THE Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona
The Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona or CCBLB in Spanish is one of the 33 Belgian Chambers abroad accredited by the Belgian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and by the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. It is one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in Barcelona which benefits from a solid and stable network both in the private and public sectors.
As a private not-for-profit business organisation, we help companies succeed in Spain. This includes sole traders, SME’s, multinationals, start-ups and well-established companies. Some are new to Spain others are long established.
Building bridges, easing the search of partners and access to authorities, organizing nertworking activites are some of the key areas where our Chamber really makes a difference !
We accomplish our mission in accordance with the principles defined in our Action Plan.
We have one common goal – to succeed in Spain
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Born in Ghent, graduated as a jurist from the University of Ghent, in 1985 she was registered at the Bar Association of Ghent where she actively exercised the profession of lawyer for 11 years until 1996.
Meanwhile she performed at a very young age since 1979 and during 15 years as a soprano singer at the Collegium Vocale Gent and later La Chapelle Royale de Paris, both under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe.
These years brought her to the most prestigious international artistic stages.
In 1994, she founded her own company, Artistic Management Guarneri, stayed in Italy (Rome) and Spain and moved later on to Granada, then Zumaya (Basque Country) and finally to Barcelona at the end of 2000.
In October 2008, she became General Manager of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona.
In 2012 she set up a Dutch school for young children aged 4-16 in In the centre of Barcelona. In 2016 the school became a NOB-accredited school with currently 80 students. Brigitte is still the president of the board and inspirer of this meanwhile become Dutch Foundation “Stichting Nederlands in Barcelona, SNIB”.
Since January 2021, she is also in charge of a programme ”Strengthening the Bilateral Belgian-Luxembourg Chambers of Commerce Abroad”, BLCCA, within the structure of the Federation of Belgian Chambers and BLCCA.
She divides her life between Brussels and Barcelona.
With several positions held in both the international public sector (F4E ; EUIPO) and private sector in Barcelona, Gregoire has built an extensive experience in dealing with businesses from all over Europe and developed an ample network in a variety of areas. His international career follows a path initiated some twenty years ago at the Bar in Brussels, representing multinationals and SME’s in commercial matters.
Gregoire’s professional activities and network continue to benefit from a solid academic anchor, not only as a graduate of Harvard Law School (LL.M) for which he was granted the Frank Boas Scholarship, Fulbright and BAEF Honorary Fellowships; Katholiek Universiteit Leuven (Master in IP Law) and Université Catholique de Louvain (Law Degree) but also in relation to his teaching activities (e.g. Universitat de Barcelona-UB in Spain; UCL and University of Saint Louis in Belgium).
Gregoire GATHEM is President of the CCLB since May 2021.
Carl Craen was born in Belgium and raised in Switzerland, where he completed his secondary and undergraduate education while playing basketball semi professionally.
He then moved to Barcelona, where he completed his graduate studies.
He is the Vice President and Managing Director of EU Business School, as well as the co-founder of the Club of Young Entrepreneur of Switzerland and the founder of Xblue Digital School.
He lives in Barcelona with his wife and two children.
I’m Florence Vandaele, 44 years old and living in Barcelona since 8 years. I’ve grown up at a village at the Belgian Coast (Koksijde) and then went to study Psychology at the University of Leuven. During my last year I did a 4 months exchange program in Valencia where my love for the Spanish culture and lifestyle got triggered.
Afterwards I studied an extra year in Austria and then moved to London to start my first job where I worked 2 years in the financial services industry.
After that I started a sales career at Procter&Gamble in Brussels during 10 years: a great experience and learning school. I enjoyed working on products that are part of our daily lives, worked on the integration of Gillette and different categories dealing with big supermarket chains up to small hairdressers.
Moving abroad has always been a desire and I did not hesitate a single moment when I got the opportunity to move to Barcelona to start working for the Belgian lingerie company Van de Velde.
A family company that has been around for 100 years with 3 beautiful brands: Prima Donna, Marie Jo and the Barcelona based brand Andres Sarda. I’m very proud to represent them in the Southern countries of Europe and help to empower women by wearing beautiful lingerie no matter their size.
On a personal note I’m a proud single mum of boy and girl twins of 10 years old with whom I live in Eixample. They’ve turned into little polyglots and enjoy the Spanish culture without forgetting their Belgian roots.
I’m honoured to become part of the board of Belgian Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona and look forward to bringing the networking of Belgians in the (probably most) beautiful city of Europe to the next level.
Carlos was born in Barcelona in November 1952.
He has studied in La Salle Bonanova and afterwards, he got a Degree as Telecommunications Engineer at I.T.T. La Salle University.
He started working at Cogesa (the insurance broker firm his father founded in 1917), as soon as he finished the school: he was 16 years old. Since then, he was working always in the insurance market.
He is also Insurance Broker and PADE by IESE Business School.
He is Chairman of the Board, Head of the Int’l Business of Cogesa and vice president of “Colegio de Mediadores de Seguros de Barcelona”.
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Skilled in Strategic Planning, Marketing Strategy, Business Strategy, Event Management, and Change Management. Strong business development professional graduated from TIAS School for Business and Society.
Stanford University, Executive Program in Leadership, Harvard Business School Strategic Perspectives in NonProfit Management,
Vlerick Business School,
VUB Master in Economic Sciences.
CONSULAR AGENT AT THE CONSULATE OF BELGIUM IN BARCELONA
PAUL VAN DEN BROECK
Paul is the official ‘historian’ of our Chamber. He is the author of the chapters of the series ‘Road to the Centenary’ published on social media. Paul is collaborating with CCBLB on a voluntary basis.