Under the theme "Sydney - Where Business Connects", the Australian chambers' bid presented not only a vibrant city but also a global hub for business opportunities and a new convention centre that will host the future Congress. From exciting outdoor programmes to intriguing session proposals, the Australian team successfully highlighted the chambers' strengths and determination to bring the Congress forward.
"Our commitment to the International Chamber of Commerce's World Chambers Federation's mission has been unwavering. Australian chambers have attended every Congress since its inception," said Stephen Cartwright, CEO of Sydney and NSW Business Chambers. "We are extremely excited to open our doors to our colleagues around the world for an unforgettable experience."
The Sydney and NSW Business Chambers competed alongside the China Chamber of International Commerce (Yiwu), the Indian Chamber of Commerce (Kolkata), and the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Manila). Each candidate succeeded in bringing their cities to life in front of an international panel of judges who gathered in Tokyo last October to listen to each bid.
Under the theme "Services by chambers of commerce in an era of digital economy", the Chinese Chamber of Commerce presented Yiwu, China's largest primary wholesale market, as an international crossroads between ancient culture and a growing new trade route.
The Indian Chamber of Commerce chose the city Kolkata, the country's third most populous metropolitan area, in its bid based around the theme "India: Land of Culture... Continent of Opportunity!" which displayed a multicultural and prosperous country, a growing economy and a colourful destination for tourism.
Moving further East, the Philippines Chamber of Commerce played on the country's reputation as the most hospitable destination in the world in a festive video called "Metro Manila", showcasing the city's mix of modernity and traditional charm.
The voting body for the decision was comprised of the WCF General Council and ICC leadership. The panel undertook a prodigious mission to assess and evaluate the four candidates according to a wide range of criteria, including chamber strength, relationship to ICC WCF, experience in hosting international events, programme proposals, budget, infrastructure, and event logistics.
Following the announcement of the winner, Patricia Forsythe, Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, said: "Sydney has the right connections to support and strengthen the chamber community. With Sydney Business Chamber being one of oldest business entities in Australia, we are more than up to the task of hosting a global congress of this stature."
"Looking at the candidate's cultural, social and economic diversity, it has been quite difficult to choose between these four candidates," said Peter Mihok, WCF Chair who chaired the selection process. "These chambers are all at the heart of very diverse trade and business hubs and are all strong partners of WCF."
On behalf of the entire selection jury, Mr Mihok congratulated Sydney for its accomplishment and extended his personal gratitude to the other candidates for the great deal of effort and thought put into their bids as well as for their continuing involvement and support of WCF's mission and programming.
Organized by ICC WCF and held every two years in a different region of the world, the World Chambers Congress is the only international forum for chamber of commerce leaders to share best-practice experience, develop networks, learn about new areas of innovation from other chambers, and address the local business issues pertinent to the companies in their region. The 9th World Chambers Congress will be held in Torino, Italy from 10-12 June 2015.