DEFINITION of 'International Chamber Of Commerce - ICC'

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the largest and the most diverse business organization in the world. The ICC has hundreds of thousands of member companies that represent more than 130 countries and a broad bouquet of business interests. The ICC encompasses a vast network of committees and experts within all industries in order to keep members fully informed on all issues that could affect them, and maintains contacts within the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other intergovernmental agencies.

BREAKING DOWN 'International Chamber Of Commerce - ICC'

The ICC aims to foster trade and commerce internationally and to promote and protect open markets for goods and services as well as for free flow of capital. It performs three primary activities: establishment of rules, resolution of disputes and policy advocacy. The ICC also wages war on commercial crime and corruption in order to bolster economic growth, creation of jobs and steady employment, as well as overall economic prosperity. Because members of the ICC, and their associates, take part in international business, the ICC has unparalleled authority in setting rules that govern how business is conducted across all borders. While these rules are voluntary, thousands of transactions on a daily basis operate by these ICC-established rules, as part of regular international trade.

The History of the ICC

The ICC was founded in Paris, France in 1919. The organization’s international secretariat was also established in Paris, and its International Court of Arbitration was formed in 1923. The first chairman of the chamber was Etienne Clementel, the 20th-century French Minister of Finance.

The ICC’s Governing Bodies

There are four primary governing bodies of the ICC. The lead governing body is the World Council, comprised of representatives of national committees. The highest officers of the ICC, namely the chairman and vice-chairman, are elected by the World Council every two years.

The Executive Board provides strategic direction for the ICC. The board is elected by the World Council and is comprised of 30 business leaders and ex-officio members. The prominent duties of the Executive Board are development of ICC strategies and implementation of policies.

The International Secretariat is the operational hand of the ICC, responsible for developing and implementing the ICC’s work program and for introducing business views into intergovernmental organizations. The secretary general, who is appointed by the World Council, oversees this governing body.

The Finance Committee acts as advisor, on all financial aspects, to the Executive Board. This committee prepares the budget on behalf of the board and submits regular reports, reviewing financial implications of ICC activities and overseeing all expenses and revenue flows.

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