THE BRITISH Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) is keeping its head above water despite difficult times. This was the conclusion of one of its directors, speaking at a BPCC and Royal British Club (RBC) networking lunch, held recently at the Lusitania Centre in Lapa.
Tony Allen, of the BPCC corporate committee, said executive members of the BPCC and RBC had been working hard, particularly during “hard times such as these”. The Chamber’s budget for 2005 does not provide much room for manoeuvre between what it has to spend and what it can count on to collect from membership and functions, in which there is only a 1.5 per cent margin. There is a continual challenge, from the non-profit making Chamber’s viewpoint, to improve its technology, efficiency and service to members. “Chamber sponsors, such as Lusitania Insurance, should endeavour to help with a bit of extra money, with which the BPCC can experiment in research and development,” Allen continued.
Speaking on behalf of the RBC and the BPCC, Chairman, Bruce Dawson, praised the board of directors for its ambition to put the BPCC at the forefront of all chambers in Portugal. “In terms of events organised in the past year, the Chamber has been extremely active and a lot of work has been going on to produce results in the future,” he said. Among these results is a new, modern website that should be up and running early this year.
“The Chamber works closely with the British Embassy and has discussed ways in which both entities can complement each other and help other organisations develop trade relationships between Britain and Portugal,” Dawson explained.
It was highlighted at the event that the Chamber was an organisation for Portugal and not for fragmented entities operating in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. “For the Chamber, it’s as important to be serving members in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, as it is to operate on behalf of all members in Portugal as a whole,” he added.
The hard work, expertise and initiative of Chris Barton, chief executive officer for BPCC, in working to improve the Chamber was praised and acknowledged.
The event was attended by more than 100 members and was sponsored by Lusitania Companhia de Seguros, Fincor, Estalagem do Sado, MG Rover and OCS Limpotécnica.