We are the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria (CCI)
We are the largest CCI in Germany: With more than 410,000 member companies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria is the largest of the 79 Chambers of Commerce and Industry nationwide. Moreover, the Munich CCI is one of the most extensive business networks in Europe.
Providing success for all companies in our region: Our primary goal is to create the best framework conditions for the sustainable economic success of commercial enterprises in Munich and Upper Bavaria.
We are the first point of contact for legislators and administrative bodies: By maintaining a close exchange with decision-makers in politics and administration, we ensure that the concerns of our member companies are heard.
Self-governance of the business community: The CCI for Munich and Upper Bavaria is an organization under public law – an institution from within the business community in the region for the business community in the region.
Parliament of the business community: The CCI plenary meeting is the parliament of the business community. Its members elected by the CCI’s member companies determine the guidelines of the CCI’s work.
One company - one vote: We have democratic legitimacy: The members of the plenary meeting are elected every five years. Each member company – however big or small – can cast exactly one vote.
We welcome participation: Every entrepreneur who is a member of the CCI may nominate a candidate for the plenary meeting and regional committees – or stand for election him- or herself.
We provide a platform for important voluntary commitment: More than 12,000 entrepreneurs are actively involved in the plenary meeting, regional or specialist committees or in vocational training and continuing education. Voluntary work is one of our main pillars.
History of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria (CCI)
King Ludwig I of Bavaria signed a royal decree “regarding the establishment of Chambers of Commerce,” thus providing the legal basis for the creation of the Bavarian Chambers of Commerce.
Ludwig I approved the founding of a “Chamber of Commerce” in Munich and appointed twelve local merchants, factory owners and manufacturers as its representatives. During the official opening assembly, which took place on October 30th at City Hall, railway pioneer Joseph Anton von Maffei was elected as first ever president of the Munich Chamber of Commerce.
In accordance with the royal decree signed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the Bavarian Chambers of Commerce were reformed: As a principal novelty, the Chambers now had to provide “continuous efficacy.” Further, all honorary office holders had to be elected directly by Chamber of Commerce members. For the first time, a membership fee became compulsory for members who had the right to vote.
Moreover, the Munich Chamber of Commerce was obligated to employ a “specialist secretary” and other necessary staff, thus ensuring the Chamber’s ongoing efficacy. In the wake of these reforms, formerly independent regional committees in the district of Upper Bavaria were incorporated into the Munich Chamber of Commerce.
On July 1st the “Chamber of Commerce and Trade for Upper Bavaria” was established. The consolidation of independent German states into a unified German Empire in 1871 had a major impact on its duties: The Chamber’s main priorities now included the standardization of currency, weights and measurements, the creation of a unified legal foundation for all economic matters in the region, the expansion of railway lines and the development of a social security system.
When its leased office spaces in the Royal Mint had become too crowded, the Munich Chamber of Commerce moved into its newly erected headquarters at Maximiliansplatz – the “House of Commerce and Trade.”
Owing to new regulations, craftspeople had to leave the Chamber of Commerce and subsequently went on to create their own Chamber. The Munich Chamber of Commerce received the status of a legal entity. Furthermore, it was now allowed to create and maintain institutions for the “technical and commercial education” of apprentices. This laid the foundation for the Chamber’s future field of activity: vocational training.
For the first time ever, apprentices of industrial and commercial vocations had to take their final exams before the Chamber of Commerce and Trade for Munich and Upper Bavaria.
After the National Socialists’ rise to power in 1933, the Munich CCI – like all Chambers of Commerce nationwide – fell victim to “Gleichschaltung”, a process of centralizing and consolidating power of public institutions under the central government. In April 1933, Special Commissioner Georg Sturm expelled all Jewish members from the plenary meeting. (Further reading: Article in CCI Munich Magazine 5/22; for more detailed account see: Eva Moser, Im Schatten des Hakenkreuzes: Jüdische Mitglieder der Industrie- und Handelskammer München 1932-1933, in: Archivalische Zeitschrift 99 / 2022: Festschrift für Margit Ksoll-Marcon, hrsg. von der Generaldirektion der Staatlichen Archive Bayerns, 2. Teilband, S. 733 – 742)
In 1934 the Chamber became subject to the Reich Minister of Economy, who also appointed its president: Albert Pietzsch, board member of the Electrochemical Works Munich AG, was a member of the NSDAP and was regarded as an early supporter of the Nazi party. Instead of being accountable to a freely elected plenary meeting, the president appointed its own “advisory council.”
In 1933, Dr. Hans Buchner, NSDAP-member and business correspondent with the "Völkischer Beobachter" (the Nazi party newspaper), became the CCI's Managing Director.
Under the National Socialists' rule, the CCI was given a variety of new tasks. The Chamber now participated in "Aryanization", a process which aimed at expelling Jews from trade and commerce.It systematically conducted surveys regarding the descent of business owners, evaluated Jewish-owned corporate assets, reviewed the professional qualifications of "Aryan" business successors and examined the closure of existing companies.
Further reading: Wolfram Selig, „Arisierung“ in München. Die Vernichtung jüdischer Existenz 1937-1939, Berlin 2004; Eva Moser, „...geht damit in arischen Besitz über.“ Die Verdrängung der Juden aus der Münchner Wirtschaft, in: Andrea Baresel-Brand (Bearb.): Entehrt. Ausgeplündert. Arisiert. Entrechtung und Enteignung der Juden (Veröffentlichungen der Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste 3), Magdeburg 2005, S. 131-146
The Munich Chamber of Commerce bought the neighboring building complex on Max Joseph Strasse for more than one million reichsmarks. In 1911, the architect Gabriel von Seidl had erected it to be used as both a private residence and an office building for the Jewish antiques dealer Arnold S. Drey.
In 1935, political pressure forced the owner's family to sell the building. However, the Drey family was not able to keep much of the sale's revenue: The Nazi-run tax offices extorted tremendous, capriciously inflated payments from the Jewish entrepreneurs.
In 1947, Dr. Paul Drey wrote a letter from New York, stating that he had instructed his lawyers in New York and Munich not to demand restitution. In his letter, Drey mentioned "pleasant" and "fair" sales negotiations and stated further: "The Chamber of Commerce has purchased the building from us at payment and actually paid an appropriate price. For this reason, the affected parties and I will not seek an annulment of the contract."
Owing to new legislation, the Munich Chamber of Commerce was merged with the Chamber of Industry and Trade to create the “Gau Chamber of Industry and Commerce Munich-Upper Bavaria.” (“Gau” was a term referring to a traditional German region used by the National Socialists).
The US military government closed the aforementioned “Gau Chamber” and reestablished the Munich Chamber of Commerce, albeit based on voluntary membership. It was renamed “Munich Chamber of Industry and Commerce.”
Since legislation regarding the German Chambers of Commerce had remained inconsistent across the Bundesländer (German states), a new federal law regulating the legal status of CCIs nationwide was introduced (IHKG). It meant the reintroduction of compulsory membership. Furthermore, the German Chambers of Commerce regained their status as legal entities.
On the basis of said law, the Munich CCI once again renamed itself to “Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria.”
Competition disputes could now be mediated by the newly created CCI Settlement Office, the plans for which dated back to 1911.
The Vocational Training Regulation was signed into law. Legislators hereby affirmed the traditional self-governance of the CCIs regarding the organization and monitoring of vocational training and examining apprentices.
The CCI Training Centre in Westerham near Rosenheim was inaugurated. The historic building had once served as an orphanage.
The CCI opened its Centre for Continuing Education and Technology, establishing a close partnership in vocational training with the regional business community.
The new Information and Service Center (ISZ) went into operation. Since its establishment, the ISZ answers all inquiries reaching the Munich Chamber of Commerce – via phone, mail, email or fax. It remains the first point of contact for costumers and visitors who require information about the CCI’s work.
With exactly 251,000 member companies by December 31st, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria became home to more than a quarter million member companies for the first time.
The CCI extended its services in the southeast of Upper Bavaria by opening a new branch in Mühldorf am Inn.
By the end of the year, Chamber membership exceeded 350,000 companies.
The CCI Munich took up the task of providing a first point of contact for service companies from the European Union and the European Economic Area wishing to branch out into Upper Bavaria.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria began renovations of their historic headquarters on Max Joseph Strasse. The plenary meeting had approved a complete refurbishment of its landmarked building complex. Construction finished in 2019.
For this reason, the CCI had to temporarily move into office spaces in the east of Munich for eight years.
New CCI branches opened in Weilheim and Ingolstadt, providing closer support and overall service for 38.000 and 31.000 member companies, respectively.