Business West, the Bristol-based Chamber of Commerce for Bath, Bristol, Gloucestershire and the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, was one of five chambers that walked away as the 2017 World Chambers Competition champions winning the categories, Best Job Creation and Business Development project.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has sent the association a letter of congratulations in which she acknowledged the win, writing, “with over 50 applications from 27 countries, the fact that Business West Chambers of Commerce was only one of five Chambers to be honoured at this prestigious event makes your award even more special.
Mrs. May continued, “please accept my congratulations on your win and my best wishes for many more years of success.”
Organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, this year’s World Chambers Competition was held in Sydney and is the only awards programme of its kind.
Recognising chambers for their “forward-looking approaches” to solving some of today’s global challenges, 18 finalists competed across four diverse categories, each presenting their “ground-breaking” initiatives to an international judging panel and an audience of 1,000 delegates.
David Riches, executive director – Commercial, Trade and Marketing for the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “our warmest congratulations to all at Business West for a tremendous achievement. Through its work, Business West has helped create thousands of jobs and generated millions of pounds of new export business.”
Ian Larrard, director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, part of Business West, commented, “we are delighted to win this award as recognition of achieving almost ½ billion pounds worth of additional export sales and creating nearly 4000 new jobs. The launch of our International Trade Centre was instrumental in helping Business West to achieve a 40% increase in our website traffic, 250% more potential first time exporters using our services, and our social media channels saw more engagement than ever before.
“All of this has been against a challenging national and global backdrop where instability currently tops the media and business agenda in the UK. Yet we have seen that businesses still want to do business with each other.”
He added, “never has Business West and its network of global contacts been so relevant in driving jobs and growth.”
Other 2017 winners of the World Chambers Competition were from Brazil, Germany, UAE and Columbia.
Pictured above: James Monk, commercial director of Business West and Adam Marshall, director general of British Chambers of Commerce