BDO man first British Chambers of Commerce president from Northern Ireland
THE British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has its first president from Northern Ireland in its 156 history.
Francis Martin, partner at business advisers BDO, was officially appointed at the BCC's annual general meeting after serving as vice-president since 2013.
Mr Martin, from Moy, was president of the Northern Ireland chamber has worked in corporate finance and business strategy for more than two decades.
He will by the first person from the north to head up the BCC since it was formed in 1860.
He said he was taking up the post at a "crucial time for the UK economy".
"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," he said.
“Over recent years, the BCC has forged a dynamic Global Business Network that includes more than 20 countries, 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.”
President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nick Coburn added: "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.”