Business West on top of the world after winning global chamber of commerce award

September 29, 2017

Business West, the organisation that runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, has been named as the world’s best chamber for an export development programme that has helped create thousands of jobs.

The organisation, which runs chambers of commerce across the South West, was one of five similar groups from across the globe to win big at the World Chambers Competition held recently in Sydney. 

Business West beat stiff competition from Colombia, Turkey, Philippines and Iran to win the award for its job creation and business development project, which aims to maximise international trade as a means of benefitting business in South West England.   


Business West commercial director James Monk celebrates victory with Adam Marshall, director general of British Chambers of Commerce


Organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, the awards programme is the only one of its kind. The biennial competition originally received 53 applications from chambers, representing 27 countries.


Some 18 finalists competed across four diverse categories, each presenting ground-breaking initiatives to an international judging panel. Many of the 1,000 delegates also attended a biennial congress.


Business West commercial director James Monk said winning the award was recognition of achieving almost £500m worth of additional export sales and creating nearly 4,000 new jobs. 

“The launch of our International Trade Centre was instrumental in helping Business West achieve a 40% increase in our website traffic, 250% more potential first-time exporters using our services, and our social media channels saw more engagement than ever before,” he said.

“All of this has been against a challenging national and global backdrop where instability currently tops the media and business agenda in the UK. Yet we have seen that businesses still want to do business with each other.

“By changing the way we talked about export to smaller companies, bringing all elements of business support under one roof, using our global network of chambers and private sector partners, and removing the friction between buyers and sellers, we can ensure that, despite what the politicians are doing, we can still drive business growth and success for our members.

“Never has our chamber and the global network been so relevant in driving jobs and growth.”

British Chambers of Commerce executive director – commercial, trade and marketing, David Riches, added: “Our warmest congratulations to all at Business West for a tremendous achievement. Through their work, Business West has helped create thousands of jobs, and generated millions of pounds of new export business. They are a shining example for chambers both in the UK and around the world, for how to boost trade in local business communities.”

Business West, the South West’s largest business organisation, represents more than 21,000 businesses in its network of chambers of commerce members in Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. 

Pictured below: Staff at Business West's Leigh Court head office toast the win at the World Federation Congress competition 2017





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