Emilio Luque Ascanio, President of ASEMER: A Vision for Stronger Spanish-Romanian Trade Relations

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 06/11/2023 | 15:53

In an exclusive interview, Business Review spoke with Emilio Luque Ascanio, President of The Association of Spanish Companies in Romania (ASEMER). Emilio has been at the helm of ASEMER for the past four years, leading the association through a transformative period of growth and development. He shares insights into the association’s journey, its dynamic activities and collaborations, and his vision for the future.


Emilio, it’s been four years since you assumed the presidency of ASEMER. Could you tell us how the association has evolved during this time?

Absolutely. When I took over as the president of ASEMER four years ago, there have been significant changes within the association. At that time many of the founding members decided to move on, leaving the association in a quite complicated situation. The remaining members played however a decisive role in assuring the association stability and support, to whom we are in debt. In this period we’ve seen significant growth in our association’s activity and influence, going from an uncertain beginning to becoming the trustworthy representative of Spanish business interests in Romania. That is the purpose for which we exist.

We are also very pleased to share with you the identity of what we consider one of our more valuable team´s acquisitions: our new Executive Director, Gema Jepus, whose dedication to her daily responsibilities is matched by her warm and approachable nature. Originally from Barcelona, Gema has diplomatic skills, genuine kindness, and a welcoming Spanish charm which has made a positive impact not only on the association’s members but also on all those who have the pleasure of interacting with us.

That’s quite an achievement. Can you elaborate on some of the notable activities and collaborations ASEMER has been involved in during your leadership?

Certainly, our association has been very active during these four years. We’ve organized regular events, both independently and in collaboration with other Chambers of Commerce and associations, such as those from Belgium and Luxembourg, Holland, Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Canada. We’ve also worked closely with the Romanian Business Entrepreneur’s Association “Patronatul Roman” and its magazine “Revista Patronatului Roman”. Among others, we have joined the initiative to promote the services of the European Court of Arbitration; we have become promoters of the Foodexpo as the most relevant event for the promotion of the food industry in Romania; this month, our association will also be a strategic partner of the Foreign Investors Summit organized by Business Review Magazine, and their many others to come.

Our regular networking events and conferences on various topics, such as E-Commerce, and our association’s summer party, have had very good acceptance by the public. We’ve maintained an active presence on social networks and in our monthly publication, providing information on many topics. All of these efforts have contributed to our association’s reputation and growth in terms of membership and income, with the support of various sponsorships.

Looking ahead, what is your vision for ASEMER in the future?

Moving forward, I believe our association should continue the successful management we’ve undertaken so far, with even more determination if possible. I see great potential in deepening trade relations with Spain, particularly in the import of food and beverage products into Romania. I personally believe this should be the new focus of Spanish investment in the Romanian market. Not just because of the proximity in culinary habits, but because people in Romania love Spain and everything it has to do with the Spanish culture. Our Association, with its established network and event organization capabilities, serves as a platform to facilitate the entry of new Spanish entrepreneurs into the Romanian market.

Lastly, at the most recent board meeting, you have called for elections to elect a new executive committee. What role do you foresee for yourself in the association’s future, and what do you need from the members to continue your work?

I still hold the enthusiasm and desire to lead ASEMER for another term. However, I want to emphasize that this isn’t a one-person project. To continue, develop, and achieve both existing and new objectives, I need the ideas, complicity, support, and collaboration of all our members. It’s a collective effort, and I’m here to work together with all of you to ensure the continued success of our association.

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Mihai-Alexandru Cristea | 28/06/2024 | 12:25
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