The Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (Philippines) Inc evolved out of the Australian Business Group (ABG), which was established by the Australian Senior Trade Commissioner at the time, Bill Brigstocke.

The ABG was set up by the Senior Trade Commissioner in 1974 in an effort to provide a common meeting place for Australian business men based in Manila or visiting. In addition, there was the view that in setting up the business group that some day it might grow into something more bilateral such as the American Chamber. The ABG invited speakers to meetings, which gave the businessmen of the day the opportunity to obtain information about what policies were being implemented by the Administration. Of course, many social functions evolved from these early meetings. Arranging the meetings in those early days was made through the Trade Commissioner’s office at the Australian Embassy. The Australian Ambassador at the time was Gerry Nutter and he was supportive of the ABG and its aims.

By the late ‘70s there was a growing interest in forming the Australian Business Group into a Chamber of Commerce. The Australian Ambassador at the time, Richard Woolcott, and the Australian Senior Trade Commissioner, John Skinner, were both very instrumental in working towards the formation of the Chamber of Commerce. On 19 November 1981, the incorporators of the Chamber in the presence of Richard Woolcott and John Skinner signed the Articles of Incorporation of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Philippines, Inc.

The incorporators (and the first Board of Directors) were:

  • J. Marcus Cooney, Chairman
  • Trevor C. Rowe, Treasurer
  • Roger Stretch, Director
  • Alan B. Evans, Director
  • James R. Bain, Director
  • David H. Hagley, Director
  • Desmond M. Dent, Director

While the Secretary of the Chamber was Gay S. Villarruz. Each of the above contributed PhP 100 to the Chamber as its initial capital. The Articles of Incorporation were submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission and was officially incorporated on 2 February 1982. At that time there were 61 Regular Members and 15 Corporate Members.

The Board of Directors set out an ANZCHAM Mission statement which stated, “To be a highly effective organization that visibly supports and promotes business relationships between Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines” (NZ component being added in 1986).

The first Report of the Board of Directors for the year ending 31 December 1982 sets out the importance the Board saw the role of the Chamber in promoting the members and their interests to the government of the day. The Report states “Your Board of Directors have endorsed positively to promote the Chamber with such Government bodies such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Ministry of Finance and Bureau of Customs.

The Board of Directors also took the decision in that first year to establish a Full Time Secretariat to handle services to members; dissemination of information; a central liaison for members contacts and questions; improved administration of the Chamber due to time constraints of the Directors. The full time Secretariat started on 1 December 1982.

Current President

Daniel Alexander
2018 – Present

List of Past Presidents

Tom Grealy
2015 – 2018

Ian Porter
2012 – 2015

John Casey
2010 – 2012

Richard Barclay
2002 – 2010

Bill Mason
2000 – 2002

Peter Gomm
1999 – 2000

Peter Wallace
1994 – 1999

John Fairfield
1992 – 1994

Charles Searby
1990 – 1992

Peter Wallace
1987 – 1990

Simon Israel
1986 – 1987

David Bonney
1984 – 1986

J. Marcus Cooney
1981 – 1984