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International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Chairman Terry McGraw joined global business leaders at a B20 meeting in Washington and urged the private sector to intensify engagement with the G20 to promote international trade and investment.

Presided by B20 China Sherpa Yu Ping, the B20 Joint Task Force meeting was held on the margins of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group and in the lead up to the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China next September.

Leading an ICC delegation of 40 CEOs from major multinational corporations, Mr McGraw said: “We need more cooperation by the G20 to reignite world economic growth. That means that G20 leaders need to make trade and investment central to their growth agendas, making investments easier, reducing red-tape and cutting the cost of doing business.”

Zhu Min, IMF Deputy Managing Director stressed that structural reform must be a top priority for the G20 this year: “It’s absolutely important to bring the private sector into this global debate. In this critical junction, while we are facing global challenges and uncertainties, the private sector once again will play a pivotal and key role to stabilize world economic growth, financial markets, to push for growth and bring the world into the next high level.”

G20 leaders need to make trade and investment central to their growth agendas, making investments easier, reducing red-tape and cutting the cost of doing business.

The meeting also highlighted the rising number of protectionist measures adopted by G20 countries and how they are not fully respecting their commitments to remove trade barriers. Jamal J. Malaikah, Co-Chair of the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce and President of Saudi Arabian National Petrochemical Industrial Company said: “In spite of all the good intentions of the G20 leaders and the good intentions of the ministers that we meet, the restrictive measures are not being reduced, as a matter of fact they are being increased.”

Mr Ning Gaoning, Chair of the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce, Sinochem Chairman and ICC Executive Board Member, underlined the rise in cross-border e-commerce as an emerging trade issue: “How can we accommodate this new phenomenon of e-commerce for the G20? It’s very urgent that G20 economies really study this issue and have a new set of rules to help grow this new business model.”

Calling for collective action by the G20 to reverse the slowdown in global trade, Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director of the World Bank Group Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness said: “A G20 approach to restoring growth through lower trade costs could have four pillars: cutting protectionism, delivering results through trade negotiations, implementing new reforms beyond trade negotiations, and further integrating developing counties into global trade.”

The annual B20 process provides a significant platform for the international business community to participate in global economic governance. “The B20 is critical to the success of the G20 because governments can set policies, but it’s business that executes and creates jobs and economic growth,” said Mr McGraw who is Co-Chair of the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce. “We are here today to ensure that our recommendations address the main barriers to trade and investment and are practical, actionable and relevant for the G20.”

The ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group members in Washington included:

  • Terry McGraw, ICC Chairman;
  • Ning Gaoning, Sinochem Chairman and ICC Executive Board Member;
  • Cherie Nursalim, GITI Group Vice Chair and ICC Executive Board Member;
  • Jamal J. Malaikah, Co-Chair of the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce; President of Saudi Arabian National Petrochemical Industrial Company;
  • Representatives from Rio Tinto, Repsol, Dow Chemicals, Hanwha Group, Energy Transportation Group, Engie and Danfoss.

Learn more about the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group.

For further information, please contact

  • Andreia FURTADO
  • + 33 (0)1 49 53 30 72
  • Coordinator, Media Relations and Web