Stockholm and New York, June 16, 2008 – A new chairman and vice chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) were elected at the last week’s meeting of ICC’s World Council, which brought together over 130 of its business members from 57 countries. The World Council met in Stockholm on the occasion of the ICC World Business Summit.
Victor Fung, chairman of the Li & Fung Group of companies, will become the first ICC chairman from Hong Kong. Li & Fung Group has major subsidiaries in trading, distribution and retailing, including publicly listed Li & Fung Limited, Integrated Distribution Services Group Limited and Convenience Retail Asia.
Mr. Fung is also chairman of the Greater Pearl River Delta Business Council, the Hong Kong University Council and the Hong Kong-Japan Business Cooperation Committee.
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.
Mr. Fung will assume the role of ICC chairman on July 1, after having served for 18 months as ICC’s vice chair. He will succeed the current ICC chairman, Marcus Wallenberg, who will become ICC’s honorary chairman.
Mr. Fung, who will serve as ICC chairman for two years, holds a number of civic and professional appointments. He is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Hong Kong Commission on Strategic Development, and head of a focus group for the Economic Summit on China’s 11th Five-Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong, organized by the Hong Kong government.
Mr. Fung has written and spoken widely on international trade matters and is a strong advocate of the multilateral trading system. He has served as chairman of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, as the Hong Kong representative on the APEC Business Advisory Council, and on the Informal Business Advisory Body to the World Trade Organization. He has also served as chairman of the Hong Kong Airport Authority.
“With the global economy facing numerous interrelated challenges that are creating worldwide economic uncertainty, there has never been a greater need for world business to speak loudly and forcefully in favor of the multilateral trading system,” said Mr. Fung. “ICC, which has a worldwide network of experts and works closely with governments and intergovernmental organizations, is well positioned to help find global solutions to these obstacles to economic growth.”
In his address to the ICC World Council, Mr. Fung said he also wanted to use his chairmanship to increase ICC’s visibility in the Asia-Pacific region.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Mr. Fung holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate in business economics from Harvard University. He was a professor at the Harvard Business School for four years before returning to Hong Kong in 1976.
Gupta of the U.S. elected ICC vice chairman
Rajat Kumar Gupta was elected vice chairman of ICC and will also begin his two-year term on July 1. Mr. Gupta is the senior partner emeritus of McKinsey & Company. He joined the firm’s New York office in 1973, assumed leadership of its Scandinavian offices in 1981 and of the Chicago office in 1989. Mr. Gupta served as McKinsey’s managing director worldwide from 1994 to 2003.
In his 34-year career in consulting, Mr. Gupta has served many leading companies on a broad set of topics related to strategy, organization and operations. He has played a leadership role in organizational thinking throughout his career and led McKinsey’s organization practice.
Mr. Gupta is an independent director of Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, AMR Corporation and the Qatar Financial Center. He also holds leadership positions in various not-for-profit institutions, including serving as chairman of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, chairman of the Gates Foundation’s India AIDS Initiative, and chairman of the Public Health Foundation of India.
Mr. Gupta, who possesses an in-depth knowledge of the United Nations, having served as the UN Secretary General’s special advisor on UN reform, said he looked forward to building on ICC’s long history of providing vital services to business.
“Like ICC’s founders, I believe international trade and investment are critical factors for economic growth and job creation, with important implications also for cross-border cooperation,” he said.
Mr. Gupta holds a bachelor of technology degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Current ICC chairman Wallenberg will become honorary chairman
Current ICC Chairman Marcus Wallenberg, the chairman of SEB, Saab and Electrolux, and will become ICC’s honorary chairman on July 1.
During his term as chairman, Mr. Wallenberg is credited with strengthening ICC’s three main roles, namely as “the voice of international business,” the creator of voluntary rules for the conduct of international business and as a provider of services to international business.
At the World Council meeting, Mr. Wallenberg said he had been privileged to lead ICC, that he looked forward to continuing his work with the organization and that he was confident the new ICC chairmanship would ensure ICC continues to grow in influence and stature.
USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes over 300 U.S. companies, professional service firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3.5 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.
Jonathan Huneke, VP of Communications, USCIB
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Mary Kelly, Director of Communications, ICC
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