The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry, established in the year 1857, is one of the oldest Chambers of Commerce in the country. Affiliated to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) New Delhi, as one of its five Promoter Chambers, the Cochin Chamber has been in the service of trade and industry in Kerala, particularly the Cochin region, for over 150 years.
The Cochin Chamber, situated in close proximity to the Cochin Port was one of the key players instrumental in the establishment of a Port in Cochin and was involved in the project right from the very beginning. The Cochin Chamber has always been in the forefront in ensuring the well being of the Cochin Port knowing fully well that the fortunes of this Port are directly linked to the economic prosperity not only of Cochin but also of the State as a whole.
The economic development and growth of the State of Kerala has always been our primary concern and our activities are all geared toward this. However, in the light of the changed world order, both economic and social we have reoriented ourselves think in terms of “Development that is Equitable, Sustainable and Green.’
The history of the Chamber shows that from the very beginning the Chamber has been involved in and supports various initiatives, economic and social. This Chamber played a leading role in ensuring the commissioning of the International Airport at Cochin. We were the first to moot the idea of an ‘International Container Transhipment Terminal’ at Vallarpadom in order to make the Cochin Port an international port of call. Over the past two and a half decades we have, at every given opportunity, been petitioning the various Governments, both Central and State to ensure the establishment of the Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadom. Today, this dream of ours is soon to become a reality. The Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadom is scheduled for commissioning early next year. Being situated in the Commercial Capital of the State, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry is the true representative of Corporate Kerala. Unlike other Chambers of Commerce and trade associations whose membership is confined to limited interests in trade and commerce, the Cochin Chamber’s members encompass a wide spectrum of the industrial, business, and trade sectors in Kerala.
The Cochin Chamber, besides having as its members the large and medium Corporate houses in Kerala, for e.g. the Kochi Refineries Ltd., FACT, Cochin Shipyard Ltd., etc. also has the major segments of the players in the export-import trade as its members. Exporters and importers from the different commodity interests such as seafood, cashew, coir, tea, coffee, rubber etc. form an important part of the Chamber's membership. The Cochin Chamber also represents major shipping interests in Cochin. Companies such as Maersk, Sea Land, P&O Nedlloyd, APL, and Evergreen etc. are members of the Chamber. Besides these, various other port users and facilitating agents such as the steamer agents, clearing and forwarding agents, transport companies, stevedores etc. are also members of the Chamber. A perusal of the Chamber’s Membership makes this evident. Besides carrying out all activities aimed at ensuring the well being of our membership and the business community as a whole, the Cochin Chamber is also a certified agency for the issue of all documents relating to exports and imports.
The Chamber, unlike any other Chamber in the country, has a full-fledged Statistics Department that is engaged in compiling reports, monthly/half-yearly and annual, on the exports and imports that take place through the Cochin Port. The Cochin Chamber acts as the voice of industry in Kerala and is in constant touch with the State Government on issues of interest/concern to its members. At the national level all matters are taken up through Assocham at New Delhi. The Chamber organises various programmes of topical interest at regular intervals and also conducts different training programmes aimed at improving and retooling executives and managers. In the year 2007 the Chamber celebrated the 150th anniversary of its inception.
On this occasion H.E. Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, was the Chief Guest. At this event, Dr. Kalam unveiled a plaque announcing the Chamber’s decision to set up a Waste to Energy Project in Cochin. This project is the outcome of the Chamber’s constant desire to evolve a strategy for its role and functioning in the contemporary world. This is the first time ever that a Chamber of Commerce is attempting something of this sort. Work on the facility is in progress and we expect to commission the same in March 2010. This will be the beacon of our CSR endeavours. On the occasion of its 150th year Dr. Kalam also released a book entitled “A Journey through Time 1857-2007.” This book has sought to chronicle the history of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry over the past 150 years. The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry is an ISO 9001:2000 certified Organisation.
Our “Quality Policy” is; ‘The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry is committed to providing the highest quality of service in the most professional manner to its members and the community that it aims to serve. The Chamber shall act, advocate and liaise promptly and efficiently with the Government, other agencies, organizations and the society at large to promote the cause of its members. Our motto is excellence, perfection and satisfaction in all our dealings, aimed at serving our members and the furtherance of the aspirations of the business community in Kerala.
We stand committed to fulfilling our corporate social responsibility and shall also work towards promoting a viable and sustainable environment policy by involving ourselves in initiatives aimed at preserving and promoting our fragile ecosystem. It shall be our constant endeavor to achieve all of the above through a process of continual introspection and improvement.’