ICC Americas Summit galvanizes global business leaders toward economic growth

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Some 800 business professionals are attending the ICC's Americas Summit in Bogotá. Photo: Richard Emblin

The very first regional summit of the International Chambers of Chambers (ICC) is taking place at the headquarters of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB)  in the Colombian capital. Known as the Americas Summit, this global exchange stands as a testament to the growing momentum of regional collaboration and innovation in the business landscape. Over two days – May 8 and 9 – business leaders from 35 countries are gathering to engage in dynamic discussions, forge strategic partnerships, and explore emerging opportunities in the evolving global economy thanks to this initiative of the International Chambers of Chambers (ICC).

Supply chain resilience, sustainable business practices, and the imperative of fostering robust corporate ecosystems have emerged as key themes throughout the summit and encapsulate the essence of the keynote speakers. With a diverse array of participants representing over 700 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or PYMES as they are known in Spanish, the event serves as a platform for sharing leadership insights, best practices, and actionable strategies for navigating the complexities of modern commerce.

At the forefront of the summit’s agenda is the business matchmaking session, facilitated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). “This high-stakes gathering brings together representatives from 16 countries, spanning from Argentina to Kenya, to cultivate meaningful connections and drive tangible business outcomes,” explains the ICC. Anticipated business deals totaling an impressive US$4 million underscores the potential for collaborative ventures to fuel economic growth and prosperity across the region.

The summit is also witnessing robust participation from over 70 buying companies and 400 selling companies, reflecting a shared commitment to exploring new avenues for market expansion and revenue generation. “Initiatives like the Americas Summit provide a valuable platform for fostering dialogue, facilitating partnerships, and driving sustainable growth,” remarked the CCB’s President Claros Polanco. Buoyed byan optimistic outlook, organizers project a strong vote of confidence in the Colomnbian economy and regional business ecosystem.

Ovidio Claros Polanco, President of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the summit’s role in fostering a conducive environment for SMEs to thrive and innovate. “Through initiatives like the Americas Summit, we aim to empower entrepreneurs, strengthen the popular economy, and promote sustainable business practices,” stated Polanco. His remarks show the chamber’s unwavering commitment to driving inclusive economic growth and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship in the city and department of Cundinamarca.

Keynote addresses from esteemed business professionals such as John Denton, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, reveal the summit’s significance in driving global trade and fostering international cooperation. “By facilitating dialogue and collaboration among businesses across the Americas, the Americas Summit serves as a catalyst for driving economic growth and unlocking new opportunities for SMEs,” remarked Denton, highlighting the pivotal role of cross-border partnerships in driving innovation and competitiveness.

The summit’s agenda encompasses a diverse array of topics, ranging from leadership development and market trends analysis to the transformative impact of digital technologies on business operations. Discussions on geopolitical dynamics and global supply chains offer valuable insights for SMEs seeking to navigate an increasingly interconnected and competative business landscape.

The legacy of the Americas Summit will extend beyond the confines of the event itself, serving as a model for sustainable economic growth and collaboration across the hemisphere. “As SMEs continue to adapt and innovate in response to evolving market dynamics, initiatives like the Americas Summit will play an instrumental role in shaping the future of commerce and entrepreneurship in the Americas and beyond,” remarked CCB President Claros, echoing the sentiments shared by the participants.

Ovidio Claros Polanco, President of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá

With delegates and presidents of the chambers representing dynamic markets for continued growth such as China, the United States, Israel, Ukraine, and Argentina, among others, the inaugural Americas Summit stands as a testament to the collective ambition and resilience of business leaders.

Through collaboration, innovation, and strategic partnerships, the summit is paving the way for a new era of economic growth and prosperity for Bogotá, and Bogotá metropolitan region, as well as positioning the Colombian capital as a dynamic hub for business excellence and innovation on the global stage. “We want to see more businesses trading across borders, we want to see restrictions and barriers to trade removed, and that entrepreneurs have access to the digital tools,” stated Denton.

“There is a dynamism in Colombia, but not enough companies are trading across borders in Latin America. Our job at the World Federation of Chambers is help them achieve full market potential,” emphasized the ICC’s Secretary-General.

Follow the event on social media with the hashtag #WFC2024