By Claire West

The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) have today announced an historic new partnership that will see the two organisations working closely together to promote the interests of British business in Europe.

The BCC and COBCOE have agreed on the following principles:

• That free trade and open borders are fundamental to the competitiveness of British business
• That, as of today, the EU must focus on the completion of the single market or risk delaying economic recovery
• That Chambers of Commerce have a key role to play in the internationalisation of UK firms

Commenting, Neville Reyner, President of the BCC, said:

"For some time now, British Chambers of Commerce established in different European countries have had no formal relationship with the British Chambers of Commerce based in the UK. The signing of this agreement further connects these Chambers in Europe through COBCOE to the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK and visa versa. I believe this agreement will offer additional value to business members throughout Europe, and the BCC looks forward to working with COBCOE to achieve this objective."

Howard Rosen, President of COBCOE added:

“We are delighted to be working more closely with the BCC; it’s a tremendous organisation and the partnership is a natural one.

“Europe is Britain’s home market. In the coming years increased trade links with companies in continental Europe will be a vital element in the success of UK based companies, and BCC members will now have access to a great business network through COBCOE.”