Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, has been elected Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Voting by ICC’s World Council took place today in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bharti Enterprises has interests in telecom, insurance, real estate, hospitality, agri and food, besides other ventures. Bharti Airtel, the group’s flagship company, is world’s third largest telecommunications company by customer base, offering mobile, fixed broadband and digital TV solutions to over 350 million customers across India, South Asia and Africa.

Mr Mittal, who has served on the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade and Industry, said: “At a time when the global economy is facing unprecedented challenges I am committed to ensuring ICC plays a central role as the voice of business in shaping policies to support inclusive growth. I am honoured to be ICC’s 51st Chairman and look forward to working actively with ICC’s global network throughout the world.”

Sunil Bharti Mittal
Sunil Bharti Mittal

Mr Mittal added: “There is an urgent need to restore trade and investment as a driver of growth and jobs—particularly in developing economies affected by the slowdown in raw materials and agricultural commodities markets. This will be a central focus for my tenure as Chairman of the world business organisation.”

The International Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organisation with over 6.5 million members in over 130 countries. Mr Mittal becomes the third Indian Chairman of the world business organisation in its near-100 year history.

Mr Mittal takes over the ICC Chairmanship from Terry McGraw, Chairman Emeritus of S&P Global, who becomes ICC’s Honorary Chairman.

Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) paid tribute to Mr McGraw’s leadership of ICC over the past three years saying: “Over the years, Terry has played a huge role promoting the WTO and the multilateral trade agenda as a force for good. He was instrumental in building support behind the 2013 Trade Facilitation Agreement. I thank him for what he has done for the institution and for global trade in general.”

ICC has also announced that John Denton, Partner and CEO of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has been elected to take over from Mr Mittal as the organisation’s First Vice-Chair. ICC’s World Council has also elected three new members to its Executive Board: Anne Veronique Schlaepfer, Partner at global law firm White & Case; Kok Seng Vong, Vice-President of the Macao Chamber of Commerce; and Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AREVA.

Current Board Members Esko Aho (Nokia), Milos Barutciski (Bennett Jones) and Cherie Nursalim (GITI Group) were all elected to serve a second term.