1999 marked the completion of the most important stage in the Congress’s history – the acquisition of a legal entity status. The Congress is an international nongovernmental non-profit organization. IBC member companies have a real opportunity to lear about business conditions in different countries, establish direct business contacts, cooperate on joint projects, conclude mutually beneficial agreements and contracts in specific business areas.

The most important distinctive features of the Congress are its independence, autonomy and unaccountability in organizational strategy and tactics development.

In 1999 the second Annual General Meeting of the Congress was held in Athens (Greece) at the invitation of Prometheus Gas. The meeting participants  discussed mechanisms of business contacts expansion and infrastructure development of international economic relations. Mr. H.-D. Genscher, former German Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor took part at the conference as a guest of honor.

That year the EBC established the sixth Working Committee: “Industry and Construction” (renamed in 2016 as “Industry, Innovation and Prospective Development”). Dr. N. Tolmachev, Tubokomplekt Ltd. was elected as chairman of the committee and headed it from 1999 to 2002. From 2003 to 2006, the committee was chaired by Mr. B. Budzulyak, RAO Gazprom. Since 2009, the committee is chaired by O. Aksyutin, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom. The committee focuses on developing mechanisms for international cooperation in industry and science.

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Mr. H.-D. Genscher, former German Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor presenting his speech during the 2nd AGM