International Business Congress (former European Business Congress) was created on the idea of the participants of the OSCE Economic Forum in December 1997 to promote the development of economic cooperation between East and West, establishing a dialogue between political and business circles of different countries. More than 500 representatives of the leading companies from 37 countries participated in the founding conference. The Russian fuel and energy complex was represented by Gazprom, UES of Russia, LUKOIL. The conference was also attended by major Western companies like Daimler Chrysler, Eni, Ruhrgas, Siemens, ABB, Deutsche Bank, Norsk Hydro, Phillips, Dresdner Bank, Credit Lyonnais, Bayernwerk, Gaz de France, Mannesmann, Neste Oil, Ferrostaal, Gasunie and others. One of the main organizers of the Congress was Gazprom, whose head Mr. Rem Vyakhirev was elected as President of the Congress for five years term (1997-2002). Mr. Georg Krupp, a member of the Board of Deutsche Bank, was elected by EBC members as Vice President of the Congress. The city of Bonn was chosen to host the headquarters of the newly-established organization.
Five Working Committees have been established during the first year after the Congress was instituted: “Energy”, “Law, Banking and Finance”, “Information and Communication”, “Ecology and Healthcare”, and “Business Security”.