On Tuesday 30th January the Spanish Chamber of Commerce held its annual New Year’s Drinks Reception, the first corporate event of 2018. This year the event was held at Skinner’s Hall, a beautiful and traditional Grade 1 listed building in the City of London. On this occasion the event welcomed Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as Guest of Honour. Mr. Hands was appointed as Minister of State in the Department for International Trade on 15 July 2016, and was elected the Conservative MP for Hammersmith and Fulham in 2005, and for Chelsea and Fulham in 2010.
The event began with guests being welcomed into the main hall as they arrived where they were offered a glass of wine or cava. There was then an extended opportunity for them to meet and network with each other over a selection of freshly cut Spanish ham and cheeses.
It was soon time for the speeches. Mr. Javier San Basilio, President of the Spanish Chamber, began proceedings by welcoming attendees and providing a brief summary of the Chamber’s principal achievements from 2017, including an announcement of the new Patron members that we are pleased to have gained. He went on to thank all members for their ongoing support to the Chamber as well as describing its principal aims for the coming year, before concluding by highlighting the importance for both Spain and the UK to maintain their special relationship regardless of the outcome of Brexit.
The President went on to welcome Greg Hands to the podium and thanked him profusely for joining us for the occasion. Mr Hands went on to speak about the prosperous commercial relationship between Spain and the UK, two countries whose diplomatic ties go back 500 years. This included recently the visit of King Felipe and Queen Letizia to London last summer; demonstrating the strength of the two countries’ longstanding bilateral relationship. He went on to speak about the vital importance of Spain as the UK’s 7th largest trading partner, with figures showing that UK exports of goods to Spain had increased by over 15% in the year to November 2017 compared to the same period a year ago; with equally impressive statistics of investment in each other’s economies. He also highlighted that Spanish banks have the largest presence of all foreign banks in the UK. He went on to speak about Brexit and his belief that it is critical that the UK and Spain continue to collaborate as global advocates of free trade. He described why he is certain that the strong economic ties between the two countries will not only withstand the changes brought about by the UK leaving the EU, but also be able to continue become stronger.
The evening proved to be another great success and we were pleased to see so many of our members in attendance, with over 150 representatives of both Spanish and British companies having been present. Following the speeches guests had a further opportunity to meet and wish each other a happy new year while continuing to enjoy the high quality products which were so kindly provided by our sponsors.
We would like to sincerely thank our Patron Codorníu Raventós for providing the generous and curated selection of cava and red and white wine that was served during the evening as well as Nicolás y Valero, member of the Chamber, for their contribution of the delicious Spanish ham and cheeses.
We also encourage you to browse our Upcoming Events section in order to keep up to date with future Spanish Chamber corporate events, seminars and other activities.