World Chambers Federation

WCF strengthens ties with African and Asian chambers

  • 9 June 2010

Rona Yircali, Chair of the ICC World Chambers Federation, recently met with chamber organizations in Asia and Africa in a bid to strengthen the global chamber network and garner insight into chamber needs in those regions.

“Better understanding the needs and ambitions of the chamber network is a continual element of WCF’s work,” said Mr Yircali. “Regular contact and dialogue with members in all parts of the world is essential.”

During a trip to Ethiopia, Mr Yircali met with the leaders of both the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, as well as the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce (AACCSA). Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African nations and The Economist predicts it will be the fifth fastest growing economy with an economic growth of 7% in 2010.

“Such economic growth opens up many trade and business opportunities that chambers from around the world should share with their business members,” said Mr Yircali during a discussion with Ayalew Zegeye, President of AACCSA. With over 7,000 registered members, the chamber is the largest and oldest chamber of commerce in Ethiopia. AACCSA is also a regular participant in the World Chambers Congress, a past finalist in the World Chambers Competition and has recently subscribed to one of WCF’s key services, the World Chamber Network ChamberTrust business seal programme.

During the discussions with Eyessuswork Zafu, President of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, Mr Yircali was briefed on the reorganization of the chamber in 2007 and its recent establishment of a bilateral business council with Turkey. Noting the chamber’s important role in delivering certificates of origin, Mr Yircali provided an update on the latest work by WCF in reinforcing the role of chambers in this service and of the close relationship between ICC and the World Customs Organization.

Last week, Mr Yircali welcomed in Istanbul a delegation lead by Harvey Chang, President of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce (CACCI). Founded in 1966, CACCI is a transnational network of national chambers of commerce covering 29 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.CACCI is a pro-active partner working closely with WCF on respective chamber awards programmes and international trade facilitation training. It also plays an important role in WCF’s General Council as well as the WCF Transnational Chamber Board.

“There are certainly many areas where our two organizations can work together to help our respective members establish strong relationships with each other,” said Webster Kiang, Director General of CACCI.

The 24th CACCI Conference will be held alongside the 11th Sri Lanka Economic Summit on 5-7July 2010 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The event is being organized with the support of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, both of whom are members of CACCI and ICC World Chambers Federation.