FOR Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ma. Teresa Chan, 2014 could be considered another banner year for the organization, as far as meeting their goals is concerned.
In her yearend report presented to reporters, Chan said the chamber became an important voice of the business community when it became a member of several government committees.
The CCCI was invited to become members of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board, chair of the economic sector committee of the Cebu City Development Council, member of the Small-Medium Enterprise Development Council, the Solid Waste Management Board, Rivers Management Council and the SRP Joint Venture Committee, chair of the infrastructure committee and vice chair of the investment board of the Provincial Government. They also hold memberships in the Regional Development Council, its Economic Sector Committee and the Regional Peace and Order Council. CCCI also received accreditation by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Chan said they became part of so many committees that they had to decline participation to some, such as invitations to become part of bids and awards committees of different government agencies because they felt they could no longer give enough time to attend to the responsibilities.
Chan said that being asked to be part of these bodies means local government units recognize CCCI’s role as liaison and channel for communication of the business community in Cebu.
CCCI, she said was geared to advance the well-being of Cebu by initiating, submitting, recommending and assisting in the formulation, development, implementation and evaluation of plans, policies, programs and activities that will promote and enhance the interests and growth of private businesses.
Chan added that they also facilitated international events, projects and inbound missions last year such has hosting the World Economic Forum’s young global leaders event, liaising with international humanitarian aid agencies for the recovery and rehabilitation of typhoon-stricken Northern Cebu. They have also been active in the preparations for the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in coordination with the Cebu Provincial Government and Department of Foreign Affairs.
The chamber also held trade missions with Nigeria, Sabah, Turkey, Canada, Israel, Vietnam and Indonesia. Chan said these trade missions have helped local enterprises in their partnerships and strengthened their relationships with international business chambers. Chan added that business chambers based in Singapore and Thailand have signified interest in sending delegates to this year’s Cebu Business Month and participate in the exposition during the activity.
Last year, Chan said the chamber was also critical in making the views and sentiments of the business community on several issues such as importation, port congestion, port development, power-related concerns, taxation, the development of the international airport, waste and waste water management, flood control and river management.
For their members, Chan said activities, seminars, fora and trainings were held to help them prepare for the Asean integration while special partnerships with resource providers helped member companies strengthen their operational, marketing and financial capabilities.
CCCI has 708 member companies, with an addition of 47 last year. Chan said that last year was a good year for membership because aside from the addition of member companies, existing members that have not been as active in the past began paying attention and paying membership dues once again. Chan said that without the support of the members, they could not have accomplished much the past year.
This year, the chamber hopes to become the local conduit to international business counterparts as well as gather all private organizations to become a stronger voice in planning critical projects for the country. MEA