ASBA-Spain hosted ABIE Network Summit in Madrid
The half-yearly ABIE network management meeting was held in Madrid over the weekend of 19-20 October, hosted by the Australia Spain Business Association.
We were fortunate to be joined by the Australian Ambassador to Spain, Ms Julie-Ann Guivarra who provided an update on the current EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. It was a timely opportunity for ABIE representatives to meet Ms Guivarra, who is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with a deep understanding of the trade landscape having formerly served overseas in Geneva, New Delhi and in Canberra. The Ambassador also sought feedback which enabled the various chambers to raise the concerns of members from the business perspective.
The meeting was held at UFV-ADEN International Business School and we were also joined by Matt Skelly, Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy and Auriol Seaton, Business Development Manager, Austrade Madrid. We were also delighted to be hosted on Friday by the Ambassador at the residence for drinks, to compare some excellent Spanish and Australian wines before we got down to business the next day.
Held each six months, the meetings are an opportunity for the member countries to provide updates on structure and activities, to support young chapters and to take advantage of the collective experience as a group to lift our level of knowledge in the management of European-Australian chambers. As a new best practice initiative, we gathered data on each chapter via surveys prior to the meeting then held a design thinking workshop to identify key cross-chamber issues and generate ideas meet those challenges.