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          Rotterdam will bid to host World Chambers Congress in 2015

          • Istanbul, 05 July 2007

          The city of Rotterdam, home of Europe’s largest port and a gateway to the continent, is the latest city to throw its hat into the ring to host the World Chambers Congress in 2015.

          The official announcement was made today by the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce during the 5th World Chambers Congress The congress, which is held by the International Chamber of Commerce’s World Chambers Federation in a different part of the world every two years, is scheduled to take place in a European capital in 2015. Rotterdam joins Geneva and Manchester as another possible contender to host. The official announcement was made today by the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce during the 5th World Chambers Congress, which is being staged in Istanbul from 4-6 July.

          “As the gateway to Europe, Rotterdam is uniquely suited to host the World Chambers Congress,” said Ton Geerts, General Manager of the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce. “Rotterdam has been the site of many important world events – it has previously been the European Capital of Sports, Culture, and Architecture.”

          The biennial World Chambers Congress, first staged in Marseille in 1999, has become a highly-prized event for the world’s cities and the premier forum for chamber and business leaders to share experiences and best practices on issues that have a direct impact on the chamber of commerce community. Past congresses took place in Seoul, Quebec City, and Durban.

          The 5th World Chambers Congress in Istanbul has set new attendance records: 1,600 chamber of commerce executives and business leaders from 118 countries are participating, doubling attendance since the last congress in Durban in 2005. Delegates this year come from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan, as well as from a wide range of developing and developed economies including Brazil, China, Finland, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zambia.

          The next congress will be hosted by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) in Kuala Lumpur in 2009. The WCF Selection Committee chose FMM from among bids submitted by India, Australia and Tajikistan. The FMM, which brought a large delegation to this year’s congress, presented a plan for the upcoming congress to the WCF Steering Committee last Monday.

          Bidders have lined up to host the congress well into the next decade. Next June, bids will be entered for the 2011 congress in the Americas, when Mexico is set to present its candidacy. The US is also considering a bid.

          The Dubai Chamber of Commerce has already received the support of its business community to compete for the congress in 2013. Dubai is the sponsor of the World Class Cities workshop at this year’s congress, which displayed the brightest chamber ideas from the world’s 100 largest cities.

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