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European American Chamber of Commerce: bridge for business between Europe and the US

European Business Review had the honour of an exclusive interview with Ms. Yvonne Bendinger-Rothschild, Executive Director of the European American Chamber of Commerce in New York.

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2011

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Ms. Bendinger introduced the EACC as an organisation that takes up European-focused business and regulatory matters and addresses business issues that affect European organisations and US firms in their day-to-day dealings with partners and clients on both side of the Atlantic.

Who are the members of the EACC?

Our membership consists of European, American and multi-national organisations as well as individuals. The exact make-up of membership depends to a large extent on the regional chapter. The EACC’s New York audience for example is comprised of major organisations in the financial services, legal, media, real estate, professional services/consulting industry, luxury retail, tourism and other business sectors represented in the Tri-State area. In Cincinnati the membership is mostly made up of manufacturing companies, professional services firms as well as educational and government agencies. In Paris the membership is comprised of European corporations established in the USA and the French branches of US corporations with the majority of them major corporations and about 20% service providers. In New Jersey the focus is on biotech and life science companies and services companies that cater to them.

In this context I like to emphasise that we pride ourselves on bringing Europeans and American executives into the room and helping them build stronger business and personal relationships.

What services offers the EACC to her members?

The EACC provides its members with educational seminars, roundtables, panel-discussions and conferences to educate them on matters relevant to both the US & European business communities. We see ourselves as a platform to exchange ideas and network with fellow executives from the US and Europe and as such we can offer access to a network of high-level business contacts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since we are a network, we have access to great resources and experts in the United States and across Europe. In addition to our own resources, our members are an integral part of our organization and they make their own experts available to help educate their fellow members.

The programs that we offer vary in nature and include small roundtables, networking events, as well as large formal panels with industry and government experts. We also encourage member organizations to reach out directly to one another if they need expertise on a specific subject or even on a business deal they are working on. We are also working on a workshop that will provide a hands-on guide to the European Union and its institutions, their relevance to the US and how they operate.

How does the EACC cover such a huge country as the US?

We have chapters in a number of areas with a high level of European American business activity. Among them is Cincinnati, Ohio, Princeton, NJ, obviously New York City and we are in the process of opening chapters in other major cities as well.

What are the topics of the EACC’s work?

The mission of the European American Chamber of Commerce is to provide its members with timely and relevant information, resources and support on matters affecting business activities between Europe and the U.S. The goal of the EACC’s New York Chapter is to stimulate business development, and to facilitate networking and relationships between European and American businesses & professional organisations. Or in other words, we try to explain the US to Europeans and Europe to the Americans with the goal to enable them to build better business relations.

Through conferences led by leaders such as the European Union Ambassador to the US and corporate, private equity and professional leaders, we bring current, topical and relevant topics to a large group of business leaders.

Does the EACC have a relation with the US Congress and the Government in Washington DC?

The EACC is not a political organisation we see ourselves strictly as a business organisation, and not as a lobbying organisation. Having said that, we do work closely with the EU delegation to the United States here in New York as well as in Washington. The Ambassador of the European Union to the United States, João Vale de Almeida, is our honorary president and we have and had close working relationships with his predecessors.

One last question. What is the origin of the EACC?

Our history goes back to 1926 with the formation of the Paris branch, initially as the French-American Chamber of Commerce and renamed to the European-American Chamber of Commerce in 2003. The Cincinnati chapter was formed in 2007 as the first of its kind in the US market with the New York chapter following suit in 2008. Together EACC has built a dynamic network that reaches over 10.000 executives in the US and across Europe. With over 600 members in Europe and the US, the EACC is a valuable resource for virtually any size business.

Thank you very much Ms. Yvonne Bendinger!

For more info you may visit: http://www.eaccny.com

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