World Chambers Federation Report: Chambers New Norm – Adapting Business Needs

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Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the support of ICC’s World Chambers Federation (WCF) has released a report on the preparedness of chambers of commerce to adapt their services in the face of COVID-19.

Chambers of commerce, like businesses and governments, are experiencing new challenges and opportunities in the age of COVID-19. In recognition of the vital role that chambers of commerce play in their business communities, Dubai Chamber, with the support of ICC WCF, has published the report ”Chambers New Norm: Adapting Business Needs” to understand how COVID-19 is impacting chamber services. Find out more about chambers of commerce HERE.

The findings, which are based on interviews conducted with chamber leaders from every continent, found that many chambers of commerce lacked formal crisis management plans to deal with a widespread public health crisis, like COVID-19. Despite lacking initial plans, the report found that chambers of commerce reacted to the pandemic quickly by developing risk strategies aimed at covering both internal operations and services to members. In response, chambers of commerce focused existing services and pioneering innovative projects designed to manage the economic and social challenges faced by local businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Hamad Buamim, WCF Chair and President & CEO of Dubai Chamber said: “COVID-19 has presented both opportunities and challenges to chambers of commerce around the world. Despite the uncertainty faced by local communities and businesses, this report demonstrates that chambers of commerce responded with resilience, innovation and creativity to manage the worst consequences of the pandemic. Dubai Chamber and ICC WCF recognize the importance of working with chambers to bridge knowledge gaps and increase preparedness for future global crises.”

From conducting network surveys to creating digital marketplaces, chambers of commerce expanded upon their core services to provide their communities with support as they adjust to the “new normal”.

Based upon these findings, the report provides several recommendations aimed at “moving chambers of commerce forward” and adapting their services in the age of COVID-19. In the short-term, the report recommends that chambers assist businesses, especially SMEs, with moving their operations digitally, as well as promoting international standards for work hygiene and safety. Looking ahead to the long-term response, the report advocates for establishing closer collaboration among chambers, expanding sustainable business models and accelerating digital transformations within businesses.

Source/Image Credit: ICC