World Chambers Federation

Top-flight lineup unveiled for World Chambers Congress

  • 18 June 2007

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and a host of business leaders are among the distinguished guests scheduled to address the World Chambers Congress, which kicks off on 4 July in Istanbul. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will open the congress.

More than 800 business leaders from some 100 countries will convene for the biennial event to deliberate fresh ways to grapple with some of the biggest challenges to business development. It is the only international forum devoted to the global community of over 12 000 chambers of commerce.

Ms Albright, currently Principal of The Albright Group (LLC) and a professor at Georgetown University, will deliver a keynote speech on the first day during the plenary session on how to better manage global risks through closer business-government collaboration.

Other plenary sessions will deal with securing energy in an era of volatile energy prices; how to create flexible, well-designed labour markets amid rapidly-changing migration patterns; and how to cope with rising threats to the multilateral trading system.

Among the distinguished panelists will be Carlos Bulgheroni, Chairman of Bridas Corporation, Argentina; Victor Chu, Chairman of First Eastern Investment Group, Hong Kong; Victor Fung, Chairman of Li & Fung Group of companies, Hong Kong; Vice-Chairman of ICC; R.V. Kanoria, Chairman and Managing Director of Kanoria Chemicals and Industries, India; Muhtar Kent, President of the Coca-Cola Company; Brunson McKinley, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, Geneva; Pierre Simon, President of the Paris Chamber of Commerce, France; President of Eurochambres; Stephan Singer, Head of Climate Change Policy Unit, WWF, Brussel; Donald Stephenson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the Office of the United Nations and to the World Trade Organization, Geneva; Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President of the International Finance Corporation; Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of SAAB and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken; Chairman of ICC.

A series of 23 workshops will offer practical, hands-on solutions to support the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and offer chambers of commerce an opportunity to learn best how to deal with the myriad challenges facing modern business.

The workshop topics include: customer service, the seven measures of success, leadership versus management, intellectual property issues for chambers and SMEs, and IT and e-business for chambers.

Other workshops will treat chamber branding, women in business and how businesses can thrive in the 21st century. The World’s Top 100 Cities – sponsored by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry – will showcase the bold ideas and special activities of world class cities.

This year’s event is hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Chambers Federation, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.

Finalists in the 2007 World Chambers Competition will present their projects during the Congress. They will face an international panel of judges in a contest for the most innovative projects from chambers of commerce.