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          8th World Chambers Congress Closing ceremony speech by Peter Mihok, WCF Chair

          CHAIRMAN OF ICC, CHAIRMAN OF QATAR CHAMBER EXCELLENCIES, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,

          As the 8th World Chambers Congress draws to a close I’d like to take a moment to consider our activities and achievements of the past few days.

          As leaders in our communities, we came to Doha to strengthen ties and partnerships, share experiences, and assess pertinent chamber and business developments that have occurred since we last met two years ago.

          Four days later, we are leaving Doha with new perspectives and a deeper understanding of the challenges we face in our field. We are also heading home with a better understanding of the range of tools and services available to us and some practical solutions that can be adapted and implemented when we return home.

          During four plenary sessions we received insight from chamber and business leaders on the ways in which chambers and their business communities can support sustainable economic development by improving education, fostering entrepreneurship, empowering women in the economy and mobilizing the private sector to respond to global challenges.

          In practical workshops we examined a range of issues pertinent to chambers – from Internet development and chambers online to the chamber brand and green partnerships.

          As we make our way home, we will remember the experiences and best practices shared as we take them home to our respective communities. We will continue to build upon the discussions we have initiated, the partnership we have cemented and the relationships we have formed. We come to the Congress knowing that, even in today’s interconnected world, there is nothing as powerful as face-to-face interaction. I have no doubt that the knowledge you have gained and the contacts you have made here in Doha will help make an impact in your respective regions.

          The World Chambers Competition never fails to entertain and inspire us and my congratulations and thanks go to this year’s finalists and winners.

          All of this activity and interaction will not only help us create opportunities for all but strengthens our already formidable chamber network.

          As we bid farewell to Doha and look ahead to the 9th World Chambers Congress in Torino, Italy we look forward to continuing dialogues via the WCF platform. We look forward to hearing your success stories and hearing about new issues as they arise.

          My special thanks go to our hosts, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for their remarkable efforts and hospitality. I wish the best of luck to the Turin Chamber and look forward to seeing you all in that beautiful region in 2015.

          My thanks also go to everyone who has contributed to the success of the Congress in particular you, our participants. Whether you have come from near or far, I wish you a safe journey home.

          THANK YOU.