World Chambers Federation

World Chambers Federation leadership renewed for a second term

  • 4 January 2016
ICC World Chambers

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation's (WCF) leadership team took office this week, with a new three year mandate to strengthen the global network of chambers and reinforce the role they play in their respective communities.

The WCF body unites and represents the global network of chambers of commerce.  Re-elected as Chair of WCF is Peter Mihok, President of Slovakia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Also returning as Deputy Chair is Hamad Buamim, President and  CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.

The WCF General Council voted unanimously for a consecutive three-year term,  demonstrating overwhelming support for the two candidates. Each was recognized for the success and achievements of  the WCF three-year strategy implementation and their clear vision for the next phase of the development plan.

In their respective acceptance speeches, Messrs Mihok and Buamim highlighted some of the key accomplishments of WCF over the past few years. They included the release of the Chamber Charter: the Entrepreneurs Bill of Rights, a document aiding the advocacy efforts of chambers in their marketplace; building ties with chambers in Africa the signing of two accords with CPCCAF and ASCAME; market expansion of both the ATA and CO services and the growing success of the World Chambers Congress.

Looking forward, new WCF priorities have already been mapped out and include:  establishing a WCF digital strategy, expanding membership, aiding chambers in business development opportunities for their members, the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and the International Festival of Business.

The World Chambers Federation continues to be prominently recognized by the chamber community internationally.

“The World Chambers Federation continues to be prominently recognized by the chamber community internationally. Its focus centres on strengthening chamber operations and building practical ties that foster the development of new and relevant services for their entrepreneur and SME members. Much needs to be done in markets worldwide to reinforce and protect the brand of the chambers of commerce. This identity, which has been built upon inherent ‘trust,’ has been secured over centuries and is the voice of the private sector and leading agencies within all their communities in helping business do business,” said Mr Mihok, Chair of WCF.

As part of WCF’s regional activities, Mr Mihok has begun the first appointments of regional Vice-Chairs renewing the positions of Ambrosio Bertolotti (Uruguay National Chamber of Commerce), Bark-Jae Shin (Seoul Chamber of Commerce and Industry); Jean-Claude Karpeles (Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce); Mahendra Sanghi (Assocham India) and Mick Fleming (American Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives). Peter Bishop, Deputy Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry will assume the role of Chair of WCF International Certificate of Origin Council.  Rona Yircali (Past President, Union of Turkish Chambers – TOBB) will also serve an additional three-year term as WCF Honorary Chair.

Mr Mihok extended his thanks to departing members of the WCF Executive Committee for their time, dedication and support. These included: Olive Kigongo, President of the Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Industry for her support as WCF Vice-Chair for Africa; Lorenzo Ysasi, past President of Mexico City Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Lee Ju Song of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce – for her tireless efforts over the past decade in building the foundations for WCF successful CO services; and Georges Fischer of the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber for his commitment to the World Chambers Network project.

WCF Leadership Profiles

The WCF Chair and Deputy bring a wealth of experience to their positions after having already contributed in various roles.

Mr Mihok has served as WCF Vice-Chair since 2002 and Deputy Chair since 2010. He was previously Vice-President of Eurochambres, a member of the Economic Council of the Government of the Slovak Republic and an advisor to the country’s president. He is also a board member for Heineken Slovensko, a Vienna Insurance Group and other corporations.

Mr Buamim also brings vast knowledge and experience to his role as Deputy Chair, having served as a WCF Vice-Chair. Mr Buamim is also involved in a number of Dubai’s leading private organizations as head of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank, Board Member of Dubai World, Chairman of National General Insurance and Board Member of Union Properties. Previously, he served as Chairman of Emirates Financial Services, Chairman of Emirates NBD Capital and Board Member of Emirates NBD as well as of Emirates NBD Capital and Emirates Financial Services.

Having held its inaugural meeting in December 1950, WCF celebrates its 65th anniversary this month marking its continuing efforts to foster and facilitate collaboration and cooperation between chamber leaders and their members worldwide.

For more information, please visit the World Chambers Federation

Learn more about the upcoming ICC WCF 10th World Chambers Congress