Some 1,200 participants from chambers of commerce and other business groups in over 100 countries gathered in Mexico City June 8-10 for the 7th World Chambers Congress, organized by the USCIB affiliate the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC’s World Chambers Federation (WCF) and the Mexico City National Chamber of Commerce (CANACO).
Under the theme of “Enterprise – Network – Prosperity,” the congress comprised plenary sessions and an array of practical workshops relevant to the chamber and business community. It also provided plentiful networking opportunities to position the congress as the most important event of the year on the chamber calendar.
Major addresses were given by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, ICC Chairman Gerard Worms, USCIB Chairman and ICC Vice Chairman Harold McGraw III and CANACO President Arturo Mendicutti Narro. The congress also featured world-renowned speakers including Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, and environmental researcher Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Delegates had the chance to develop new business opportunities and interact with the region’s leading companies from the oil, agriculture, trade and services sectors. Among the many developments at the congress, ICC and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed an agreement to work together across a wide number of projects encompassing trade and investment, banking and sustainable development. ICC and the IDB agreed to develop projects to help private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the generation and dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge, capacity-building activities and joint projects.
G20 Advisory Group meets
t a meeting on the sidelines of the congress, the recently launched ICC G20 Advisory Group consulted with global companies to consolidate business positions on a host of issues for delivery at this fall’s G20 summit in France. Participants at the meeting included USCIB Chairman McGraw, who is also chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, and Mexican Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Maria de Lourdes Aranda Bezaury, along with other CEOs and chambers of commerce leaders representing businesses large and small.
Launched in May, the ICC G20 Advisory Group will hold similar meetings in Doha, Hong Kong and Zurich in the coming months, bringing together business leaders and CEOs from major global corporations and SMEs worldwide. The G20 Advisory Group will focus on G20 issues as set by the host country France, as well as on priorities the group wishes to see addressed, including trade, investment and development, strengthening financial regulation, fighting corruption, reforming the international monetary system, reducing commodity price volatility and green growth.
In addition to Mr. McGraw, USCIB was represented at the congress by President and CEO Peter Robinson, Senior Vice President for Carnet Operations Cynthia Duncan and Carnet Development Manager Amanda Barlow.
ATA Carnet workshop
During the opening day of the congress, a workshop on ATA Carnet brought in representatives of potential member countries. Kenya, Philippines, Brazil and Honduras were all present while Carnet member-country representatives including USCIB’s Ms. Duncan presented their experiences. ATA Carnet is an international customs document – a passport for goods – which permits duty and tax free temporary export/import of commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for exhibitions and fairs. ATA Carnets are offered by chambers of commerce and similar business organizations to traders, sales professionals, exhibitors and other international business travelers.
The second session of the morning was devoted to face-to-face discussions between ATA Carnet experts and chamber representatives interested in learning more about the practical operation of the system.
On to Qatar in 2013
At a special award ceremony held on the closing day of the ceremony, winners of the 2011 World Chambers Competition were announced. Open to all chambers, the competition aims to encourage innovation by showcasing chamber projects that have had a positive impact on their respective communities, and that can potentially be adopted by others. Entries were received from 72 chambers from 41 countries under the categories of Best Unconventional project; Best Small Business project; Best International project and Best Corporate Social Responsibility project. For full details on the World Chambers Competition including winners or to read all projects submitted, please visit www.worldchamberscompetition.org.
The Congress concluded with a gala dinner featuring a video presentation of Qatar, destination of the 8th World Chambers Congress in 2013. Entertainment followed with world class Mexican singers and mariachis.
Staff contact: Cynthia Duncan