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Mr Emery, 43, managing director of Barry-based COS Group and Business Development Director of the recently launched Skogstad UK, a 75 year established brand of Norwegian Outdoor Clothing, has stepped up from his position of vice president, which he has held for the last two years. He brings to the role practical experience of running a small-to-medium enterprise (SME), together with a vast range of connections within the business community that will help to oversee the development of the Chamber model across Wales.
As president, Mr Emery will act as an ambassador for the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, championing its activities and acting as a direct link between its members and the senior management team. He will support a range of collaborative projects which have been developed over the last few years and use his influence to develop and grow the Chamber’s membership.
He succeeds out-going president Stuart Taylor of Post Office Counters Ltd. In his two years as president, Mr Taylor was heavily involved in the development of the South Wales Chamber Commerce as a single body which covers the whole of the south coastal plane and creates a platform for growth.
Mr Emery said: “The South Wales Chamber of Commerce has existed for over 160 years and has an excellent reputation for supporting and developing businesses throughout south Wales.
“If we are serious about improving the economy, we must create an environment that allows businesses to prosper. International connectivity has been an exciting part of the Chamber’s development over the last year in particular and we must do what we can to help business owners take advantage of opportunities at home and abroard.
“I am looking forward to stepping up to this new challenge and working alongside the Chamber’s hardworking team to build upon the organisation’s many successes.”
Mr Emery attended his first official event as president recently, which saw the South Wales Chamber of Commerce stage a highly successful visit from the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King. Sir Mervyn King addressed 400 of Wales’ top business leaders in the show case event held at the Wales Millennium Centre.
Speaking of Mr Emery’s appointment, Graham Morgan, director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “James is very passionate about businesses in Wales and in developing the opportunities they have for growth, and I know he will work tirelessly in pursuit of the key strategic objectives of the Chamber.
“He has a huge amount of experience and has not only been successful with his own business ventures, but has helped to create and develop opportunities for others to succeed. He is exactly the sort of person we need in this position and we are certain that he will be a valuable asset to the Chamber and its members.”