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SPAIN - Economy

Ángel Asensio

President, The Madrid Chamber of Commerce

Bio

Ángel Asensio Laguna is a Spanish businessman with a long professional career in managing various companies and institutions. With advanced training in Business Management and Marketing, he took over the family company Confecciones Asensio at a young age, which operates in the market under the KIFF-KIFF brand. In 1996, he was appointed as president of the Association of Clothing and Fashion Companies of the Community of Madrid (ASECOM), a position he currently holds and combines with the presidency of the Federation of Clothing Companies (FEDECON) and the presidency of Moda España. In 2018, he was appointed as president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Services of Madrid. Since then, he has held one of the vice presidencies of the Spanish Chamber, as well as vice president of the Ibero-American Association of Chambers of Commerce (AICO) and president of the Board of Trustees of the Fundacion Universidad Empresa. Additionally, since 2007, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Confederation of Business organizations (CEOE), holding the same position on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (CEPYME), and holding one of the vice presidencies of both the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of Ifema.

"It offers training programs designed to enhance business capabilities in these key areas, aiding companies in thriving in a competitive commercial environment."
Madrid Chamber of Commerce aids businesses in growth and internationalization, focusing on business solutions and digital transformation. How the Chamber tailors its support to businesses?

The Madrid Chamber of Commerce supports businesses in areas like business solutions, digital transformation, and internationalization through various strategies. For instance, it offers personalized advisory services to help companies identify specific growth opportunities in these areas. Additionally, it organizes networking events and trade fairs focused on relevant topics, providing a platform for connection and business opportunity generation. Moreover, it offers training programs designed to enhance business capabilities in these key areas, aiding companies in thriving in a competitive commercial environment. Specifically, we annually advise over 5,000 entrepreneurs and 10,000 companies, guiding them in their creation, consolidation, and growth processes. Furthermore, we promote innovation and digitalization, reflected in the support provided to over 3,000 companies each year. In the realm of business solutions, we offer our members a wide range of services and tools to improve their competitiveness and foster growth, benefiting over 15,000 companies annually in areas such as business development and legal advice. I would like to highlight our work in mediation and arbitration, providing services to resolve commercial disputes both nationally through the Madrid Arbitration Court and internationally through the Madrid International Arbitration Center (CIAM). In terms of education, with over 30 years of experience, we train over 6,000 students annually, adapting their skills and knowledge to the changing needs of the job market. Recently, in collaboration with Metrodora, we inaugurated a significant healthcare professional training center capable of accommodating nearly 1,000 students per year, thus meeting the growing demand for professionals in the sector.

The Madrid Chamber of Commerce is actively promoting the internationalization of companies based in Madrid. What are the specific actions and programs that the Madrid Chamber of Commerce is implementing in 22 countries during this 2024?

To promote the internationalization of companies based in Madrid, the Chamber of Commerce is implementing actions including commercial missions where companies can explore business opportunities in foreign markets, participation in international trade fairs to promote Madrid-based products and services, networking with key business partners abroad, and advisory and support programs to facilitate the international expansion of companies. Specifically, the Chamber has developed 30 business missions, which contribute to strengthening commercial ties, facilitating the opening of new markets, and attracting foreign investment. We have been promoting internationalization for 50 years and advise over 1,800 companies each year on this matter, reflecting the importance of this area for the Madrid business community and the promotion of the Madrid/Spain Brand abroad.

How do collaborations with institutions like FEDER, State Secretariat for Trade, Chamber of Spain, and others enhance program effectiveness?

Close collaboration with the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), the State Secretariat for Trade, the Chamber of Spain, the Directorate General for Trade and Consumption of the Community of Madrid, and Municipalities significantly contributes to the effectiveness of the programs offered by the Madrid Chamber of Commerce. These joint efforts allow for leveraging additional resources, sharing knowledge and expertise, and coordinating actions to maximize the impact of programs supporting businesses and internationalization. For example, through the ‘Digital Kit’ program of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and the Chamber of Spain, we promote the digital transformation of SMEs and self-employed individuals or the TIC Business Portal, and we also contribute to supporting companies in integrating these processes to promote the development of the Madrid business community through collaboration with the Madrid City Council through the ‘Madrid Sustainable Business’ program, which promotes business sustainability, and the SME Acceleration Office.

What are some success stories or notable examples of projects that have significantly contributed to the socio-economic development of the Community of Madrid?

It would be unfair to mention just one example of a successful case. However, I can say that the Madrid Chamber of Commerce has collaborated with numerous companies on projects that have significantly contributed to the socio-economic development of the Community of Madrid. For example, we can highlight the case of a local company that, with the support and resources provided by the Chamber, successfully expanded its operations to international markets, generating employment and creating business opportunities in the region. Another notable example could be a joint project between the Chamber and several local companies to develop and implement innovative solutions in the field of digital transformation, thus promoting competitiveness and economic growth in the region.

What are the main strategic priorities for the Chamber during this year?

During this year, among the main strategic priorities for the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, we can mention promoting digitalization and innovation in businesses through programs and resources aimed at improving their competitiveness in an ever-evolving digital environment. Additionally, we will continue our work to facilitate the internationalization of Madrid-based companies, expanding their access to new markets and business opportunities abroad. We will also prioritize our assistance to companies, especially SMEs, in accessing the necessary financing, while promoting entrepreneurship by supporting the creation of new companies and self-employed individuals, and increasing the offer of Vocational Training, in sectors as important as foreign trade, digitization or healthcare. Likewise, we seek to lead arbitration activity as the first Court in Spain at the forefront in digitalization, transparency, sustainability, and equality, and consolidate Madrid’s position as the gateway from Latin America to Europe.

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