POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - INSTITUTIONS

The Luso-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce 

A focus on circular economy, ESG and tech



Yvonne Bernardino, co-vice president of the CCLBL  Handout photo; illustration Maison Moderne 

Yvonne Bernardino, co-vice president of the CCLBL  Handout photo; illustration Maison Moderne 

The Luso-Belgian Chamber of Commerce (CCLBL) brings together many Portuguese, Belgian and Luxembourg business people. Delano caught up with Yvonne Bernardino, CCLBL co-vice president, on promoting bilateral trade.

Yvonne Bernardino, CCLBL co-vice president, was born in Luxembourg and has over 23 years’ experience in the field of insurance and wealth management. Besides her function at the CCLBL, she is managing director at Fuchs & Insurances. Before returning to her country of origin, she founded and developed  her own consulting, investment and insurance companies in Portugal. 

As co-vice president of a CCLBL, she coordinates the development of bilateral relations between the two countries. The chamber and the ambassador of Luxembourg in Portugal, Conrad Bruch, work closely to increase the economic relations between the two countries.

We assist our members with a wide range of services, from the dissemination of business opportunities to the organisation of meetings with potential business partners.
 Yvonne Bernardino

 Yvonne Bernardino Co-vice presidentCCLBL

“We assist our members with a wide range of services, from the dissemination of business opportunities to the organisation of meetings with potential business partners,” Bernardino says. “We also offer our members regular networking opportunities, such as lunch-debates, business cocktail parties and dinners, which give them the opportunity to establish and strengthen their professional relationships.

“CCLBL also develops specific actions (seminars, economic missions, trade fairs) around various sectors such as finance, energy, transport and logistics, environment and waste management, information and communication technologies, food processing and health.”

Given the importance of the Portuguese community in Luxembourg, many Portuguese company owners seek to develop their activities in Portugal. The Portuguese consulate estimates that there are 120,000 Portuguese in the grand duchy. One in six residents have a link to Portugal, and second- and third-generation Portuguese-- often highly qualified, with a good knowledge of the social, political and economic realities of each nation--are now creating stronger bonds between the two countries.

Furthermore, 39.6% of the Portuguese aged 30 to 34 have a college degree, a positive trend expected to continuously rise, making Portugal increasingly attractive and competitive to foreign investment. Moreover, the two countries complement each other very well, and bilateral trade is intense. In 2019, the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) registered €81.34m in exports from Luxembourg to Portugal and €112m in exports from Portugal to Luxembourg.

Bernardino says that although “it is still early to evaluate the chamber's activity here in Luxembourg, we have had a good response from companies, and we are working with our members to understand how the CCLBL can be an asset to our members here in Luxembourg, especially for Luxembourg startups.”

The CCLBL also collaborates with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, constantly exchanging and preparing events, and Bernardino expects that “this interaction will strengthen and become more visible”.

This year, the CCLBL’s activity focused on the circular economy and the environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals; however, the Chamber has many ongoing projects to promote local technology products, which should “bring a new touch to CCLBL and show interactively what our members do”, adds Bernardino.