ICC Advocates for Women Empowerment Through Technology

The annual UN High Level Political Forum wrapped up last week having measured progress and implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the past two years. USCIB was on the ground during Agriculture and Food Day, which focused on Goal 2-Ending Hunger, as well as the UN SDG Business Forum, which focused on business support among all 17 SDG’s.  SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and calls for enhances use of enabling technology –information and communications technologies (ICT’s) in particular—to promote the empowerment of women.  For many women around the world, ICT’s can be leveraged for personal security, better access to education and jobs, financial inclusion and access to basic healthcare information. But benefits such as these rely on women having meaningful access to ICT which can be facilitated or prevented by several factors, including affordability, relevant content, skills and security.

To help turn commitment into action, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) partnered with UN Women – the global champion for gender equality – to host a side-event during the HLPF.  The event, Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment to Achieve the 2030 Agenda, showcased the global efforts stakeholders have embarked on to bring women’s economic empowerment to the forefront of all the SDG targets.

“Through innovation, investment and development of products and services, the private sector plays an important role in advancing gender equality and improving the lives of women,” said Barbara Wanner USCIB vice president for ICT Policy. ICC highlighted several private sector initiatives during the side-event that are catalyzing women’s economic empowerment in developed and developing countries and presented the role of ICT’s in advancing the SDG’s.

Participants included contributors to the UN Secretary General High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment and representatives from the governments of the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, UN Women, the International Labor Organization, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich, and Carolyn Nguyen of Microsoft who is also vice-chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy.

For additional information on this event, please visit ICC’s website.

ATA Carnets Paper Processing Moves Into the 21st Century

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has endorsed the launching of a pilot in 2018 of a digital ATA Carnet process! The eCarnet working group of the International Chamber of Commerce/World Chambers Federation (ICC/WCF) provided an update on the electronic Carnet (eCarnet) developments to the WCO’s eATA Carnet Working Group.

The group met at WCO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on June 30.  The ICC/WCF advised it is moving, on schedule, into phase three of creating a digitized ATA Carnet system.  There will be a pilot project launched in 2018 to test the system and processes for an eCarnet.

ICC/WCF showcased its recently developed Mercury system, a centralized database system of key ATA Carnet data.  A digitized ATA Carnet will facilitate transactions, increase data security, reduce exceptions and improve administration.  Customs, Carnet holders, service providers and national guaranteeing associations, such as USCIB, will be more productive with a modernized export/import process for items moving under an ATA Carnet. More than 15 nations and the European Union expressed their support and welcomed this initiative.  Some countries displayed an eagerness to join the pilot project.

USCIB’s Andy Shiles attends the WCO meetings in Brussels, Belgium

Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s new senior vice president of ATA Carnets and Trade Services, attended the WCO meeting and emphasized the large scale of business opportunities that ATA Carnets can provide for both small and large American enterprises. “It is exciting to be involved in such a dynamic time in the ATA Carnet industry,” said Shiles, adding that “We are truly making history by moving the ATA Carnet processes into the 21st century.  This means that billions of dollars worth of goods will move through efficient eATA Carnet processes resulting in jobs being created.”

The ATA Carnets are used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily. While the ATA Carnet is currently in force in 77 countries, Shiles is striving to see an expansion of even more countries.

ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents that permit temporary duty-free, tax-free entry of qualified goods for up to one year. They are used widely to facilitate entry of goods for trade shows, product samples and professional equipment. “Astute business people utilize the unique tool of an ATA Carnet to promote their goods internationally where they can generate incremental sales, reduce handling costs and protect a company’s cash flow when it comes to international transportation,” noted Shiles.  “In fact, a company dealing with international sales may be missing out on a great opportunity if they if they are not using carnets,” he warned.

USCIB manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the United States, with responsibility for issuing ATA Carnets falling to two outside service providers, Roanoke Trade and the Corporation for International Business. ATA Carnets are accepted in 77 countries and territories, while the global ATA systems are overseen by the WCO and the ICC. USCIB serves as ICC’s U.S. national guaranteeing association. For more information on ATA Carnets and the benefits they can provide for your business, please visit USCIB’s website.

USCIB Highlights Business Role at UN Sustainable Development Meetings

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich opens the UN SDG Business Forum

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) were created to measure progress and achievements towards a sustainable future through a series of 17 goals adopted by the UN General Assembly under the moniker Agenda 2030.  During this year’s annual UN High-Level Political Forum, held from July 10 – 19 at UN headquarters in New York, the UN Secretariat worked with member states to discuss paths to implementation and to track progress on the SDGs. USCIB and its members were on the ground during the HLPF highlighting the role of engaging all business sectors to advancing environmental, economic and social cooperation for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

USCIB Vice President for Product Policy and Innovation Mike Michener supported USCIB’s longtime partner, the International Agri-Food Network (IAFN), on their event focusing on SDG2, Ending Hunger, during their side-event, Agriculture and Food Day on July 13. IAFN partnered with leading organizations to host this event to celebrate, discuss, negotiate, analyze, and brainstorm around the role of the agricultural and food sector in relation to the implementation of the SDGs. Agriculture and Food Day summarized the importance of targeting the agricultural sector and food issues to reach the SDGs by 2030. IAFN has been a consistent champion for a stand-alone goal on sustainable agriculture and food security.

However, “solutions cannot address just one goal, but must look to make a difference to several at once,” noted Michener.  “The purpose of Agriculture and Food Day was to examine how focusing on agricultural and food policy could achieve not only Goal 2 but make substantive contributions to the achievement of the other 16 goals.  Investments made in agriculture — the dominant occupation for the world’s poorest people — can accomplish much beyond Goal 2, including improvements in health, incomes, trade, infrastructure, and the environment,” he said.

USCIB policy experts and members also joined the SDG Business Forum on July 18, the first business-organized meeting held in the UN’s General Assembly Hall. Speakers from the UN, governments, NGOs and business discussed private sector investment, information sharing and public-private partnership to take forward the 17 SDGs.  The Forum was organized by the Global Business Coalition for 2030, a coalition of major business organizations and the UN Global Compact, facilitated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Speaking to the HLPF, USCIB Vice President for Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy stated, “Innovation, infrastructure, economic growth and empowerment and good governance are the four inter-linked cornerstones for all 17 SDGs for business. Therefore it is crucial to consult with private sector groups at the national and regional level to develop enabling frameworks for business actions to advance the SDGs,” she said. Over 40 countries submitted national reports this year on their progress towards the SDGs.

Many of the speakers echoed the sentiment that neither the SDG’s nor the wider 2030 Agenda can be achieved without active participants of non-state actors, including business and industry, to drive  inclusive economic growth and prosperity.

In his remarks to the HLPF, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich noted, “There can be no doubt that the private sector means business when it comes to the SDG’s. Since their inception, I’ve said the SDG’s should be known as the BDG’s, the Business Development Goals, and that’s because their achievement represents a clear economic imperative. Business engagement on the UN SDG’s is not only a powerful way to enhance society’s trust but also a great business opportunity. Achieving the SDG’s opens up $12 trillion in market opportunity in sectors such as food, energy, health and cities.”

USCIB member KPMG’s Nick Chism, deputy head of Global Sales and Markets and global chair of Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare, discussed the importance of creating business-friendly environment and opportunities, indicating that enabling environments will lead to more private sector investment.

For this year’s HLPF, USCIB members, including Bechtel, Cargill, Citi, Hilton, Monsanto, Novozymes and Pirelli, added new examples of actions to advance the SDGs to USCIB’s Businessfor2030 web platform.

USCIB’s Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner also attended an event, Accelerating Women’s Economic Empowerment to Achieve the 2030 Agenda, which was organized by ICC and UN Women – the global champion for gender equality. For many women around the world, ICT’s can be leveraged for personal security, better access to education and jobs, financial inclusion and access to basic healthcare information. But benefits such as these rely on women having meaningful access to ICT which can be facilitated or prevented by several factors, including affordability, relevant content, skills and security. The event showcased the global efforts stakeholders have embarked on to bring women’s economic empowerment to the forefront of all the SDG targets.

“Through innovation, investment and development of products and services, the private sector plays an important role in advancing gender equality and improving the lives of women,” said Wanner.

ICC highlighted several private sector initiatives during the side-event that are catalyzing women’s economic empowerment in developed and developing countries and presented the role of ICT’s in advancing the SDG’s. For additional information on this event, please visit ICC’s website.

Historic Business Meeting at the UN Advances the Sustainable Development Goals

ICC Secretary General John Danilovich addresses participants at the Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum during the UN High Level Political Forum

USCIB members joined today’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Business Forum (live now on UN TV) during the High Level segment of the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to highlight the role of business in advancing environmental, economic and social cooperation for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  At this first business-organized meeting in the UN’s General Assembly Hall, speakers from the UN, governments, NGOs and business discussed private sector investment, information sharing and public-private partnership to take forward the 17 SDGs.  The SDG Business Forum was organized by the Business Coalition for 2030, a coalition of major business organizations and the UN Global Compact, facilitated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

This year’s HLPF, from July 10 – 19, review and deliberations focused on SDGs on innovation and infrastructure, as well as food security, gender equality, health and oceans.  Speaking to the HLPF, USCIB Vice President for Energy and Environment Norine Kennedy stated, “Innovation, infrastructure, economic growth and empowerment and good governance are the four inter-linked cornerstones for all 17 SDGs for business.”  Kennedy also emphasized the importance of consulting with private sector groups at the national and regional level to develop enabling frameworks for business actions to advance the SDGs. Over 40 countries submitted national reports this year on their progress towards the SDGs.

In his remarks to the HLPF, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich noted that after two years of implementation, “the SDGs have been embraced by companies of all sectors and sizes as ‘Business Development Goals.’”

For this year’s HLPF, USCIB members, including Bechtel, Cargill, Citi, Hilton, Monsanto, Novozymes and Pirelli, added new examples of their actions to advance the SDGs to USCIB’s Businessfor2030 web platform.

For more information on USCIB’s SDG Working Group and Advocacy, please contact Norine Kennedy or Gabriella Rigg Herzog.

USCIB has been on the ground during the HLPF for the past two weeks, including supporting an International Agri-Food Network event on Agriculture and Food last week.

G20 Reaffirms Commitment to Resist Protectionism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at G20 Summit

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies wrapped up their summit in Hamburg, Germany by issuing a communiqué that forged compromise language over trade enforcement and trade liberalization, and advanced discussion of the digital economy.

But the Trump administration appeared isolated on climate change, with the other G20 nations recommitting themselves to action under the Paris Climate Agreement despite the U.S. pledge to withdraw.

“G20 leaders said the right words about resisting protectionism which will be essential in ensuring access to good jobs in the 21st century,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson, who serves as a co-chair of the B20 (Business 20) Employment and Education Task Force.

In their final statement, the G20 leaders committed to keeping global markets open, “noting the importance of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade and investment frameworks and the principle of non-discrimination.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a closing press conference on Saturday: “I am satisfied that we managed to say clearly that markets need to remain open.”

John Danilovich, secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce, said: “We commend the G20’s focus on strengthening the multilateral trading system. A strong, rules-based trading system is a pre-requisite to achieve the G20 leaders’ laudable ambition of making globalization work for all.”

USCIB’s Robinson also welcomed progress made by the G20 governments on enhancing digital commerce.

“We agree with the leaders statement that continued growth and innovation spurred by the digital economy will be essential to meeting the needs of people around the world,” he said. “It’s important that governments maintain a fundamentally pro-investment and pro-competition approach to the digital economy.”

But Robinson had a mixed reaction to the final language on climate change action. “Other members of the G20 are ramping up their cooperative efforts and joint action on climate,” he said. “so we encourage the United States to remain connected and involved in international collaboration for energy security and innovative technology deployment that is essential both for U.S. prosperity as well as tackling climate challenges at home and abroad.  USCIB continues to encourage the Administration to consider how to advance these efforts in the UN Climate treaty while it considers ways to re-enter the Paris Agreement.”

Regarding education and employment, Robinson emphasized the importance of educating, training and retraining to gain the necessary skills for the future of work, noting “workers need to be able to successfully adapt to change.”

ICC Court Opens Case Management Office in Singapore

Alexis Mourre, president of the ICC Court, Han Kok Juan, deputy secretary of MinLaw, John Danilovich, secretary-general of ICC and Indranee Rajah SC, senior Minister of State of MinLaw and Ministry of Finance

The Singapore Ministry of Law (MinLaw) and the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced last week that the ICC Court will set up a case management office in Singapore—aimed at boosting arbitration and serving the dispute resolution needs of businesses around the world.

MinLaw and the ICC Court announced their collaboration at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)—a milestone agreement—in Singapore on June 28. Under the terms of the MOU, MinLaw and the ICC Court will also work together to develop and promote Singapore as a seat and venue for arbitration in Asia through advancing thought leadership, developing talent and arbitration services and undertaking joint marketing.

The MOU was signed by Han Kok Juan, deputy secretary of MinLaw and Alexis Mourre, president of the ICC Court, witnessed by Indranee Rajah SC, senior minister of State of MinLaw and Ministry of Finance and John Danilovich, secretary-general of ICC at the 3rd ICC Asia Conference held in Singapore last week.

The ICC Court, headquartered in Paris, is one of the world’s leading arbitral institutions. In 2016, it administered almost 1,000 arbitral cases from around the world. The Singapore office will be the Court’s fourth overseas case management office—after Hong Kong, New York and Brazil—giving it a peerless global footprint. The new Singapore office is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2018 at Maxwell Chambers. It will take up about 2,000 square feet in the new Maxwell Chambers Suites, a conserved heritage building, which will be an expansion of Maxwell Chambers when the refurbishment works are completed in 2019.

The ICC Court has welcomed the conclusion of the MOU, emphasizing that the new case management team will form part of a unique international arbitration hub in Asia. “With its two case management teams in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as its representative office in Shanghai, the Court is now able to offer a unique international arbitration platform across the entire Asian continent,” said Mourre.

SDG Business Forum Will Report on Private Sector Achievements

Following the success of last year’s inaugural forum, the second annual SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations on July 18, 2017 during the ministerial segment of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. Co-hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and the UN Global Compact, and organized in collaboration with the Global Business Alliance (GBA) for 2030 – including USCIB, the SDG Business Forum will convene leaders from business and government, together with the heads of UN agencies, key international organizations, and civil society groups to delve into the role business will play in delivering the 2030 Agenda.

Featuring a showcase review of business engagement on the 7 goals in focus at this year’s HLPF, as well as individual sessions examining investment, partnerships, and monitoring, this event will foster robust dialogue between governments and the private sector on critical issues and the way forward. The Forum will report on significant achievements and commitments undertaken by business and gauge private sector efforts to catalyze sustainable growth and development during this critical implementation phase. Ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, the global business community is committed to contribute to the success of the 2030 Agenda and the realization of a long-lasting, prosperous future for all.

For more information and registration please visit: http://www.sdgbusinessforum.com/

Early Bird Registration: ICC New York Conference on International Arbitration

The ICC International Court of Arbitration will be holding its 12th ICC New York Conference on International Arbitration on September 27 at NYU’s School of Law. This annual event offers a forward-looking, dynamic program for law practitioners and business professionals alike. The full agenda is available here.

USCIB members receive a discount on registration with code: USA-9728

Session highlights:

  • NAFTA on the table
  • A duty to protect and secure: safeguarding confidential information in a digital world
  • Analysis or Advocacy: the use of experts in international arbitration
  • Turning an award into $$$$: strategies for enforcement

If you want to stay up-to-date with all recent arbitration developments in North America, this will be the ideal opportunity to interact directly with leading arbitration practitioners and experts.

The ICC Institute of World Business Law will also be organizing an advanced training on Drafting Enforceable Awards the day before, on September 26. Click here to view the program and speakers.

Package deals are available for the Conference + Training.
Make sure you register while the early bird is still applicable! The deadline for the early bird rate is July 28.

ICC and USCIB Host Singapore Minister to Discuss Trade Disputes in Asia

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah SC gives remarks

The ICC International Court of Arbitration and USCIB’s Arbitration Committee co-hosted Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah SC on May 22 in New York, attracting law professionals including arbitrators, counsel and academics. The keynote address was followed by a roundtable discussion of considerations when resolving disputes in Asia, such as when to litigate or arbitrate, the use of expedited procedure rules, investment treaty developments in the region and enforcement considerations in various jurisdictions.

“As economies in Asia continue to grow, dispute volume and complexity will rise,” said Minister Rajah in her remarks, which focused on Singapore as a place of arbitration.

Other panelists included Grant Hanessian, partner, Baker McKenzie, court member, ICC International Court of Arbitration and chair of the USCIB Arbitration Committee, Mevelyn Ong, associate, Sullivan & Cromwell and former deputy counsel, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Christopher K. Tahbaz, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Dan Tan, principal, Dan Tan Law and Edwin Tong, SC, partner, Allen & Gledhill LLP.

Giblin Attends ICC Customs, Trade Meetings in Dubai

USCIB’s Megan Giblin (center, second row) along with business colleagues from ICC-UAE in Dubai

USCIB’s Director for Customs and Trade Facilitation Megan Giblin was in Dubai last week attending ICC-UAE and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry co-hosted Customs and Trade Facilitation Forum. The Forum discussed a wide range of topics including Trade Digitalization, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the Gulf Cooperation Council value-added Tax Implementation Framework.

The UAE was the first country in the Arab world to ratify the WTO’s TFA, which entered into force earlier this year and promises to boost global trade flows by over $1 trillion this year and generate opportunities for easier, less costly cross-border trade.

According to Giblin, this meeting was a tremendous opportunity for the international business community to discuss the role the private sector can play to ensure effective implementation of the TFA and its potential for investment and regional supply chains.