MLI to Spanish infrastructure and real estate structures

On November 12th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on “Substance requirements and future application of the MLI to Spanish infrastructure and real estate structures” in collaboration with Deloitte Luxembourg, with the participation of three experts from Deloitte in this area: Francisco Da Cunha (Partner), Samara Brey (Senior Manager) and Victor Sanlorien (Senior). The webinar took place within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta González Benguria, General Secretary of the Chamber, who acted as moderator of the event, introduced the speakers and thanked them for their participation.

Francisco da Cunha then took the floor and thanked the Chamber for the invitation and all the attendees for their interest in the event. The speaker began by explaining the concept of ‘Substance’ in the context of tax treaties against double taxation and how this concept has evolved throughout the different versions of the treaties in terms of impact and coherence.

Samara Brey went on to discuss the Multilateral Instrument (MLI), which is currently operational in 94 different jurisdictions including Spain and Luxembourg. She explained what steps were needed for the MLI to apply to a Double Taxation Convention between two countries and what the minimum standards were that countries could not change. Samara also explained the principle purpose test (PPT), the test which seeks to determine whether treaties to which the MLI applies are not used to create opportunities for non-taxation or reduction of taxation. Therefore, Brey recommends that companies document that their operations have a substance and legitimacy that goes beyond mere tax reasons. The rapporteur went on to talk about the Danish Cases, and the case law they have created.

Victor Salorien spoke about the interpretation of these rules by the Spanish administration and justice and in particular the interpretation of the term ‘substance’ in Spain and Luxembourg respectively.

After the presentation, a question session was opened during which the attendees were able to raise all the doubts that had arisen during the event.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Deloitte Luxembourg and the speakers for their collaboration in organising the webinar.

In collaboration with:

Deloitte Accountancy - Credit Expo België

Webinar: The Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Green Exchange: market trends and regulatory developments

Last Monday 26th October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a webinar on ‘The Luxembourg Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Green Exchange: market trends and regulatory developments’ in collaboration with Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), and with the participation of its Head of Regulatory Affairs, Paula Redondo Pereira. The webinar was organised within the framework of the Spanish Financial Forum, a committee of the Chamber focused on the financial services industry.

Marta González Benguria, General Secretary of the Chamber, introduced the speaker and acted as a moderator of the event.

Then, Paula Redondo took the floor and thanked the Chamber for their invitation, as well as to all the attendees for their interest in the event. The speaker began by explaining the activity and functioning of the LuxSE, an institution with more than 90 years of history. Paula explained that the LuxSE is owned by market participants (banks, financial institutions, etc.) as well as by the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The different activities developed within the LuxSE were presented, with special emphasis on listing, which is the main activity. The position of Spanish issuers, which currently stands at 43, was then outlined. This number is expected to grow in the near future due to the significant benefits of the LuxSE for issuers and investors.

The second part of the webinar focused on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), the first and so far only platform dedicated exclusively to sustainable financial instruments, created in 2016. The LGX is contributing to the regulation that is taking place in this field on the initiative of the European Commission, as it is part of the ‘EU Commission’s High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance’ and the ‘EU Commission’s Technical Expert Group (HLEG) on sustainable finance’. Currently, the possibility of creating standardized Green Bonds at the European level is being considered, an initiative in which LuxSE takes part.

Following the presentation, a question time was opened during which the attendees could ask all the doubts that arose during the event.

From the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Paula Redondo Pereira for accepting the invitation and all participants for their attendance.

Online Breakfast-Debate with Clara Martínez Alberola, Deputy head of the ‘Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom’ (UKTF)

Last Friday, October 23rd, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a new session of its online Breakfast-Debate in the framework of its Business Circle platform. This event featured Clara Martínez Alberola, Deputy Head of the United Kingdom Task Force (UKTF) of the European Commission. The topic of the debate was Brexit: where are we heading in the future commercial relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom?. 

Pablo López Álvarez, vice-president of the Chamber and event moderator, welcomed and thanked the speaker and all the attendees for their participation.

Then, on behalf of the partner and sponsor of the event, Van Bael & Bellis, Pablo Muñiz, partner of the Brussels office, took the floor and thanked the guest speaker for her participation in the Breakfast-Debate despite her busy schedule. Mr. Muñiz highlighted the growing importance regarding many customs law issues, that were thought to be forgotten, because of Brexit but will surely affect the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Clara Martínez Alberola began by thanking the invitation as an ideal opportunity to continue learning first-hand about the concerns of Member States and the various economic sectors in the Brexit negotiations. The speaker admitted that the negotiating teams are at a critical stage to achieve an agreement given that the transition period after the formal withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union ends on 31 December 2020, with the aggravation of the Covid-19 crisis as a background. Despite the tight deadlines, the EU negotiating team is working tirelessly to reach a fair agreement for both parties based in coherent rules and effective mechanisms for dispute resolution. Martínez outlined the various issues that present more difficulties to reach an agreement as well as the issues where there is greater consensus such as British participation in research programs funded by the EU or police cooperation. Finally, the deputy head of the UKTF stressed that the no-deal scenario would not imply the impossibility of reaching such an agreement in the future in different areas, although it is certainly a much worse scenario than reaching a full agreement on time.

During the question time, the attendees were able to present their doubts and comments on many issues of interest such as the controversy surrounding the internal market protocol for Northern Ireland, the rules of origin in the post-Brexit era, the uncertainty regarding standardization and public procurement, financial supervision or the complexity of customs controls in the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

From the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Clara Martínez Alberola for her conference, our partner company Van Bael & Bellis for sponsoring this Breakfast-Debate and all those present for their attendance.

Event sponsored by:

Virtual Breakfast-Debate with María Teresa Fábregas, Director Recovery and Resilience Task Force at the European Commission

On Thursday 1st October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organised a new virtual breakfast debate in the framework of its “Business Circle” platform. The breakfast focused on “Recovery plans: sustainable growth” and María Teresa Fábregas, Director Recovery and Resilience Task Force at the European Commission was the guest speaker.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vicepresident of the Chamber,  welcomed and thanked the speakers as well as all the attendees.

Afterwards, on behalf of the member company and sponsor of the event, Iberdrola, its Director of European Public Affairs, Eva Chamizo, took the floor and thanked the spekaer and the entire team of the European Commission’s Working Group for Recovery and Resilience, for their great work in contributing from the European institutions to economic recovery. Chamizo stressed the need to commit to a green and sustainable recovery linked to the objectives of the Green Deal and allows private investment in clean energy. She also highlighted Iberdrola’s long career in prioritising investment in green energy, which made Iberdrola stand out among the leading companies in the sector.

María Teresa Fábregas began by outlining the key points of the future Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, which forms part of the Recovery Plan for Europe proposed by the European Commission. The intention of this mechanism is to contribute to the repair of the economic and social damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic without forgetting the great strategic challenges facing Europe.

This plan is aimed first and firstly at the ecological transition of the European Union towards a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 in line with the Green Deal. The speaker also highlighted as the second key of the economic recovery, the digital transition to adapt our economies and societies to new technologies. Fábregas went on explaining that it will be up to the Member States to present their national recovery plans to the European Commission from 15 October, which will ensure that they are properly implemented through the auditing and control mechanisms that are being applied to all European funds. The Director of the Working Group for Recovery and Resilience explained that the management of the mechanism’s funds will have to be done in accordance with the constitutional order of each country and in accordance with the distribution of competences in the case of decentralised Member States. However, national governments will have a certain margin to determine how they will manage them, either through transfers to sub-national entities (federated states, autonomous communities, etc.) or through central agencies.

During the round of questions, the participants were able to express their doubts and comments on many areas of interest. Thus, topics such as eligibility criteria and the mechanism for allocating funds for recovery, the social economy or more specific measures for the cultural and audio-visual sector were discussed.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank María Teresa Fábregas, our member company Iberdrola for sponsoring this event and all attendees for joining this event.

 

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