Home / News & Speeches / ICC calls on G20 to deliver four-point agenda for growth and jobs

Business leaders have called on world leaders gathering in Antalya this weekend for the 2015 G20 Summit to commit to a four-point agenda to revitalize GDP growth and kick-start job creation across the world’s largest economies.

World leaders arrive in Antalya with the global economy at an apparent crossroads: GDP growth remains sluggish and youth unemployment stands at a record global average of over 13%. Worryingly, trade flows-which have historically been an important driver of growth and job creation-recorded an unanticipated 6% drop through the first half of this year.

Against this backdrop, CEOs from the ICC-led B20 International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) have outlined four key areas for urgent action:

1. Ratify and implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

New WTO research suggests that the TFA could boost global trade flows by an unprecedented US$3.6 trillion, creating more than 20 million jobs in the process. The impact of implementing the TFA would be greater than eliminating all remaining tariff barriers the world over-and could lead to an increase in SME exports by up to 80% in some economies as the internet opens up new market opportunities.

Although 51 countries have ratified the TFA to date, 108 are required to do so for the agreement to enter into force. IBAC members are calling on the G20 economies to do all they can to speed effective implementation of this landmark agreement in the months ahead.

ICC Secretary General, John Danilovich said: “As business leaders we cannot accept the status quo of single-digit growth and rising levels of unemployment in many economies. We stand ready to work with the leaders of the G20 to deliver a brighter and more prosperous future for all.”

2. Take concrete actions to create more opportunities for women and young people in the labour market

The global unemployment rate stands at 5.9%. For young people it’s 13.1%. Women are also much more likely to be unemployed, under-employed or in less secure jobs. All of this has a major economic as well as social cost.

The global business community is therefore calling on the G20 to commit to a comprehensive strategy to boost youth and female participation in the workforce. A key aim should be to reduce mismatches in skills, not least through better public-private collaboration on national skills strategies and education plans.

3. Establish country-specific infrastructure strategies to boost investment in much needed infrastructure projects worldwide

The world’s leading economies need to articulate coherent national strategies to repair and invest in their infrastructure. The launch of the Global Infrastructure Hub under last year’s Australian G20 presidency was a major step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to build on this important platform.

The size of the problem requires urgent action: the worldwide spending gap on infrastructure is forecast to reach $15 trillion to $20 trillion by 2030. Filling this gap will require unprecedented amounts of private capital and IBAC members are calling on G20 governments to set out credible plans in order to attract investors.

4. Improve SME access to finance

Recent research shows that the enormous potential of small businesses is being held back by limited access to reasonably priced finance. To take just one example: SMEs often rely on bank credit to allow them to export, but ICC new data shows that over 50 percent of SME applications for trade finance are now turned down by banks.

In their outreach to governments over the past few months, ICC CEOs have emphasized that if the G20 is serious about creating jobs it must urgently help deserving businesses get financing for their viable investments. A prudent starting point for the G20 would be to commit to exploring whether the implementation of tougher financial regulation has inadvertently stymied the flow of finance to small businesses. A cogent strategy to deepen SME access to alternative forms of financing must also be established.

ICC business leaders will be emphasizing these four key priorities in face-to-face meetings with G20 leaders at the very outset of the Antalya Summit this weekend.

ICC Secretary General, John Danilovich-who this year headed the IBAC secretariat-said: “Our four-point agenda for growth, jobs and opportunity has significant potential to kick start the global economy. As business leaders we cannot accept the status quo of single-digit growth and rising levels of unemployment in many economies. We stand ready to work with the leaders of the G20 to deliver a brighter and more prosperous future for all.”

Follow ICC in Antalya

ICC’s delegation in Antalya-comprising business leaders from across the G20-will be led by Sunil Bharti Mittal, the Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and ICC First Vice Chairman.

The ICC group also includes: Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman, SEB; Gerard Mestrallet, CEO, Engie; Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Novozymes; Khalid Alireza, Chairman, National Petrochemical Industrial Company; Antonio Brufau, Chairman, Repsol; Alexander Shokhin, President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; John Denton, CEO, Corrs Chambers Westgarth; Alejandro Ramirez Magana, Director General, Cinepolis; Sam Walsh, CEO, Rio Tinto; and Paul Bulcke, CEO, Nestle.

In addition to meetings with the G20 leaders, ICC will also be participating in a range of side events on issues ranging from SME growth through to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our team be live tweeting from Antalya over the next few days. Follow us via @iccwbo@johndanilovich; and @AndrewWilsonICC.

For further information, please contact

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