On Thursday 5th July, during a particularly warm and summery evening, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce hosted its 131st Annual General Meeting and dinner, one of the most important events of our annual calendar. This year, the event took place at One Great George Street in Westminster, a beautiful grade II listed Edwardian building which is also the global headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers and close to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and St James’s Park.
On this occasion we were honoured to welcome the Rt Hon David Lidington CBE MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
As is the case each year, the event began with the Annual General Meeting which is held exclusively for members of the Chamber; in the Palmer Room of the venue. During the meeting the Executive Committee of the Chamber presented the financial statements of 2017 along with a memorandum of the activities and events which the Chamber had organised during this year. The meeting was presided by the Ambassador of Spain in the United Kingdom Mr. Carlos Bastarreche Sagues, the Honorary Vice Presidents Mr. José Riera Siquier and Mrs Inmaculada López, the President of the Chamber of Commerce Mr. Eduardo Barrachina and the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Igor Urra.
Following the meeting, a cocktail reception was held in the grand Smeaton Room, where members who had participated in the AGM meeting were joined by the rest of the guests as they arrived. During the reception, guests were able to enjoy a cold glass of Cuvée 1872 Brut cava kindly provided by Codorniú Raventós, patron of the Chamber, as well as El Aprendiz tinto and El Aprendiz Blanco red and white wines from Leyenda del Páramo. Ibérico ham was also served during the reception, as provided by Ibérica Restaurants; another patron of the Chamber.
Following the drinks reception and once almost all of the guests had arrived, including the Guest of Honour, all guests were ushered upstairs to the Great Hall. Once they had all taken their seats, a loyal toast was held to the King and Queen of both Spain and the United Kingdom, before the national anthems of both countries were played. Following this were the speeches, of which the Chamber’s new President, Eduardo Barrachina of White & Case LLP, spoke first. Among other things, he talked about the activities and developments that had taken place within the Chamber during the previous year and what he hoped that the following year would bring. The Spanish Ambassador then expressed his sincere gratitude to the institution for allowing him to share such an important evening with our members and attendees, before kindly introducing the Guest of Honour, Mr. David Lidington. He spoke in depth about Brexit and the changes that this has and would continue to bring about, while also describing the important relationship between Spain and the UK and how this should continue.
Once the speeches had concluded, guests enjoyed a delicious three course dinner which included roast beef. Members and their guests were able to meet each other, establishing new contacts and exchanging impressions of the evening.
We would very much like to thank our members and their guests for joining us on the occasion of our 131st Annual General Meeting and for sharing such a special evening for our institution. We are truly grateful to our patron Raventós Codorníu for their contribution of the cava and Leyenda del Páramo for providing the wines that were served throughout the event as well as Ibérica Restaurants, patron of the Chamber, for providing the ham.
Please click here to access the complete gallery of pictures of the 131st Annual General Meeting. For a short video on how the evening went, please click on the following link 130th Annual General Meeting Video.
For further information about events in 2018, do not hesitate to visit our Upcoming Events section at www.spanishchamber.co.uk or subscribe to our newsletter to receive fortnightly updates straight to your inbox.