World Chambers Congress

Congress funding opens doors to information

  • 30 April 2009

Access to information is paramount to effective business conduct and is often taken for granted by many entrepreneurs. But without funding from the US Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the opportunity to attend the 6th World Chambers Congress in Kuala Lumpur in June this year would not have been possible for over 12 participants.

While it is important for chambers and associations from developing countries to be exposed to ideas and programmes generated by their counterparts in developed countries, chambers and associations in developed countries also have much to learn from the programmes that other organizations implement in economically and politically challenging environments. With support from CIPE, such an exchange of ideas and experiences will be made possible at the Congress.

Organized by the ICC World Chambers Federation, the Congress is a unique forum for chambers of commerce leaders to address the latest challenges to business, exchange best practices and share experiences.

CIPE Executive Director John Sullivan said: “As a gateway to ideas and solutions that can help chambers of commerce from developing countries better represent their constituency, integrate into the global economy and launch effective advocacy efforts, CIPE’s sponsorship of chambers recognizes the value of attending the Congress.”

The World Chambers Congress is held every two years and with CIPE’s backing the 2009 Congress will see participation of chamber representatives from Afghanistan, Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Russia.

Since 2003, CIPE has supported Congress participation by chambers and associations from countries around the world to increase access to information, promote an entrepreneurial culture, and help shape an understanding of the role that chambers play in making markets and democracies work.

In 2007 Ryan Patrick Evangelista, Executive Director and CEO of the Universal Access to Competitiveness and Trade (U-ACT) – an advocacy and research think-tank affiliated with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – attended the 5th World Chambers Congress in Istanbul thanks to CIPE’s sponsorship.

“Global challenges require a broader perspective and keener understanding on how markets and businesses can evolve in their function as engines of economic growth and social transformation. The World Chambers Congress strengthens these core functions of businesses and enterprises and inspires chambers in effecting global change and innovation,” said Mr Evangelista.

“My participation at the World Chambers Congress has given me the opportunity to expand my network with fellow chamber professionals and business leaders around the world and provided me with new learning avenues to help further my career in policy and advocacy.

CIPE strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy and a non-profit affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce. For 25 years, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and journalists to build the civic institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key programme areas include anti-corruption, advocacy, business associations, corporate governance, democratic governance, access to information, the informal sector and property rights, and women and youth.

During the 6th World Chambers Congress, CIPE will host two workshops to present good governance and social responsibility guidelines for chambers and associations.

Featuring an opening address by recently inaugurated Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak delegates from at least 100 countries are expected to attend the 6th World Chambers Congress which will take place in Kuala Lumpur 3-5 June 2009.