Our dinner tonight marks the formal end of a very successful event.
I think you will agree with me that it was marvellously organized by our hosts, the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
I therefore want to thank them for their hospitality, attention to detail, generosity and good humour.
It’s not east to put up with so many demanding business persons and chamber leaders from around the world!
And last but not least, many thanks to Jennie for allowing me the opportunity to say a few words this evening.
Please let’s thank them all once again a hearty round of applause to show our gratitude.
Liverpool and its heritage of trade and commerce has been a wonderful choice for the International Festival of Business. A multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city, it symbolizes the very best in globalization – the possibility for people from diverse cultures to live and work together in peace and harmony for the benefit of all.
Liverpool’s resilience and economic rebirth – is an ideal example of its values at work. Its stunning success is proof that innovation, trade, and an entrepreneurial spirit lead to economic development and prosperity for all its citizens.
It’s been a great pleasure for me to be with you these past two days. There’s certainly a great feeling of camaraderie and friendship albeit our diverse backgrounds which is very much what WCF is all about.
“Reaching Out, Building relationships” is certainly something that underlies and is a fundamental part of WCF’s mission.
When ICC and the chambers created the WCF more than 60 years ago, it was done so clearly recognizing the important role that chambers play in our various communities around the world, particularly in trade facilitation.
WCF realizes every day the value when our community works together globally in strengthening the “chamber” brand and our image worldwide.
Thank you very much for reinforcing this belief with the success of the POWER OF THE CHAMBER GLOBAL NETWORK these past two days.
I know that you, like I, will return home full of enthusiasm and new opportunities.
I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to our Chambers present and invite you to become even more involved in World Chambers affairs so that together, we can effectively deal with the problems and challenges that lie ahead, not only to us as organizations, but also to better support to the small and medium sized enterprises that are so important.
Our small and medium sized industries, the backbone of all economies in ensuring job creation and long- standing economic growth, count on us to verify that sound policies from national governments are implemented.
They need our help and advice, especially after these recent difficult times.
Because they are in close, everyday contact with the real economy of their cities and towns, they are an invaluable source of information and ideas on how to best tackle the problems we are all facing.
It is important that we reach out to them, as it is important that they know that your doors – the doors of the Chambers of Commerce around the world – are always open to them.
I want to close by thanking each and every one for your participation, sharing ideas, experiences, for creative thinking and innovation.
I think I speak for everyone here when I say we will head home transformed by our experiences these past few days and the images of this fascinating and colourful city.
Have a safe trip home and I hope to see all of you in soon, perhaps at our World Chambers Congress in Torino, next June.