World Chambers Congress

9th World Chambers Congress gets underway in Italy

  • 10 June 2015
ICC Conference and events

The 9th World Chambers Congress begins today in Torino, Italy bringing together chamber and business leaders from 109 countries.

Under the theme ‘Identity, Community, Vision’, the world’s largest gathering of chambers will address current global trends affecting chambers of commerce and their respective communities: from economic recovery to climate change and other pressing issues that transcend national boundaries.

Mayor of Torino Piero Fassino who inaugurated the event said: “Torino is happy and honoured to host the 9° World Chambers Congress and welcomes all those who have come here from every corner of the world. Chambers of commerce are a privileged tool in the economic world to circulate ideas, create projects and start a dialogue with markets that are becoming more global and articulated. We are proud to host the Congress, especially because Torino can count on important international assets that we are strongly promoting abroad”.

Organized by the International Chamber of Commerce’s World Chambers Federation (WCF) and hosted by the Torino Chamber, the biennial Congress offers hands-on solutions to support the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and showcases pragmatic tools for trading in today’s global marketplace.

“Chambers of Commerce play an increasingly important role in the global economy and are central to ICC’s vision to promote trade as a driver of growth, jobs and sustainable development. The World Chambers Congress is an essential forum to promote knowledge sharing between chambers from around the world—driving real innovation in the important services they offer to businesses and in the development of public-private partnerships,” said ICC Chairman Terry McGraw.

World Chambers Federation Chair Peter Mihok said: “Two sets of principles to be unveiled during the Congress – our Chamber Declaration and our new Guiding Principles to Defend the Rights of Entrepreneurs – are illustrative of the essential work chambers of commerce undertake around the world to promote a favourable and sustainable business environment.”

“Chambers of commerce play an increasingly important role in the global economy and are central to ICC’s vision to promote trade as a driver of growth, jobs and sustainable development,” said ICC Chairman Terry McGraw.

Taking place over three days, the 9th World Chambers Congress features four plenary sessions on a range of issues including the changing nature of world trade, the impact of migration and the availability of skills, how chambers can help businesses adapt to the challenges of climate change and the need for business input from local contexts into the Millennium Development Goals.

“From Afghanistan to Zambia, from Pacific atolls up to the great western powerhouses: the global economic world gathers here – in Torino – at this event we wanted and secured with determination and persistence now attracting a huge turnout,” said Vincenzo Ilotte, President of the Torino Chamber of Commerce. “Chambers of commerce are present everywhere and in every country that is represented here today. They work side by side with businesses delivering services and training, and helping them going international, promoting local products. This is the strong message Torino is sending out today. Chambers of commerce, notwithstanding the structural and organizational diversities, have an irreplaceable and unique role in the world as representatives of enterprises”.

In addition to four plenary sessions, 25 workshops are set to address key challenges and opportunities for businesses today. These include SME financing; youth entrepreneurship and job creation, managing the increasing complexity of metropolitan cities, the role of chambers in fighting crime, and new technology realms of crowdfunding and digital currencies..

Speakers include:

  • Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization
  • Kathryn Beiser, Global Chair, Edelman Corporate Practice, Edelman Group
  • Kate Carnell, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Georg Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact
  • Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Chairman, Management Board Intesa Sanpaolo Bank

During the Congress the global chamber community will issue declarations on their role and responsibilities in society, and how they support entrepreneurship. Chamber innovation and efforts to remain relevant to SMEs will also be showcased during the final rounds of the World Chambers Competition with winners to be announced during the concluding Congress Gala Dinner to be held on 12 June in the Venaria Reale, Torino. The 2015 Competition attracted 79 entries from 39 countries.

Find out more about the 9th World Chambers Congress by visiting the website.

Follow the 9th World Chambers Congress sessions live on Twitter at @WorldChambers and #9WCC.