Over 3,800 chamber leaders, representatives and industry experts representing 110 countries attended the 12th World Chambers Congress (12WCC) which concluded today (Thursday, November 25) in Dubai.

Co-organised by Dubai Chamber, the International Chamber of Commerce and its World Chambers Federation, under the theme Next Generation: Chambers 4.0, the Congress was the first hybrid event of its kind, offering delegates a glimpse into what chambers of the future will look like. 

More than 80 speakers took part in 44 interactive sessions over the three days of the Congress. The 12WCC in Dubai highlighted the need for chambers of commerce around the world to realign their services to drive business in a new era that is being defined by digitalisation, governance, and increasing concern for social and environmental issues.

In the closing session, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber and Chair of the ICC-World Chambers Federation, said Dubai delivered a World Chambers Congress like no other that raised the bar, while challenging chamber leaders to rethink their strategies, innovate and adopt action plans for the future.

“This a proud moment for me to see to this major international event hosted in my home country and the successful outcome of this Congress in Dubai exceeded our expectations. Dubai proved to be an ideal host city to host the first Congress to be held in the Covid-era, and I believe that it did not disappoint and certainly brought in fresh perspectives and new elements that took the event to the next level,” he said.

“12WCC in Dubai offered a glimpse into the future and global opportunities and insights through the Expo 2020 Dubai platform, which complemented the delegate experience. We hope that we have been able to start important conversations about the need for chambers of commerce to change their services to adapt to the needs of our members in a world that has gone through unprecedented changes – changes that are here to stay,” he added.

Addressing delegates virtually, Fabienne Fischer, Minister, Geneva Department of Economy and Labour, Switzerland, praised Dubai Chamber for creating a unique experience for the global chambers community at 12WCC. She spoke about what Geneva will offer when it hosts the next World Chambers Congress in 2023, also highlighting the need for chambers of commerce to focus on sustainable actions moving forward.

“We surely hope that the 13th World Chambers Congress will take place in more, if I dare say, ‘normal’ circumstances. As a member of the green party, I personally believe that the discussions about reshaping free trade and global commerce across all sectors and within all organisations will be strongly influenced by climate action,” she said.

She shared her view that governments cannot be expected to foster innovation on their own and said chamber of commerce have a very important role to play in promoting best practices and sharing lessons learned.

“I am proud to say that the Geneva Chamber of commerce is among the local leading drivers in this effort and strongly promotes business transformation towards more sustainable behaviours and products,” she added.

12WCC opened on Tuesday, November 23, with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council inaugurating the event that was the first to be held in the region since 2013. His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, and Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, delivered the opening address on day one, discussing how the global pandemic had presented new opportunities for international chambers of commerce.

Other highlights of 12WCC were the launch of Chamber Model Innovation framework for revamping chamber services and embracing innovation, the latest edition of the Dubai Innovation Index analysing innovation input across 39 cities, and the Digital Fitness Test designed for chambers of commerce to evaluate their digital capabilities.

Dubai Chamber released a whitepaper during the congress, with the report providing valuable insights into the concept of Chambers 4.0 and how technology is reshaping global trade.

Geneva, Switzerland’s second-most populous city and a capital for global diplomacy, will host Congress delegates in June 2023. The proposed theme is Achieving shared prosperity through multilateralism, as the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services firmly demonstrated the power of international trade as a means to achieve peaceful cooperation among nations.

Source: Asd'a BCW



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