BUSINESSES were urged to reach out to the world when Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) held its annual meeting.

Other campaigns outlined for 2016 at the AGM included the launch of a Young Chamber programme and a fresh focus on apprenticeships.

Chief executive Ian Girling set out the aims during the meeting at the Hallmark Carlton Hotel in Bournemouth.

David McNair became president, with Vincent Boni as senior vice-president and Paul Tansey junior vice-president.

Mr McNair said: “The chamber is going from strength to strength and I am proud to be involved on so many levels. As a business community we have the opportunity to work together to put Dorset on the national map with the chamber at its heart.”

Mr McNair, who is director of the Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital, Newsquest Dorset managing director Mr Boni and Intergage managing director Mr Tansey previously held their positions on an acting basis.

Nearly 60 members saw former president Rob Mitchell – who stepped down to focus on his commercial director role at AFC Bournemouth in June – hand over the chain of office.

Ian Girling outlined plans for a campaign to drive export growth through its international trade services department. The chamber will promote international trade opportunities, host events and offer one-to-one advice, training and social media support.

DCCI’s Young Chamber scheme will offer membership and activities for schools to link education and business. It will include careers advice and help for young people to gain skills so they are ready for the workplace.