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Meeting of 24th May 2012

Meeting of 24th May 2012

Juan is the President of the Marbella association called CIT (Associatión de Impresarios y Professionales de Marbella) which is a well known and very active, leading business association.

CIT was established in 1981 to promote Marbella and tourism in the area. It is an association of local businesses that is open to all business sectors. It has a steady membership of 1,470 and its main purposes are to encourage easier communication between Marbella citizens and local businesses and to try to help create wealth and social wellbeing in the area.

CIT encourages all local businesses to join because the organisation acts as a negotiator between businesses and local government.  It tries to get everyone "rowing in the same direction". This business association tries to unite its member's efforts to create employment and profit. It is strenghened by uniting its member businessmen in improving Marbella and helping them to share Knowledge and experience.

Some examples of the work that has involved CIT over the past few years are that it encouraged the town to undertake the major drainage work which we have seen taking place in Marbella; tried to establish a single meeting area outside the Congress Centre; is trying very hard to get the San Pedro tunnel open, because this will make a big differene to all business people in Marbella. CIT has a promise from the local government that the tunnel will be open by the end of June 2012 but the Minister will not confirm a definite date. The organisation is supporting the works in the Port of Marbella, which should be completed in October 2012, and other local projects like the plans to move Marbella Town Hall and to build a new Congress Centre. It also is encouraging the proposed "Walk of Fame" in Puerto Banus.

In general, CIT tries to stimulate care of our local environment and promote any action that will help tourism in Marbella.

Juan told us about the normal activities of CIT which include holding monthly meetings and other inter-business networking activities, such as the joint meeting with the club in Mijas last month. To help networking and business support they regularly arrange Business Breakfasts and Lunches, courses, conferences, seminars, newletters and Your Business on the Net. There is an annual Business Person of the Year competition and a Gala Dinner.

Our Rotary Club secretary, Marie, said that she has been a member for 1 year and has found that it is a great way for her bank to network with other local businesses. She has found the seminars particularly helpful and a good way to keep up-to-date with technology.

The association meetings are held in Spanish but there are members who speak English and Swedish. More than 80% of the members are Spanish but CIT wants to attract more foreign members. It now sends out its emails in English as well as Spanish. It would like to attract retired business people and independent entrepreneurs. The membership fees are approximately €1,500pa for a group of companies, €1,000pa for a single company and €500pa for a professional person.