ICC Kicks Off 90th Anniversary Celebrations With Launch of New Research Foundation

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy spoke at the launch.
WTO Director General Pascal Lamy spoke at the launch.

Geneva and New York, February 2, 2009 –  Over 270 business leaders converged in Geneva today to celebrate the International Chamber of Commerce’s 90th anniversary, highlighted by the launch of the ICC Research Foundation.

The ICC Research Foundation was established in December last year to reinforce ICC’s role of providing global intellectual leadership on public policy issues of major concern to business and peoples around the world.

The Paris-based ICC is the largest, most representative private sector association in the world, with hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 130 countries.  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), based in New York, serves as ICC’s American national committee.  USCIB President Peter M. Robinson and Executive Vice President Ronnie Goldberg attended today’s launch event.

“What is needed now is a way to make a compelling case for world trade, in the context of today’s world, that is accessible to all and based on well-designed research,” said ICC Chairman Victor K. Fung, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Group.  “That is the aim of the ICC Research Foundation.”

Mr. Fung led the launch of both the foundation and ICC’s year-long 90th anniversary celebrations at a reception organized by ICC Switzerland.  ICC Honorary Chairman Marcus Wallenberg delivered closing remarks, and other main speakers included Pascal Lamy (click here to view remarks), director general of the World Trade Organization, and Micheline Calmy-Rey, member of the Swiss Federal Council and head of Swiss department of foreign affairs.

L-R: ICC Chairman Victor Fung, USCIB President Peter Robinson, USCIB Executive Vice President Ronnie Goldberg.
L-R: ICC Chairman Victor Fung, USCIB President Peter Robinson, USCIB Executive Vice President Ronnie Goldberg.

The ICC Research Foundation will commission research to demonstrate the public benefits that flow from an expansion of international trade and investment, and how multilateral rules are particularly beneficial to that end.  It will also promote a deeper understanding by policy makers, the media and the public at large of the benefits of international trade and investment, and the dangers of protectionism, through a public education program drawing on the results of its research.

Founded in 1919, ICC promotes trade and investment across frontiers and helps business corporations meet the challenges and opportunities of globalization.  Its conviction that trade is a powerful force for peace and prosperity remains as valid today as it was 90 years ago, organizers said.

The ICC Research Foundation will commission studies by research bodies, academic institutions and other experts in the areas of trade and investment.  Its initial research projects will examine the contribution to global prosperity of international trade as seen from the perspective of different geographical regions – beginning with Europe, the US and Asia.

ICC’s 90th anniversary year will include a series of noteworthy events around the world, in Paris, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Boston and New Delhi.

For more information about the ICC Research Foundation, visit: www.iccresearchfoundation.org

A conference jointly organized by ICC and the IMD business school on the future of international trade will take place in Lausanne tomorrow as part of the IMD Responsible Leadership Summit.

USCIB promotes international engagement and prudent regulation in support of open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility.  Its members include top U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of the economy, and with operations in every region of the world.  With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.  More information is available at www.uscib.org.

Jonathan Huneke, VP of Communications, USCIB
+1 212 703 5043 or jhuneke@uscib.org

Dawn Chardonnal, ICC Communications Dept.
+33 1 4953 2907 or dcl@iccwbo.org

Text of remarks by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy

ICC Research Foundation website

ICC website

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
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