Chambers of Commerce in Colombia
The Medellin-Antioquia Chamber of Commerce is one of the 57 chambers in Colombia today. These set of organizations are grouped under the Colombian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce- Confecámaras.
Chambers of commerce in Colombia are vested legal public duties under a public-private cooperation model. In turn, the chambers are non-profit organizations, of corporate and trade union nature, which are subject to private law in terms of their administration, management and contracting. Their purpose is to serve as advocates and enhance the overall interests of the business community of Colombia and to keep the commercial register, the non-profit organizations register, and the proposers form (RUP) vested upon the chambers by law.
A brief history
Chambers of commerce appeared as part of the bourgeois corporate organization movement in Europe. The first chamber was established in Marseilles, France in 1599. As a result of its success to solve trade-related problems, Louis XIV ordered the creation of the chamber in every French center in 1700. Later, concerned with the power gained by these institutions, Louis XVI ordered their closure. Meanwhile, cities in England and Ireland had already established their own chambers of commerce.
In America, the first chambers opened in New York and New Jersey; and more than 40 chambers operated in the main cities of U.S.A. by 1870.
In Colombia, the Assembly of Cundinamarca through Law 27 of 1877 created the first chamber of commerce per the requested made by traders of Bogota. Since then, these institutions are deemed as advisory bodies of the government.
During this first stage the chambers were featured as being voluntary registration institutions, which gathered traders to join efforts to procure regional development and their own welfare.
At the dawn of the 30’s, the National Government, through Law 28 of 1931, vested on the chambers of commerce the role of managing the commercial register. Since then, the legal status of the chambers has experienced a deep transformation process, by changing these institutions from being merely trade associations to being responsible of managing public registries plus other important general duties.
Before 1931, the commercial register was used as well but these were managed by trade courts. These courts transferred their records to each of the Colombian chambers of commerce and hence today, these institutions register the entire economic activity of the country.
The Medellin-Antioquia Chamber of Commerce was founded by President Rafael Reyes on November 28, 1904.