12th World Chambers Congress in Dubai launches global conversation on chamber-led innovation

  • Global forum commences with session outlining the role of chambers of commerce in the post-Covid digital era.

Dubai UAE: The 12th World Chambers Congress (12WCC) in Dubai began today (November 23) with a call for chamber leaders from around the world to embrace innovation as part of their existing models and adapt their services to meet the changing needs of businesses in the post-Covid era and beyond.   

A session titled Charting the House officially kicked off the Congress, putting the spotlight on Dubai, a city embracing the future that is inspiring chamber leaders with the latest innovations and advanced technologies being showcased at Expo 2020 Dubai.

During the session, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber and Chair of ICC-World Chambers Federation and John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the importance of hosting the 12WCC during the world expo, making the Congress in Dubai an ideal platform to foster innovation and cross-border collaboration.

H.E Hamad Buamim said: “What’s happening with the Expo itself – looking at sustainability and innovation – we hope that this will be the element of Dubai delegates can take back to their own organisation. When we bid to host this event in Dubai four years ago, one of the most important themes was to talk about disruptions and digital transformations and this has become more relevant than we anticipated.”

He added: “Initially we delayed this congress because we always wanted to associate it with Expo 2020 Dubai, we realised we always needed a ‘Plan B’ and we didn’t want those for certain reasons out of their control to be excluded. It has been quite a challenging time and I’m very glad that this event has given us the chance to finally reconnect. I’m optimistic for the next three days and what’s coming ahead.”

John W.H. Denton AO said: “The amazing thing is the amount of energy you feel and you only get that when you are together. When we’re all gathered together, we are the world in action – getting people together has been critical for us. We are proof positive that global mobility is good for people, good for their mental health and good for the economy.”

Denton added: “Chambers are institutions embedded in the community, but you can’t stand still and must ensure they’re always relevant. The levels of agility displayed throughout the pandemic have been extraordinary. Chambers 4.0 captures the ability to change and the fact that we are purpose-built for the 21st century. We are constantly learning, it’s a mindset issue. We have wonderful institutions but unless the organisations are open to thinking about the future then they’ll become stuck and inertia will take over- which is always the death knell of institutions. Being open to change is a healthy attitude, which will increase the possibility of achieving a 4.0 outcome.”

Organised under the theme Generation Next: Chambers 4.0, the 12th World Chambers Congress in Dubai runs until Thursday, November 25. The three-day forum is exploring the challenges and opportunities in a post-pandemic world and how chambers of commerce need to adjust their services in the face of new realities. The event is jointly organised by the International Chamber of Commerce and Dubai Chamber, which won the rights to host this edition in 2018. 

About Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry:

Established in 1965, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.