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The international judging panel for the fourth World Chambers Competition today announced the 19 finalists in the four categories, Best Unconventional Project, Best Small Business Project, Best International Project and Best Networking Project.

The Competition, organized by the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF), is the only global awards programme to recognize the most innovative projects undertaken by chambers of commerce and industry from around the world.

”The entries for the fourth World Chamber Competition were all of a very high standard, which made it a very difficult task for the judges to narrow them down to the 20 finalists,” said Avijit Mazumdar, Honorary Chairman of WCF and Chairman of this year’s World Chambers Competition Jury.

For the first time in the history of the competition, the winners will receive US$ 1,000 in prize money generously donated by Mr Mazumdar. Other prizes for this year’s competition include a week’s accommodation from the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry in one of their members’ resort hotels and a vacation package at the Phinda Private Game Reserve secured with KZNTourism by The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The 2009 edition of the World Chambers Competition attracted 47 entries from 33 countries, including Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan, Colombia and Bangladesh. All finalists will be invited to present their projects to the international judging panel at the 6th World Chambers Congress in Kuala Lumpur, to be held from 3 to 5 June this year. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on the last day of the Congress.

Best Unconventional Project
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia
CAINCO, Bolivia
Wermland Chamber of Commerce, Sweden
Oslo Chamber of Commerce
Izmir Chamber of Commerce, Turkey
South Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Best Small Business Project
Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Germany
Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka
Greater Baltimore Committee, United States

Best International Project
Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, France
Torino Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Italy
Chamber of Commerce of Malaga, Spain
Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Turkey
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, United Kingdom

Best Networking Project
Konya Chamber of Industry, Turkey
Serbia Chamber of Commerce
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

In addition, there is a special recognition award for the best project from a chamber of a developing country. The award acknowledges an exceptional project from within the group of applicants that demonstrates achievement and success in a challenging business environment, and will be awarded along with the other categories at the World Chambers Congress in Kuala Lumpur.