The existing Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Normandy are to be re-organised under a plan that will see the current 12 become five in a new simplified regional grouping aimed at cutting costs and using budgets more efficiently.
Members of the Upper and Lower Normandy Chambers of Commerce voted last week to agree the new arrangements which will become effective from January 2016. The two regional chambers are currently being amalagamated into one larger regional organisation, CCI Normandy.
Afrer months of negotiatons the final changes have now been approved. The CCI Littoral Normand-Picard is going back to being part of the Picardie CCI. The CCI Caen Normandie is the only chamber that is not changing and will remain as it is at present.
Four bigger chambers will be created from the remaining 11. The Havre CCI, CCI du Pays dâ€™Auge and CCI Fecamp-Bolbec will amalgamate and become the CCI Seine Estuaire; the CCI Rouen, CCI Elbeuf and CCI Dieppe will become CCI Seine Mer Normandie; CCI Eure and Alencon become CCI Portes de Normandie; CCI Centre and Manche, Cherbourg Cotentin and Flers-Argentan become CCI Ouest France.
There have been plans for Caen CCI to become part of a bigger West Normandy CCI but this was rejected by Caen members. Michel Collin, president of the Caen CCI, pointed out that it would have created a CCI with around 40,000 members, much larger than the national average of 13,500 and go against the aim to provide more targeted local resources.
Members of Flers-Argentan voiced their disappointment that Caen did not want to join with the other CCIs in West Normandy. A spokesman said that the area had important issues that linked with Caen such as improving the Paris to Granville rail line and creating a regional business axis down the A84 motorway.
It meands that Caen CCI will have around 13,400 members, Ouest Normandie 21,500, Seine Estuaire 15,300, Seine Mer Normandie 23,350 and Ported de Normandie 23,300.
CCI employees will be located throughout Normandy mainly at sites in Rouen, Caen and Le Havre and they will be serving around 100,000 companies. The aim is to pool resources and strengthen coverage so that the local needs of business in Normandy can be better served in a challenging economic climate.
â€˜The changes will improve the quality and consistency of support and assistance to companies at all stages of their development and will contribute to the national and international attractiveness of Normandy,â€™ said a CCI Normandy spokesman.
He explained that the aim is to create a Norman coherence that support major planning projects and infrastructure and promotes the regional economy and the Seine axis as well as serving smaller businesses.
Meanwhile, CCI Normandy has joined other regional chambers throughout France in a national marketing campaign to help boost morale among small and medium sized businesses who may be struggling in the current economic environment.
â€˜In a context where France has more need than ever for businesses to emerge from the crisis, we want enterprises to feel valued and to encourage them to follow their dreams,â€™ said the spokesman.