Mr Yircali’s re-election came during a Board meeting in the Indian capital last week as part of the 90th anniversary celebrations of the world business organization effectively confirmed the decision made by WCF General Council in New York last October, which unanimously supported a new three-year mandate for Mr Yircali.
The ICC Board also approved the election of Peter Mihok as WCF Deputy Chair. Under the new governance structure established by the WCF General Council, Mr Mihok will become WCF Chair at the end of Mr Yircali’s term. Mr Mihok has served as one of WCF Vice Chairs since 2002, working closely with both Mr Yircali as well as with Avijit Mazumdar, WCF’s past and honorary Chair during their respective terms.
“I am honoured to have been re-elected as WCF Chair and I am looking forward to working with Mr Mihok and our vice chairs, who will assist us in getting closer to chambers in the different corners of the world and in becoming increasingly involved in the work of ICC,” Mr Yircali said following the Board’s vote.
“I am looking forward to their input and support,” he added.
Mr Yircali appointed five new vice chairs who had been previously endorsed by the WCF General Council at its New York meeting. They are Mick Fleming, American Chamber of Commerce Executives; Mahendra Sanghi, Assocham India; Hamad Buamim, Dubai Chamber of Commerce; Mustafa Mansur, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers; and Lorenzo Ysasi Martinez, Mexico City Chamber of Commerce. Prince Sifiso Zulu, Durban Chamber of Commerce, South Africa, was renewed as a WCF Vice Chair.
In his presentation to the ICC Executive Board, Mr Yircali cited the 6th World Chambers Congress held in Kuala Lumpur last June as one of the major achievements of the closing year. More than 1,000 delegates attended the Congress despite the global recession.
He also cited the important progress made in the negotiations with Mexico and Brazil with a view to having the two countries adopt the ATA Carnet System. Mexican Customs is scheduled to appoint a National Guaranteeing Organization shortly to manage the programme in that country.
This year also saw the strengthening of the partnership between the WCF and the World Customs Organization and the development of a business plan to help WCF better support the role of chambers in delivering the Certificates of Origin (CO) service. In addition, CO guidelines were published in English, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
An important development during the year, Mr Yircali told the Board, was the conclusion of a partnership agreement with the United Nations Procurement Division, fostering local alliances with Chambers of Commerce and Industry and national committees to promote new business opportunities.
Looking ahead to 2010, Mr Yircali said he hoped to increase the involvement of chambers and their profile in key ICC policy areas, implement the election process for the WCF General Council, launch the 2011 World Chambers Competition, and create an on-line e-library of capacity building and training materials available to chambers.
In addition, the WCF must make a decision on the host for the 8th World Chambers Congress to be held in 2013 in the region of Africa and the Middle East.