World Chambers Federation

World Chambers Federation celebrates 60 years

  • 16 September 2010

The ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) gathered last night to celebrate 60 years of uniting, and facilitating exchange among, the global community of over 12,000 chambers of commerce around the world.

To mark the anniversary, WCF hosted a celebratory dinner featuring speeches by Minister of State of the Republic of Lebanon, former WCF Chair and former ICC Chairman Adnan Kassar, President of Eurochambres Alessandro Barberis and WCF Chair Rona Yircali.

Established by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1950 to be the advocate of its chamber of commerce members worldwide, WCF today has members in over 126 countries comprising local, regional, national, bilateral, transnational, public-law and private-law chambers.

WCF strengthen links between chambers and is a unique platform for the exchange of best practices and experience. WCF activities and services help chambers face the challenges of today’s face-paced global economy and include the administration of the world ATA Carnet system, the World Chambers Network and guidance on the usage of Certificates of Origin.

The World Chambers Congress – inaugurated in 1999 in Marseille, France – has also become the highlight of the chamber calendar and since 2003 has featured the World Chambers Competition; the only awards programme to recognize the most innovative chamber projects.

“Devoted to working for chambers at every level, WCF has come a long way in 60 years to become the backbone of the chamber community,” said WCF Chair Rona Yircali. “As the chamber movement goes from strength to strength, we take the occasion of our 60th anniversary to reaffirm our commitment to promote and protect the role chambers play in their business communities, and strengthen the network between chambers from all over the world.”

Mr Kassar, said: “I extend my best wishes for the 60th anniversary of the World Chambers Federation, celebrated at a time when we are seeing the positive contributions and work of chambers so well admired and the benefit of chambers working together so well promoted. I can attest to this having the experience of over four decades heading local, national, transnational and international chambers.”

Mr Kassar congratulated Mr Yircali and WCF former Chairman Avijit Mazumdar for achieving wide success, describing their leadership as able and visionary.

Mr Mazumdar said: “WCF has its presence in every continent and over the years has made substantial contributions towards a better understanding of the peoples of the world, bringing about peace and harmony in its own way.”

WCF was first known as the International Information Bureau of Chambers of Commerce, (1950 – 1963) subsequently becoming the International Bureau of Chambers of Commerce (1964-2000) and finally WCF (2001-2010).

Chambers of commerce exist in almost every country of the world and remain the most important type of multi-sectoral business organizations. A worldwide history of the chamber of commerce movement is currently being written by WCF, spanning back to the establishment of the first chamber in 1599.