Under the umbrella of the Bayerischer Industrie- und Handelskammertag (BIHK – Association of Bavarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), the Bavarian chambers of commerce and industry (CCIs) bring together over 800,000 member companies and some 47,000 company representatives working on a voluntary basis, making them the largest business organisation in the State of Bavaria.
The Bavarian CCIs carry out over 60 statutory duties in an efficient, pro-business manner. Bavarian industry has a strong international focus, which is why the Bavarian CCIs help small and medium-sized companies with their foreign trade activities by organising information events, trade seminars, for example on export regulations, and by setting up helpdesks for customs clearance formalities.
Germany has a number of chambers of foreign trade – or AHKs in short – abroad. They are located in all countries that are of particular interest to the German business community. The AHKs perform three functions at their respective locations. They are
- official representations of German industry,
- member organisations for companies and
- service providers for companies.
Under their umbrella Association BIHK, the Bavarian Chambers of Trades and Crafts are active in the areas of self-administration, advocacy and services. Specific duties have been assigned to the chambers of trades and crafts by the State. The development of new markets poses substantial challenges for craft enterprises. Procuring information is an important aspect of foreign trade – whether it is a matter of short-term order processing or strategic market development, the chambers of trades and crafts support the foreign activities of their members in the fields of market entry, participation at foreign trade fairs, funding programmes, cooperation schemes, joint ventures, import and export of goods, cross-border activities, branch offices abroad and EU issues.