The first-ever ICC National Committee Initiative of the Year Award was presented to ICC Brazil for the design of an AI-powered ‘Cognitive Trade Advisor’ (ITTI/CTA), designed to provide cognitive solutions to improve the way delegates prepare and execute trade negotiations. ICC Brazil’s CTA stemmed from the results of the Intelligent Tech and Trade Initiative (ITTI), an ICC-led project, examining the use of AI and blockchain on the world of international trade
The ICC National Committee Initiative of the Year Award is an annual award that recognises initiatives taken by individual national committees to improve the way they work, serve ICC members, raise awareness on an ICC priority issue, and/or that lead to positive changes in the policy and regulatory environment. Projects or activities carried out by national committees in the last 12 months, which embodied ICC’s mission to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere, were considered for the award. The grand prize winners were announced in Paris on the occasion of ICC’s celebration of its 100-year anniversary at the end of May.
In partnership with IBM, the ITTI-CTA platform can read, scan, classify, and interpret thousands of provisions within trade agreements. The platform, powered by IBM Watson software, will expedite preparation for delegates and increase the accuracy, productivity, and quality of trade negotiations.
Daniel Feffer, Chairman of ICC Brazil and founder of ITTI, said: “The development of tools, such as the CTA, is a first step in reshaping trade negotiations as we know them, with AI boosting global cooperation.”
Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said:
“Congratulations to ICC Brazil for this great accomplishment. The Cognitive Trade Advisor is a pioneering tool, using AI and blockchain technology to support trade cooperation. This platform and its trade-related data could provide invaluable support to negotiators. We are happy that this initiative was launched at the WTO Public Forum last year, underlying once again the strong ICC-WTO partnership.”
The project, which was co-directed by Marcos Troyjo, former Director of ITTI and now Brazil’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and International Affairs, advances ICC’s vision for enabling technology to support multilateral trade policies and deliver benefits to all in society. In his address to participants at the ICC Centenary Summit on 28 May, Mr Troyjo discussed how international trade can create economic miracles or countries with sustained economic growth over time. As a developing country, Brazil is continuing to open up its economy and negotiate new trade agreements as a means for creating sustained economic growth, explained Mr Troyjo.
Gabriel Petrus, Executive Director of ICC Brazil, who co-directed the project and led the development of the CTA with IBM, accepted the award on behalf of ICC Brazil at the annual gathering of ICC national committee leaders, which took place on 28-29 May at ICC Global Headquarters in Paris.
On receiving the award, Mr Petrus said, “ICC Brazil is truly honoured to receive this recognition from our national committee colleagues. We hope that the ITTI-CTA platform will serve as a useful tool for the enhancement of multilateral trade.”
Overall, there were 26 entries from across the world for the award with two rounds of voting – first a regional vote to determine winners in each respective region, then a global vote to determine the overall winners. Approximately 100 people from around the world participated in the voting, including ICC national committees, members of ICC’s Executive Board, ICC’s National Committee and Membership team, and ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.
Following ICC Brazil, ICC Bangladesh’s ICC-UNHCR joint programme for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh earned second place honours, while ICC Albania’s ABC Project (Anti-corruption Business Coalition) took third place.
“We were particularly impressed by the impact of ICC Bangladesh’s ICC-UNHCR joint programme for Rohingya Refugees. It’s really a wonderful and inspiring story about how business can make a difference solving issues related to a man-made disaster,” said ICC Belgium Secretary General Mathieu Maes.
In addition, national committee initiatives were recognised across five regions, including Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Middle East-North Africa (MENA). The top three global initiatives from ICC Brazil (Americas), ICC Bangladesh (Asia), and ICC Albania (Europe), each earned first place honours in their respective regions. Meanwhile, ICC Nigeria’s Annual Dinner and Dance and ICC United Arab Emirates’ Members’ Engagement and Communication Strategy were recognised as the top initiatives in Africa and MENA.
“Each of the 26 entries was impressive and it was inspiring for colleagues to learn about all the innovative projects that national committees around the world have launched to best serve their business communities and members,” said Mary Kelly, Director of ICC National Committees and Membership, who created the Award and ran the programme.