Source - RNS
RNS Number : 0776L
29 September 2016



Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe

Europe's Critical Trading Infrastructure Digitised


The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) is pleased to announce the launch of an online platform to capitalise on the success of its existing pan-European business network. The unveiling of the service sees COBCOE take the lead in digitising critical infrastructure and support services for the international trading community.


COBCOE Connects uses the latest technology to match business contacts within a trusted environment. The platform hosts networks of chambers of commerce, trade associations and other respected organisations, as well as companies working in partnership with COBCOE. The service also makes businesses visible to those looking for their products or services via the platform, providing companies with a new source of strong sales leads.


These networks are moderated by staff of a local chamber of commerce or business organisation; people with in-depth knowledge of their local market or sector that can provide follow-on support to users of the system. This allows businesses to build contacts in new markets that are matched to a company's particular requirements.


COBCOE, as the membership organisation for British chambers of commerce and business associations in Europe, has members located across Europe and beyond representing around 8,000 businesses. A further 50 organisations in the UK and around the world are affiliated with COBCOE, including major multinational companies.


COBCOE's pan-European network currently provides a unique intelligence resource with which to establish and test the real needs of business. The organisation's new digital platform meets these needs during a time of increasing concern around the preservation and growth of essential complex supply networks throughout Europe.


COBCOE Connects has the support of two Founding Partners: Kompass International ("Kompass"), a data specialist with a presence in over 60 countries, and URICA, the fintech global payments network that ensures suppliers receive timely payments. Rochester PR, a market entry specialist, also supports the platform.


David Thomas MBE, Executive Chairman of COBCOE, commented:


"COBCOE Connects will allow members of British chambers of commerce in Europe, the UK and beyond to link up online through advanced digital matchmaking, to find trusted contacts and new leads from foreign markets, thereby breaking down some of the major barriers to business growth.

"It is essential that UK and European business be supported through informed representation at a policy making level, and through services that actually help them grow. COBCOE continues to take the lead to ensure that the pan-European business community is fully supported, both by policymakers and by a robust network."

Stuart Pocock, Director of Kompass UK, on behalf of Kompass International, said:

"Kompass is proud to be a Founding Partner on this important initiative and platform to facilitate the increase of pan-European cross-border trade. Despite current uncertainties within the EU, what remains a certainty across Europe as a whole is the requirement for businesses of any size to have easier access to new customers, distributors and partners at each stage of the supply chain. Supported by Kompass global data and software solutions, COBCOE Connects is a significant factor in delivering this access." 

Lindsay Whitelaw, Chairman and Founder of URICA, commented:


"URICA is excited to be a Founding Partner of COBCOE Connects. At a time of increasing concern around the preservation and growth of the complex supply networks that support trade throughout Europe, this platform digitises the critical export infrastructure needed by pan-European business.


"URICA's mission fully aligns with the purpose of COBCOE Connects to get business trading on better terms. We are pleased to back the platform with our online global supply chain funding network, which already helps businesses improve the way they make and receive payments in the UK and overseas."






Anne-Marie Martin, Chief Executive Officer

Debbie Lamb, Head of Communications



Tel: +44 (0) 207 680 9122

Tel: +44 (0) 7795 474019


Yellow Jersey PR Limited

Aidan Stanley

Felicity Winkles


Tel: +44 (0) 7584 085 670

Tel: +44 (0) 7748 843 871


Notes to Editors:


The Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe is an independent, non-profit making organisation representing British chambers of commerce throughout Europe. Acting as an umbrella organisation, it works with its member chambers to advance international trade and business with the United Kingdom. COBCOE was founded, and continues to operate, with a clear aim: to protect and promote the collective interests of its chamber members, and their business members, through united representation, cooperation and trade stimulation.


Using its pan-European network, COBCOE continues to test and collect members' opinions across the continent and advise governments of the reality of business' needs for use in informed policy making to support international trade.


COBCOE offers a platform for trade and investment support, commercial services and best practice in business. Its network of members allows delivery of local market expertise throughout Europe, and assists in stakeholder engagement and managing local relationships.


COBCOE's membership currently stands at around 40 member chambers, representing around 8000 businesses throughout Europe.


For further information:


Kompass provides quality B2B data and marketing services enabling suppliers to connect with buyers. With a global database that spans 66 countries, Kompass helps companies to find the right customers in order to promote and grow their businesses, whether they choose to use the digital platform or specialist team.


For further information:


URICA is an online supply chain funding network. It was conceived of by a group of leading European business people in strategic collaboration with world leading financial institutions. Designed from the ground up, it reimagines how business payments should work to address once and for all the problem of late payment within SME supply chains. In France, URICA carries the Finance Innovation label awarded to the few fintech businesses that have the potential for global impact.


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