World Chambers Congress to be held in Geneva under the banner of multilateralism

Published on 22/05/2023
Press release

From 21 to 23 June, Geneva will become the world capital of Chambers of Commerce, when the 13th World Chambers Congress will bring together some 1,500 economic players, business leaders and decision-makers from around the world. A major economic forum, the World Chambers Congress is co-organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), its World Chambers Federation (WCF) and the local partner, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG). Under the banner of "multilateralism for peace and prosperity", which represents Geneva's DNA, the Congress will focus on the role of business and chambers of commerce in revitalizing multilateralism for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

The countdown is on! In three months' time, from 21 to 23 June 2023, Geneva will become the world capital of Chambers of Commerce. Under the theme of "Multilateralism for Peace and Prosperity", this major world economic forum will highlight the role of business as one of the essential links in the multilateral system. It is a unique opportunity to connect the voices of the public and private sectors and to highlight the vital role of chambers of commerce in serving the economy and business. This is demonstrated by the export support of chambers of commerce through the issuance of ATA carnets that simplify customs formalities for temporary border crossings. By way of example, the CCIG issued nearly 2,300 ATA carnets in 2022 for a value of over CHF 1 billion and issued some 16,000 certificates of origin in the same year.

Organised for the first time in its history in Switzerland, the World Chambers Congress will be held in Geneva and will bring together some 1,500 business leaders, opinion leaders and key policy makers from over 100 countries. With more than 80 speakers and over 40 sessions, workshops and conferences, the Congress will address the current and future global trends and challenges that define the work of chambers of commerce and business. Three themes will be explored over three days: multilateralism, innovation and sustainability.

For the first time in 13 editions, Swiss and international SMEs will have a special focus during the congress. Attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas on important topics such as medium- and long-term business stability and predictability, global business conditions, the challenges of digitalisation and innovation, and sustainability concerns at all levels of the company.

Renowned speakers are already on the program, including Patrick Odier (President, Building Bridges), Professor Klaus Schwab (Founder and President, WEF), Christoph Mäder (President, economiesuisse), Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman Emeritus, Nestlé and president of Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation), Mathias Cormann (Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD), Pamela Coke-Hamilton (Director, International Trade Centre, ITC), Tatiana Valovaya (Director General, United Nations in Geneva, UN), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Director General, World Trade Organisation, WTO), John W.H. Denton AO (Secretary General, ICC), Nicolás Uribe (President, World Chambers Federation), Alexandre Fessas (Secretary General, International Court of Arbitration). A full list of speakers is available online:

The 13th World Chambers Congress offers participants a unique opportunity to connect, collaborate and discuss around a program designed for chambers and business representatives focusing on innovation, capacity building, networking, sharing best practices and creating international business links. The Business Circle, an area dedicated to entrepreneurs, will focus on demonstrating tools and services for SMEs. This area will be animated during the coffee breaks so that companies can connect and network with each other.

Vincent Subilia, Director General of the CCIG, said: "Geneva, the capital of multilateralism, is delighted to host this major economic forum which will highlight the vital role of the Chambers of Commerce in serving the economy and businesses. We will particularly highlight the importance of business in revitalising multilateralism for a prosperous future".

John W.H. Denton AO, ICC Secretary General, said: " Business plays a critical role in preserving global economic interconnectedness. The congress in Geneva will be a prime opportunity for business and chamber representatives to engage with influential leaders on global issues and demonstrate the power of more inclusive multilateralism as an effective route to more peace, prosperity and opportunity for all.”

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU Secretary-General, said: "Partnerships are key to connecting the world. I’m happy to participate in the upcoming WCC and engage industry to make connectivity more equitable, affordable, innovative, universal, safe, and sustainable. ITU is working with various partners, including Chambers of Commerce and business associations, to strengthen our collaboration with SMEs across the world, especially in developing and least developed countries. As the UN agency for digital technologies, ITU has not only 193 Member States, but also many of the world’s top tech companies, academia and a network of over 20,000 experts in telecommunications, satellites, broadcasting, internet, fintech and more. I believe that it would be powerful to combine the expertise of our respective communities to expand opportunities and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals."

Jean-François Manzoni, IMD President, said: “The conference is a unique platform to address significant global challenges, from sustainability to leading in turbulent times. What a unique opportunity to forge links with chamber leaders and professionals! IMD is pleased to contribute as an academic partner to this high-impact international congress. It is an arena where global experts will strengthen the dialogue for a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive society”.

Nicolás Uribe Rueda, Chair, ICC World Chambers Federation, said: " Chambers of commerce worldwide work to benefit real economies and communities. They are a vital voice for micro-, small-, and medium-sized businesses in the global economy and a practical enabler of cross-border trade, pushing for more inclusive and sustainable economies while advancing goals to enable peace and prosperity through multilateralism. Our World Chambers Congress in Geneva will both exemplify this vital role and strengthen it.”

Program of the World Chambers Congress:

Journalists wishing to attend the World Chambers Congress are invited to contact or Prior registration is required to obtain accreditation. Exchanges will take place mainly in English.

Place and date of the event:
From 21 to 23 June 2023
Palexpo - Route François-Peyrot 30
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex

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