Reflecting on the last 18 months of his term of office, Black Country Chamber of Commerce President, Ninder Johal said: "During 2013 we embarked on the process of improving the impact of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. As a result of consultation with our members and to reflect changes in the political landscape, we restructured to create a pan-Black Country Consultative Forum to replace our four local Boards which will both champion the policy priorities of the Chamber and act as the interface between the Board and members, ensuring that on all matters adequate consultation and feedback takes place.

"Also at this time we reviewed how we could best impact upon the region and created a clear aim, to double the size of the Black Country economy in ten years, i.e. by the end of 2023. Our business plan and strategy reflected this new aim and during 2014 we looked at how we could work with partners to significantly improve Black Country business' turnover.

"We are now in the process of strengthening our Board of Directors: selecting by skill rather than by geography. This process will be finalised at the 2015 AGM in September and will immediately take ownership of our three year strategy and plans to 2023. Our objective for 2016/17 is to strengthen our stakeholder engagement and we will be looking to the Consultative Forum to set up the means by which we can put the region on the map and use our influence to ensure that the Black Country stands tall compared to its global peers.

"In the meanwhile we have evaluated the extent to which our activities are adding to the Black Country GVA. Our International Trade activities alone have added £89 million in business wins since April 2015. I look forward to reporting back on the progress of our leadership programme, designed to take business leaders to the next level and have a serious impact on the bottom line. Four new programmes start in September and October 2015: contact the Chamber to book your place. I guarantee a full return on investment."