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  • Francis Martin Appointed President Of The British Chambers Of Commerce

Francis Martin Appointed President Of The British Chambers Of Commerce

14 July 2016

BDO NI Partner Francis Martin has been elected as the new President of the British Chambers of Commerce.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced the appointment of Francis Martin as its new President.

Francis, who will be the business group’s first President from Northern Ireland in 156 years, was officially appointed at the BCC’s Annual General Meeting after serving as Vice President since 2013. He succeeds Nora Senior who stands down after three years in post.

Francis, originally from Moy in County Tyrone, is a partner in BDO Northern Ireland and holds more than 20 years’ experience in corporate finance and business strategy development. He was formerly President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was recently awarded Northern Ireland Dealmaker of the Year 2016.

Commenting on his appointment as BCC President, Francis Martin said:

“The British Chambers of Commerce is a powerful advocate for the business community and has strongly represented the diverse interests of our members for more than 150 years.  In my tenure as President, I will work with my colleagues and government for the benefit of businesses and communities around the country.

“This is a crucial time for the UK economy and the role of the Chambers of Commerce has become vital as a result. Businesses in the UK are resilient and innovative, but it is imperative that actions needed to sustain competitive trade and support long-term growth are identified and taken by policymakers.

“Over recent years, the BCC has forged a dynamic Global Business Network that includes more than 20 counties, from Chile to Vietnam. This vehicle has been advantageous for exports and it is right that UK businesses continue to look for new ways to boost trade and establish new linkages. We are ideally placed to help drive this agenda.

“Equally, the Chambers have been proactive in bridging the gap between education and work regionally and nationally. That work has been commendable and we must accelerate our efforts to empower the pupils of today with the skills to become the workforce and leaders of tomorrow.”

Welcoming the appointment, Peter Burnside, Managing Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said:

“Francis brings strong leadership and exceptional business acumen to the Chambers. His influence and measured approach in challenging situations has helped our clients and our firm to grow considerably in the last decade. I’m pleased that he will continue to lead our ranks while also sharing his experience and guidance through the BCC. Now is the time for calm and considered thinking across all sectors in the UK and, in Francis, the Chambers have a strategist of the highest calibre at their helm. I wish him every success during his term as President of the British Chambers of Commerce.”

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) President Nick Coburn said:

“I would like to congratulate Francis Martin on his appointment as President of the British Chambers of Commerce.  Francis brings great experience to the role as a former President of NI Chamber, a post he held for two years from 2010.  As President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I will work in partnership with Francis to ensure that the business voice is heard in the Northern Ireland Assembly and at Westminster.”

Acting Director General, Adam Marshall, added:

“Both myself and the entire BCC team look forward to working with Francis, as we look to tackle the big questions facing the UK economy and the Chamber Network.”