Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, a formal co-operation agreement, with Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.
The historic cross-Atlantic agreement came about after Glasgow president Neil Amner and deputy chief executive Richard Muir last month joined a party of senior people from Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Glasgow Life, and top universities and colleges in going to New York City.
They were part a delegation to the Big Apple targeted at promoting tourism, trade and investment and the higher and further education sectors.
Focus of the trip was an event called A Great Night In With Glasgow, a reception held in the very trendy West Village.
Amner said: “At this event, Richard and I met Jessica Walker, president of Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, and I’m pleased to say that the outcome is a partnership between our two organisations.
“The Chamber movement is an international one, and has the potential to provide help to partner organisations all over the globe. There are close historic links between Scotland and the New York area, and we believe this fledgling relationship with Manhattan Chamber could lead to important business contacts for us and for our members in the future.
“There is some irony in the fact that Glasgow Chamber, the oldest in the English-speaking world, was founded in the late 18th century to help Glasgow merchants find new markets in the aftermath of the American Wars of Independence. Now here we are building bridges across the Atlantic to our mutual benefit. Glasgow Chamber has a President’s Club made up of influential business people in its “Home” and “Away” teams. It was asked to invite members of U.S. “Away Team “which includes top exiled Scots in business there who have agreed to contribute time and connections for the benefit of Glasgow’s and Scotland’s economy.”
Over 20 of them joined an audience of 150 influencers who enjoyed such delicacies as a whisky cocktail courtesy of Glengoyne Distillery and Irn-Bru bonbons from Glickman’s, Glasgow’s oldest sweet shop, in a room lit by 120-year-old Glasgow firm Shearer Candles.
It was the first “live” use of the President’s Club concept abroad, with Neil Amner introducing Presidents Club members to other guests and invitees.
Amongst the Away Team members present were Ken Donnelly, Director of Risk at the Bank of America, and James Heggie III, Merrill Lynch’s First Vice President, an American with deep Scots roots.
Amner added: “These two gentleman show the high level of our US contacts, and trips like this are all about expanding these contacts to Glasgow’s benefit., as this new agreement shows. This is undoubtedly great news for business in Glasgow.”
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce president Jessica Walker said: “We are excited by this new relationship with our Scottish colleagues in Glasgow, with whom we have much in common. I feel sure members of both Chambers will gain from what will arise from it in the future.”