With less than six months to go to the 2016 G20 Summit, a special session of the Boao Forum for Asia brought together leaders from both business and government to discuss policy priorities to support growth and job creation.
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Secretary General John Danilovich moderated the high-level roundtable, which featured keynote addresses from Wang Shouwen, China’s Vice Minister of Commerce and Thomas Lembong, Indonesia’s Minister for Trade. A major theme of the discussions was the importance of public-private partnership and dialogue to address key global challenges ranging from weak global growth through to climate change.
Commenting at the roundtable on the strategic importance of this year’s G20 process, Mr Danilovich said: “It’s vital that this year’s G20 process develops a comprehensive and credible strategy to reinvigorate trade and global growth… As business, we also look to the G20 to drive forward implementation of the landmark UN agreements which were forged last year on sustainable development and climate change.”
The roundtable explored recommendations being developed by the five B20 task forces on trade and investment, infrastructure, employment, financing and small business (SME) development. The issue of SME growth remains a particular priority for ICC’s global outreach-building on engagement throughout last year’s B20 process which lead to the creation of the World SME Forum.
ICC has long made the case that SMEs must be centrally positioned in the efforts of the G20 to remedy the almost chronic problems of sluggish global growth and record levels of youth unemployment. Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma-who this year heads the B20’s SME Task Force-outlined several policy proposals under development to support small business growth. These included measures to enable cross-border e-commerce, boost skills development in G20 member countries, and cut regulatory costs to facilitate SME exports.
A broad range of international business leaders participated in the dialogue, including Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber, who emphasized the role of SMEs and entrepreneurs in creating new jobs. ICC Executive Board member Cherie Nursalim also highlighted the importance of G20 action to support implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Following the Boao roundtable the B20 process will move on apace-cumulating in just a few months’ time to enable recommendations to be delivered to global leaders well ahead of the 2016 G20 Summit to be held on 4-5 September 2016 in the city of Hangzhou.
About the B20
The annual B20 process provides a platform for the international business community to support the work of the G20 by developing recommendations geared towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the global economy.
B20 China is chaired by Jiang Zengwei, Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). CCPIT Vice-Chairman Yu Ping, a longstanding delegate to the B20, is serving as the B20 China Sherpa.
“Hosting the B20 is an major undertaking,” said Mr Danilovich. “We are fortunate to have CCPIT’s expertise and leadership this year.”