CCI in the World
The world practice shows that chambers of commerce in terms of their legal status reflect the administrative system, which corresponds to the government structure in a particular country. In Latin American countries, chambers of commerce act as intermediary organizations between branch business associations and institutions representing common interests. In the United States, Asia and Africa, chambers of commerce focus their attention on commercial deals and set priorities in relations with business partners. Along with their traditional objective of representing the interests of their members, which normally is implemented by giving opinions and recommendations to government institutions, chambers of commerce continuously develop new objectives aimed at promoting businesses. Thus, the chambers started including information services, infrastructure management, vocational training, arbitration and mediation, cross-border cooperation, support for local and regional development, etc. into their range of activities. These are the objectives that chambers of commerce worldwide execute guided by a common goal: to support enterprises by promoting their efficiency and competitive ability, and by creating favourable conditions for business.
Review of chambers of commerce and industry in Europe
In today's Europe, there are more than 1,300 chambers of commerce and industry with more than 50,000 qualified specialists that render services to enterprises of all types and sizes. There are two types of systems of chamber of commerce and industry in Europe. The basis of the first system is mandatory membership.
The population of the countries where this system is applied amounts to 259.4 million; the population of the countries where voluntary membership is applied makes up 86 million (the data of 1994).
In most European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Luxemburg, etc.) chambers of commerce and industry operate on the basis of the public law, i.e. in those countries membership in a chamber is mandatory for all types of enterprises.
In Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Latvia, chambers of commerce and industry operate according to the private law, i.e. membership in a chamber is not mandatory. In Lithuania, enterprises may become members in a chamber on a voluntary basis, too.
In all European countries, chambers implement their strategic objectives by improving the economic environment of their members. This policy of the chambers is targeted at four principal fields:
- Supply of information services.
- Consulting services.
- Qualification improvement and vocational training.
- Regional development and territory management.