The 2013/11/26 at 21:29
The CCIs are defined by three sacrosanct missions that define their raison d'être. The first is to represent enterprises, offering them support from their creation through to innovation, the search for trade or energy performance, or training. The second, concerning regional CCIs in particular, consists in developing and contributing to the management of infrastructures such as ports, airports and conference centres. Finally, the CCI's role is to influence authorities and to develop relationships with institutions and partners in order to promote a territory's economic projects.
Territorial and Regional CCIs: advice, training and financial power
"First of all, if you're not a craftsperson (Chambre d'Arts et Métiers or Trade Chamber) or agriculturalist (Chambre d’Agriculture or Agriculture Chamber),contact a local CCI," advises Blandine Vignon, Communications Manager at the CCI of Lyon. "It will guide you in the right direction." Sometimes, a person looking for trade advice might feel like he or she is in the middle of an enormous bazaar. Overwhelmed by the number of bodies sprouting up here and there, the average person may well have no idea of who does what and who to address for a particular procedure.
In France, local CCIs, also referred to as "Territorial CCIs" by Loic Bazantay, President of the Association des Anciens Présidents de CCI (AAP or Association of Former CCI Presidents) essentially cover territories corresponding to the French departments. "There is one per department, except in a few spots such as in the Finistère where there are three CCIs, one per port, or else in the Upper Rhine that, for historical reasons, has a Chamber at Colmar and another at Mulhouse. For economic reasons, more and more of them are merging."
At this first level, all types of preliminary advice are offered and certain training courses provided. "In Lyon, we offer 340 different training courses in all aspects of business, from legal to office management via languages.... 10,000 persons are trained every year." Partnerships with banks also allow entrepreneurs to be steered towards the most appropriate financing offers.
Other CCIs, such as the one in Caen, offer supplementary services such as language tests, manufacturing certificates, certification of signatures and an international office.
Finally, financial power resides in the Regional CCI that collaborates with the Regional Council and its budgets. It is also this Chamber that is responsible for following up tax and legal developments, and solidifying international projects.
Binational CCIs and Eurochambres
To further company export procedures, the binational Franco-German, Franco-Japanese and Franco-American CCIs were established from a desire of entrepreneurs to develop a network of overseas correspondents. Such structures enable companies to share their experience and to set up partnerships.
Parallel to these institutions, Eurochambres gathers all types of CCIs, bringing public establishments (as is the case in France and Germany) alongside clubs (the case of Britain). The core activity of this body remains the improvement of the circulation of certain products and the harmonisation of tax regulations, thanks to lobbying carried out before the European Union.
Thanks to this battery of Chamber structures, entrepreneurs can hardly claim to be isolated…