The Chamber is heavily involved in influencing activity. We represent a broad range of ideas and perspectives to key stakeholders in government, both nationally, in Dublin and London, and regionally, in Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and other UK regions. We are cooperative in our outlook, and we are members, on a reciprocal basis of a wide variety of business representative bodies, including Chambers Ireland, The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe and The Irish International Business network, amongst others. Additionally, so that we can represent our interests directly to the major government bodies, UKTI, Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI and the Welsh Government are all closely involved with the Chamber. We strongly believe that this inclusive process is critical to representing our interests, wherever they are.
We provide high profile networking events, ranging from regionally focused, subject specific briefings given by business leaders, to national events surrounding major cultural and sporting events, to key conferences and discussions, addressed by senior politicians, including briefings and talks by Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers. The Chamber, however, does most of its work out of the public eye, we conduct much of our interaction ‘in camera’, that allows for a much freer debate on the major issues to take place, and whether these take place in any of the Capitals or in more discreet locations, they allow both our members and our key stakeholders the opportunity to clarify significant points of policy away from the glare of unwanted speculation.
The broad scope of the Chamber enables us to look after the interests of members at the multinational level down to those of the smallest SME. We offer networking, training and a single point of contact for busy entrepreneurs who need to concentrate on their business growth. For larger companies we organise events associated around key economic policy areas. We also give senior leaders the opportunity to develop their wider leadership and management attributes within the Chamber, further honing their skill sets for the future. The Chamber offers the opportunity for interaction across senior levels in business and government, allowing our Council members significant levels of influence.
We also recognise some of the unique aspects of the British Irish business dimension including the contribution that the arts and sport brings to the rich diversity of interests that we have on these Islands. The Chamber has a specific Subcommittee that looks to develop commercial and economic opportunity within the cultural space. This is closely linked to the promotion of the Arts, with the Wexford Opera, Abbey Theatre and the Ulster Orchestra being key members; to the support of charitable sporting activity that has a genuine inter-island dimension, including horse racing, football and includes our support for Irish Cricket. We look to link business with sport, and we also support youth sport.
The Chamber also has a wider role in helping to foster improving relationships across these islands by exemplifying the many positive aspects of our shared business, economic and social space. We work at promoting Small and Medium Enterprises across the Islands, we look at impediments to business and economic activity that will impact on the freer flow of trade, we critically examine Governmental decisions and how they will support, or detract from our members interests, nationally, regionally and at a European level.
The British Irish Chamber of Commerce was incorporated in August 2011 after a group of Irish and British business leaders met to discuss how the improving and longstanding commercial and economic relationship between the Islands could be helped. The Chamber is built around its membership and their active participation in all aspects of its work. The President and the Board are dedicated to providing the strategic direction and oversight of the Chamber. The Policy Committee is made up of Senior Council Members whose role is to supervise our Subcommittees and to advise the Chamber on significant issues affecting our business communities. The Subcommittees look specifically at a wide variety of issues (whose activities can be accessed by the membership through this website) including Energy, Taxation, Food and Agribusiness, Small and Medium Enterprises, International issues (specifically looking at our relationship with the EU and beyond) and Culture, Arts, Sports and Tourism amongst others. Each Subcommittee has its own chair, and each group is made up of experts in their field whose companies are national, and in many cases, global leaders in their areas.