Business leaders from Brazil and across Latin America participated in B20 policy consultations and called for greater emphasis on reducing trade barriers, improving conditions for infrastructure investment, financing growth and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) globally.
“The purpose of our meeting is to gauge business priorities and feed these into the B20 policy recommendations we will make to G20 leaders at the end of the year,” said B20 Sherpa Sarp Kalkan. “The Turkish B20 process is built on inclusivity – and the process of listening to business leaders today in Brazil is critical to our effectiveness in conveying the right business priorities to G20 leaders,” he said.
The high-level meeting is one in a series of ten B20 consultations with business leaders worldwide; the Brazilian meeting included 80 business executives and CEOs concerned with the G20 policy agenda and keen to engage with peers, set priorities and speak out on the issues most vital to business.
“Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy, so trade and investment issues are critical to our economic growth and our ability to compete internationally,” said Daniel Feffer, Corporate Vice-President of Suzano Holding and Chairman of ICC Brazil. “We have a right and a responsibility to engage on the G20 agenda, and we appreciate the outreach by B20 Turkey to hold this forum with Brazilian business leaders.”
Brazil’s Secretary for International Affairs from the Ministry of Finance, Ambassador Luis Antonio Balduino Carneiro, noted that economic growth in Brazil was below its potential. “Our challenge now is growth,” he said. “Governments by themselves can do very little, and that’s why cooperation with B20 will be more and more important because growth will not come without the fundamental work of the private sector.” He added, “Our challenge is to transform B20 recommendations into G20 solutions we can all work with.”
“We welcome the B20 to Brazil because the actions of one country impact the others,” said Robson Braga de Andrade, CNI President. “Many economies don’t have institutions and rules in place, and these are needed to reduce risks in finance without holding back growth. Our role is to provide a channel for Brazilian companies to contribute their vision and expertise to the process.”
On behalf of the Turkish government, Ambassador Huseyin Dirioz explained that Turkish G20 priorities included trade, investment, better integration of small- and medium-sized businesses into the global value chain, and boosting employment. “It is essential that the G20 establishes trust in global markets,” he said. “After trust is established we can attract investment, improve access to financing, and drive growth and improvements in skilled labor.”
Speaking in the opening session, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich highlighted ICC’s active role in the G20 process since the 2010 G20 Business Summit in Seoul. “We believe that the B20 is a crucial grouping of the international business community and that’s why we have actively supported it,” said Mr Danilovich. “ICC’s engagement in the B20 has delivered a more robust international presence to the B20 – and this comes from the experience and input of our global network, the network of national committees and member companies that contribute policy expertise from every business sector and from all corners of the world.”
ICC, through its G20 CEO Advisory Group, is serving as strategic partner to the B20 Turkey process and facilitated organization of the Brazil event. Jeffrey Hardy, Director of the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group moderated the interactive discussion on B20 policy priorities. “The B20 is emerging as an increasingly critical voice of business on the G20 stage,” said Mr Hardy. “ICC has served as strategic partner to the B20 since 2010 and we are pleased with the increasing responsiveness we are getting from G20 Leaders.”
The Sao Paulo event follows the recent re-launch of ICC Brazil, one of the world business organization’s 89 national committees. “Through ICC’s global network, ICC Brazil has unrivalled access to national, intergovernmental and other forums where decisions are made and that affect the global business community,” said Mr Feffer. “ICC is a platform for Brazilian business to express its views and gain influence on the global stage. At a time when Brazil is looking for new international sources of economic growth, our new office will bring the full range of ICC services to our country, from training and policy advocacy to the diffusion of ICC rules and standards, in areas from arbitration to banking and commercial contracts,” he said.
The 2015 G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in Antalya on November 15-16.