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These Chambers of Commerce play an important role in connecting and growing businesses in the Philippines by providing helpful information and practical assistance to companies that are planning on outsourcing to the country:
American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham)
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines or AmCham has been serving businesses in the Philippines for over a hundred years. It stands at the forefront of various development initiatives that are designed to address current and potential business issues, as well as delivers relevant information on different industries through publications and events.
The Chamber started out as the Manila Coffee Round Table, which later became the Manila Merchants Association. While its name has changed over the years, it remains committed to its purpose, which is “to serve the interests of Philippine and American businesses through the participation of members in promoting their long-term objectives, while contributing to the civic and economic development of the Philippines.”
Advocacies and Programs
There are 17 sector committees that provide the Chamber with a 360 view of the Philippine business ecosystem. These committees allow American and non-American businesses to promote common goals that will bring solidarity and develop the business environment in the country.
The sector committees are as follows: agribusiness, energy and power, energy efficiency, environment and urban development, financial services and taxes and tariffs, healthcare and wellness, human capital and resources, information and communications technology, infrastructure and logistics, intellectual property rights, legislative, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, professional women of AmCham, security and disaster resource group, tourism and hospitality, and trade and investment.
The Chamber is also spearheading the following initiatives and projects:
- The Integrity Initiative – Led by the private sector, this campaign aims to strengthen ethical standards in business in order to level the playing field and foster an environment where companies with integrity can do business with competitive advantage.
- The Filipino-American Memorial Endowment – Founded in 1986, this non-stock non-profit foundation aims to preserve the tangible reminders of the shared values that spurred Americans, Filipinos, and their allies to fight side-by-side in World War II.
- The Business Leadership Program – The program offers student leaders a chance to see some of the country’s top American and multinational companies at work. This, hopefully, will inspire them to become committed professionals after they graduate.
- The American Desk (Amdesk) at the Board of Investments (BoI) – The program, which was initiated in 1992, aims to provide American investors with pre-investment assistance. It also serves as the main liaison for all investment-related concerns and government affairs.
- The Arangkada Philippines Project (TAPP) – A cooperative agreement with the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, The Arangkada Philippines Project aims to enhance the growth of key economic sectors by advocating for reforms that create a better business environment.
- The American Chamber Foundation of the Philippines – Established in 1985, the foundation encourages members of the Chamber to use their corporate social responsibility activities to support corporate strategies. It also identifies and partners AmCham members with credible NGOs and other beneficiary organizations.
In addition, the Chamber also publishes business journals and advisories and holds regular events like General Membership Luncheon Meetings, Networking Nights, and Members Mixers.
The Chamber has an office in Metro Manila and Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao chapters. For more information about the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, visit http://www.amchamphilippines.com/.
British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP)
The British Chamber of Commerce Philippines or BCCP represents over 270 member companies and a network of over 600 entrepreneurs and senior executives from multinational companies and small and midsized businesses. The BCCP was founded in 1997 under the name British Business Association, and it wasn’t until 2001 that it took up its current name. It aims to support the business objectives and social interest of its members in the British and Philippine communities and serve as the voice of the British business community in the country.
To support its members, the Chamber provides various networking opportunities by organizing business and social events. It also keeps its members up to date by providing information on subjects relevant to their business development, such as economic, taxation, and legal information. At the same time, the BCCP makes it easy for UK companies to promote their brand by offering network listings and opportunities to speak in events.
The Chamber is a part of the Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA) network, which allows its members to attend events and advertise in Chamber magazines at member rates. Among the other members of the BiSEA are British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, British Chamber of Commerce Thailand, Britain Brunei Business Forum, British Business Group Vietnam, and British Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar.
Services and Programs
To aid UK companies in the UK and the Philippines in reaching their potential, the BCCP offers them the following services:
- Business Opportunities. The Chamber can provide access to business opportunities that it has sourced from all sectors across the country.
- Contact Identification and Introduction Service. To assist in marketing strategy, the BCCP offers tailored contact and introduction services and business to government (B2G) and business to business (B2B) referrals.
- Event Management Service. The BCCP provides this service on behalf of UK companies that specialize in product launches and networking events.
- Hot Desk and Meeting Room. Companies can arrange for short-term hot desk and meeting room facilities at their office location.
- Market Entry Consultancy and Support. The BCCP offers consultancy services that will help UK companies in reaching their potential during the market entry, market development, and regional expansion phase. This service includes providing research and analysis on consumer trends and price comparisons, as well as arranging in-market organizational visits.
- Professional Business and Sector Services. The BCCP offers access to a network of member and non-member professionals and organizations that provide tailored services and support. Access to the network can make setting up a business in the country much easier, plus it can assist in the local registration of the business and ensuring its fiscal compliance.
- Product Regulation and Labelling Advice. To assist in market entry, the BCCP’s in-market delivery partners provide UK companies with access to customized regulation and labelling advice.
- Translation, Interpretation, and Cultural Services. This service is provided by a network of partner companies in the Philippines that offer professional culture services such as translation and interpretation.
There are 4 types of membership in the BCCP. These are Platinum, Gold, Corporate, and Individual, and each offers a host of benefits such as sponsorship opportunities, website linkages, directory listings, access to the Chamber’s Trading Zone, and advertising opportunities.
For more information about the programs and services of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines or its membership requirements and benefits, visit http://www.britcham.org.ph/.
Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ANZCHAM)
The Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Inc. or ANZCHAM is the premier Australian and New Zealand business organization in the country. It is one of the oldest and most active Chambers in the country, visibly supporting and promoting business relationships between the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. This community maintains constant communication among its members as well as fosters a strong relationship with its partner organizations in both the public and private sector.
The Chamber was first known as the Australian Business Group or ABG, an organization set up in 1974 for Australian entrepreneurs who are based in or visiting Manila. In 1982, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Philippines, Inc. was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, formally representing its 61 regular members and 15 corporate members. Finally, the New Zealand component was added in 1986.
Membership to the ANZCHAM
The ANZCHAM welcomes new members to its thriving community. It offers 7 membership levels. Corporate membership is open to companies that have commercial relations or wish to establish business relations between the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. Associate membership is for affiliates or subsidiaries of corporate members or non-profit bodies. Provincial membership is for firms and persons that are based in areas more than 100 km from Manila.
Individual membership, on the other hand, is open to individuals who are neither affiliated with any company nor are lined up to become the corporate designated member of their company. Individuals between 18 to 35 years of age may apply for a Professionals Under 35 membership, while those who have already retired from employment or are unemployed may become a Retiree member.
In behalf of its members, the ANZCHAM:
- Carries out activities that represent best practices in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Collects, collates, and disseminates pertinent business, commerce, and industry information, as well as ushers the exchange of ideas concerning industry and commerce between the 3 countries.
- Directly or through other business organization, supports its members in their specific business, trade, or investment issues.
- Establishes links and partnerships between Chambers of Commerce/Industry and private bodies in the 3 countries.
- Makes representations to the Philippine, Australian, and New Zealand government and other organizations.
- Promotes rules, usages, and practices of trade and investment that facilitate business operations.
- Promotes trade and investment, as well as commercial relations between the people of the 3 countries, thereby enhancing business linkages.
There are 3 sectoral committees in the Chamber, the biggest of which is the Resources Development Committee with over 70 members. This committee supports, in particular, mining companies with interests in the Philippines. It provides advice to investors, communities, and other concerned parties, as well as promotes mining-related courses to students.
Next, the BPO & IT Services committee supports service providers and clients in the BPO industry, including those in the captive and shared services sector. In addition to promoting dialogue among the industry stakeholders, the committee also cooperates with government organizations.
Last, the Infrastructure Committee represents members in the field of engineering, construction, and consultancy by addressing issues that are common to the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.
To join the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (Philippines) Inc. and for more information about its programs and activities, visit http://anzcham.com/.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham)
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines or CanCham represents, supports, and promotes Canada-Philippines business interests. Established in 1989, this non-profit organization opens its membership to Canadian, Philippine, and other third country corporations and individuals that have Canada-Philippines business interests.
CanCham aims to improve the Philippine environment for national and international business. This it does by initiating its own projects and supporting advocacies under the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFC), of which the Chamber is a member.
Some of the CanCham and JFC’s top priorities are:
- Augmenting long-term power and water supply-sources. Under this goal are programs for converting solid waste to energy and recycling wastewater.
- Continuing and enhancing anti-corruption measures. This involves the approval of the Freedom of Information legislation and expediting the trials of public and private personalities indicted for corruption.
- Reforming the judicial sector to be more efficient, objective and predictable. This includes restricting the abuse of TROs, limiting the basis for reconsiderations, and establishing a fast track legal process for business disputes.
- Supporting environmental and socially responsible mining by enforcing the Mining Act for large-scale mining and regulating small-scale mining.
- Upgrading airports and seaports to facilitate exports, imports, and tourism. This includes expediting the construction of a dedicated road that links Manila Port and NLEX-SLEX, and providing incentives to shipping lines that use Batangas and Subic seaports.
Membership and Benefits
There are 3 general categories for membership in the Chamber: regular, affiliate, and honorary. Of these, only regular members have voting rights at annual and special meetings and are eligible to hold elective and appointed office. Regular members are further divided into 3 categories: corporate members, which include domestic and foreign companies; major corporate members; and non-corporate members, or sole proprietors and professionals.
There are 4 classes of affiliate members: affiliate major corporate members; affiliate corporate members or companies and organizations in Canada or other countries except the Philippines; affiliate non-corporate members or sole proprietors and professionals residing in countries other than the Philippines; and affiliate student members, which include full-time students ages 28 or younger who are based in any country.
Members of the Chamber will receive a one-time market orientation and obtain information on local service providers, and can use CanCham’s in-house business center and participate in the Chamber’s trade missions, among other benefits.
For more information about the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, please visit http://cancham.com.ph/.
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