Chamber Voice – 160th Anniversary Edition

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Chamber Voice

The Cochin Chamber's Monthly E-Newsletter

160th Anniversary Edition

Chamber President's Address at the 160th Anniversary Celebration

On this grand occasion we have with us as Chief Guest the Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri. M Venkaiah Naidu. Words cannot express the joy that is ours, especially during your first official visit to God’s own Country as Vice President of India. Respected Sir, on behalf of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry I most heartily welcome you to this event commemorating the 160th Anniversary of the Chamber.

I would also like to respectfully welcome the Hon’ble Governor of Kerala Shri. (Retd) Justice P Sathasivam who accepted our invitation to grace this function.

Let me also cordially welcome Hon’ble Minister for Local Self Government & Welfare of minorities, Dr. K T Jaleel,
Our representatives in Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly are here with us this morning. I welcome Prof. K V Thomas and Shri. Hibi Eden most warmly to this programme.
I also welcome the Worshipful Mayor of Cochin Smt. Soumini Jain for her gracious presence here today.

Our Senior most past President Mr Venugopal C Govind is here today with us – I warmly welcome him to this function.
I once again welcome the representatives of the various arms of Government, the District Administration, the Police Department, Press and Media, and others present on this occasion.

“Great movements,” said Thomas Carlyle, “often had modest beginnings.”
In more ways than one, this is epito-mised by the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry that is celebrating its 160th Anniversary.

Born out of a conversation between three British businessmen – 1. J Oughterson, 2. C E Mirus and 3. R H Pierce — while dining on a rainy evening in July, 1857, at the exclusive European club, the Chamber today en-capsulates, not merely the chequered history of trade and commerce in the bustling port-town of Cochin, but of the entire region. What started off as a small conclave of like-minded businessmen in 1857, with a limited vision of safeguarding their trading and commercial interests has grown over the years into a vibrant institution.

The history of the Chamber shows that its fortunes ran parallel with that of the nation.

The Chamber during the pre-independence era was instrumental for the

First railway line from Ernakulam to Shoranur
First telegraph office
First bank in Cochin
First Judicial Magistrate Court
First Commissionerate of Excise, Customs and Income tax
In addition to the active role in formation of Cochin Sea Port, to name a few.

Post independence, the list includes

Cochin Shipyard
Cochin Free Trade Zone
Cochin International Airport
And the Transhipment terminal

The Chamber continues to support trade and industry of the region and to meet current challenges faced by the Industry, ie gap between employment and employability of our youth, – for which we are now working closely with academics to address this challenge.

As the President of this august Organisation I must admit that I feel immensely proud of its achievements; at the same time, I am deeply humbled when I think of the stalwarts who have gone before me, some of whom are present here today, who have made it possible for the Cochin Chamber to have come this far. I bow my head in salutation and acknowledgement of the immense task that the leaders of generations before me, have carried out during their term in Office.

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry has come this far, however much remains to be done and I hope and pray that this Chamber as in the past, will continue to be instrumental in spearheading all changes – (which I can’t foresee now) that the world will witness in the coming centuries.

Thank you

Mr. Shaji Varghese, President

Mr. Shaji Varghese, delivering the Welcome Address

160th Anniversary Celebration

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry celebrated it’s  160th Anniversary on Wednesday, the 22nd of November 2017 at Hotel Taj Gateway Ernakulam.

Mr. Shaji Varghese, President of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry delivered the Welcome Address.

The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu was the Chief Guest on the occasion.  Shri. Venkaiah Naidu in his address spoke about the importance and the vital role of the Chamber in the promotion of trade and commerce in this region. He also emphasised the fact that reaching the 160thyear mark is a huge milestone in the history of any Organisation.

The Hon’ble Governor of Kerala Justice (Retd.) P Sathasivam and the Hon’ble Minister for Local Self Government Dr. K T Jaleel were the Guests of Honour who spoke on the occasion. Other dignitaries included the Worshipful Mayor of Cochin Smt. Soumini Jain, Prof K V Thomas M.P. and Shri. Hibi Eden MLA.

Mr. Venugopal C. Govind, senior Past President of the Chamber presented a Memento to the Hon’ble Vice President.

Mr. V. Venugopal, Vice President of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry, proposed the Vote of Thanks.

Past Presidents of the Cochin Chamber

Hon'ble Vice President of India, being received by the President & Vice President of the Cochin Chamber

Hon'ble Vice President of India, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu, inaugurates the programme

Mr. Venugopal C. Govind, presenting a Memento to the Vice President of India

Photo Wall depicting the Chamber's Storied Past

Senior Past President of the Chamber Mr. Venugopal C. Govind welcomes the Vice President

Dr. K.T. Jaleel Hon'ble Minister for Local Self Governments, Government of Kerala, delivering his address on the occasion

Hon'ble Vice President of India Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the audience

Hon'ble Vice President of India arrives

Dignitaries on stage rise for the National Anthem

Guest of Honour, Shri. Justice (Retd.) P. Sathasivam Hon'ble Governor of Kerala, speaks

Mr. V. Venugopal Vice President of the Cochin Chamber proposes the Vote of Thanks

More Pictures from the Event

Special Cover Launch

On the occasion of Celebrating the Cochin Chamber’s 160th Anniversary, India Post – Kerala Postal Circle released a ‘Special Cover’ Celebrating the Storied Past and the Priceless Legacy of the Chamber.

A few pictures from the event.

The Chamber in the News



Deccan Chronicle




The Hindu

Indian Express




The Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Ordinance 2017

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry whole heartedly welcomes the bold initiative of the present Government of Kerala in promulgating ‘The Kerala Investment Promotion and Facilitation Ordinance 2017’.

We applaud the strong will shown by the Government in bringing out this Ordinance to ensure that the hitherto common delays are avoided in granting various licenses, permissions, approvals and clearances that are required under the various enactments currently in force.

The move to temporarily amend, during the period of operation of this Ordinance, the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act 1060, the Kerala Headload Workers Act 1978, The Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994, The Kerala Municipality Act 1994, The Kerala Industrial Single Window Clearance Boards and Industrial Township Area Development act 1999, The Kerala Groundwater (Control & Regulation) Act 2002 and  the Kerala Lifts & Escalators Act 2013 is a momentous decision, long overdue, which will change the trajectory of industrial growth in the State.

All of the amendments envisaged in the Ordinance are highly positive and aimed at ensuring the Ease of Doing Business in Kerala. The Chamber welcomes this noteworthy move by the Government and is now confident that Kerala will once, and for all time, break away from its inglorious past and move towards achieving robust Industrial Growth.

Some of the very positive initiatives that require particular mention include the changes proposed with regard to engaging the services of headload workers, recognition of entrepreneurial activity as essential for Industry in Kerala, time bound procedures for the granting of

licenses/clearances/approvals etc., automatic approvals beyond the specified time limit, grant of composite licences and the provision for its renewal for a period of five years at a time, the focus on industrial growth taking into consideration environmental factors, green initiatives etc. We also welcome the fact that the applicant will have the opportunity to put forth his views at every stage and that there appears to be an overall transparency in the whole process.

However, with regard to the automatic approval we would request that provisions be made for proper documented information to be made available to the applicant regarding the automatic approval in order to avoid any ambiguity at a later stage.

We also welcome the fact that the single window clearance principal will be applied at all levels to ensure the timely grant of licenses etc.

We hope that the Government will go ahead in implementing this Ordinance vigorously, to finally realize the true potential for the industrial growth of Kerala.

The Chamber is confident that with the implementation of the provisions of this Ordinance, Kochi, the Commercial Capital of Kerala will improve its ratings in the Ease of Doing Business especially with regard to issue of construction permits, enforcement of contracts, payment of Taxes, Registration of Property etc. in the long run. In the World Bank Business study on the Ease of Doing Business conducted in 2009 Kochi was ranked well below other cities in the country. We are confident that this Ordinance will be the real game changer.

We once again congratulate the Government for this bold initiative.


Shaji Varghese


Exclusive EXIM Statistics of the Cochin Chamber

The Cochin Chamber has a full-fledged Statistics Department that compiles and disseminates data on the exports and imports through the Port of Cochin year on year. We are the only Chamber in the country providing this service to the trade.

The Statistics Department prepares comprehensive reports/statements on the trade through this Port for the benefit of the shipping community. Specific reports, monthly and annual, are available covering exports of commodities such as; Coffee, Tea, Coir and Coir Products, Cashews, Seafood, Spices and Cotton Products besides reports on Miscellaneous Products exports. Imports into the Cochin Port too are compiled and available.

Enquiries may be addressed to [email protected]

Sample EXIM Statistics