The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai is all about supporting its members: British companies and individuals working in Shanghai, East China, and British commerce. The Chamber has taken the initiative of providing a forum through which guests can network and handle a myriad of issues facing most of the foreign companies that operate in China. The Constitution of the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai governs the Chamber and its members. Its membership ranges from UK nationals and UK companies to foreign organizations linked to the UK.
The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai started in 1915 during the First World War. In May 1915 at the British Consulate-General, 10 British firms met to discuss on the best way of protecting British interest and preventing trade between Britain’s WWI opponents and China. In a week’s time, there was the establishment of the British Chamber of Commerce which started out with 60 members but at the end of 1916, the membership had grown to 250.
Although its original objective was to act as a temporary solution during war time, the chambers operation continued all through up until the late 1930s when there was the sudden outbreak of the Second World War and Sino-Japanese, which could have easily necessitated its closure.
In 1985, the British Business Association was formed to represent the British business interest in the Pearl River Delta. This organization is what has evolved into the current British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai by 1995. Throughout the 16 years of operation, the chamber has continuously supported the British commerce in Shanghai as well as in the whole East China region. Its exclusive 1915 Club keeps celebrating the larger than life heritage of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
Currently, the chamber is part of the British Chambers of Commerce in China (BCCC) network and has committees in Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. It’s also part of BIAP (Britain in Asia Pacific) which is an organization of twenty British Chambers of Commerce and business associations in the region (Asia-Pacific).
Functions of the Chamber
The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai has invested in serving its members’ needs in Shanghai. It has a broad range of expertise from legal services, biotechnology, research and development, aerospace, financial services to engineering, agriculture, and manufacturing. Thus, the Chamber works tirelessly to satisfy a broad spectrum of interests and needs by:
The Chamber has an array of business, social, exclusive and gala events which will help you start building a contact base or widen one. They also provide opportunities for its members to participate in Industry Focus Groups, speaking to the government officials and attending joint-chamber events.
The chamber enhances the exposure of your company to its membership through advertising, its online communication channels, and sponsorship. As an active member of the British business community, you will be involved in various charity initiatives and participate in focus groups which build your company’s reputation.
The chamber has a rich information center, online member’s forum and resources which offer a lot of information with its members actively contributing. The questions would range from how to set up a WFOE to what schools in Shanghai offer the British curriculum.
Dissemination of information
Rules and regulations influencing business frequently change in China. The chamber keeps tabs on all the updates and brings its members up to speed on all the hot-button topics, economic and social topics of interest and also the current issues of concern. The information is on the website which is updated on a daily basis or through the frequent business events held.
Although the chamber does not actively support the services provided by individual member companies, it softly sells you by inviting you to co-sponsor events with them, be a speaker, host a Member Spotlight in the Boardroom and give you the opportunity to develop online content which will put your expertise on the map.
The chamber has partnered with the British Consulate and other partners to facilitate the provision of impeccable services to its members such as membership directory, Privilege Club Discounts, Business FastTrack visa, online communications, Referral services and so much more.
The British Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai organizes a lot of business, social or gala events for its members and it’s a perfect time for meeting new people who might turn out to be your prospective clients or bosses and connect on a more personal and business level. One of the most celebrated events is the Joint Chamber Curry Night.
Joint Chamber Curry Night
The chamber is warmly welcoming all its members to the annual curry night which the Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai hosts. This year’s event is taking place at Tandoor Restaurant Hotel, South Building, Jinjiang Hotel, 59 Maoming Nan Lu on Tuesday the 21st of June 2016 from 6.30pm- 8.30pm. It only costs RMB 250 which includes free flow of drinks, beer, and food but it’s exclusively for its members.
Construction & Property Focus Group will host the event and this year it’s going to feature a delicious five-course traditional Indian meal to satisfy all the attendees’ spicy taste buds, Also, to quench your thirst, there will be free flowing drinks and beer.
Since summer is almost here, the night is just perfect to get you started by eating, catching up, drinking, being merry and networking with British Business Community members as well as the AusCham members. The event will be one last chance to enjoy before leaving China for the summer break which is almost inevitable.
It is important to note that if you want to cancel your reservation, then it must be in writing 24 hours in advance to the event staff if not you will be charged RMB 100 as a no-show fee. Also, if you just attend the event without early reservations, and you are lucky to get some more space available, you will be charged with RMD50 as a walk-in fee.
The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai as been on the map for giving its members a chance to grow, develop and become the best they can ever be. They have heavily invested in supporting their members and reminding them that in as much as they are foreigners, it wouldn’t mean that they can’t maximize their potential. It has even expanded to Beijing and other areas. The chamber provides the platform for networking and also the rare opportunity of dining with the elite of the society, exchanging ideas and networking.
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