For more than a century, chambers of commerce have always been a key driver of sustainable economic development. Whether by establishing dialogue with key institutions to advocate on behalf of millions of companies globally or through working with both governments and private sector to shape solutions to global challenges, chambers have always been imperative to support private sector development.
Companies are now operating in a continuously changing business environment that is highly volatile and unpredictable, with a new generation that is changing both the customer landscape but also the workforce dynamics. The need to adopt new technologies is becoming inevitable, as it will ultimately define the winners and losers.
The role of chambers today is even more important than ever. Our members need to continuously innovate in order to survive and so do we. As chambers we are in a unique position to support in shaping solutions for these challenges, enable the development of the private sector, and help growing emerging economies to achieve prosperity and realise opportunities worldwide.
In an evolving business landscape, the ICC provides voluntary rules, guidelines and codes designed to better facilitate cross-border transactions and support governments in managing global developments in a collaborative manner. This important work benefits the world economy as a whole.
In the UAE, the business community benefits from a system based on the principles of free and fair competition among enterprises. Having a voice in the international business space to reflect local interests is essential to growth.
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) share the common goals of facilitating trade, promoting economic development and enhancing the business environment. These common goals have evolved to create a strategic partnership facilitating trade finance in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Adapting to changes
Over the years, Dubai Chamber has evolved and expanded its offerings in line with the changing needs of Dubai’s fast-growing business community. Whether it be trade facilitation, smart business services or support in exploring international markets, we always endeavour to provide our members with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive and grow.
The Chamber plays an active role as a facilitator of public-private sector cooperation, which has been a major force behind Dubai’s remarkable economic and social progress. We have seen first-hand how great things can be achieved when various stakeholders from government and business align their efforts to create mutual benefits and maximise their impact.
Certain aspects that have made the public-private sector economic model in Dubai so successful can easily be adapted in other chambers of commerce and cities around the world. This is why I am proposing a new plan that will be implemented within the first 100 days of my term as Chairman of World Chambers Federation, which will officially begin in January 2019.
This ambitious plan aims to achieve several objectives, among them being removing existing barriers to global trade, strengthening the role of the World Chambers Federation as a facilitator of global commerce, developing smart and innovative solutions and services for businesses, and adopting a future-ready framework that will enhance the competitiveness of chambers and their members around the world.
In addition, this plan will work towards a more open and inclusive system of international trade and create a sustainable mechanism that measures and assess the needs, aspirations and challenges of businesses globally.
We should not forget, however, the importance of channelling our cooperation in a way that supports progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly. Chambers and businesses have a crucial role to play in implementing these goals, solving pressing global challenges and creating far-reaching benefits.
By working together, sharing knowledge and utilising our combined expertise, I believe that we as chambers of commerce can achieve common goals, move the chambers’ community forward, and pave the way for sustainable global growth.
Hamad Buamim is President and CEO of Dubai Chamber.