The meeting marked the beginning of the business policy development process in the run-up to the 2016 G20 Summit scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China on 3-4 September 2016.
ICC Chairman Terry McGraw led a delegation of CEOs and business executive members of the ICC G20 Advisory Group . The ICC group committed to support the B20 China initiative and helped outline an initial set of business priorities on trade, investment, infrastructure, finance, SMEs and anticorruption.
“We’re all here because of the critical importance of the G20 to global governance, and the vital role business plays in this process,” said Mr McGraw. “We must uphold the responsibility of business to contribute to the G20’s core economic objectives.”
The highly anticipated kick-off event featured keynote presentations by the Chinese government officials responsible for the developing the G20 agenda this year.
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang reached out to the B20 and called for its vision and support. “If we see the world economy as a giant ship, then the business community is the sailor. I believe that the visionary leaders from the business community will take the responsibility and use the G20 and B20 platforms to steer the giant ship of the world economy forward against the waves,” he said.
Mr Wang shared a number of Chinese priorities for the G20 this year, including trade, investment, infrastructure and SME growth. “With G20 shifting its focus from fiscal and financial issues to trade and investment, B20 must play its part to put forward recommendations that are forward looking and feasible.”
We are committed to delivering clear guidance and fresh ideas to the G20.
Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong amplified the Chinese government’s recognition of the interdependence of the government and business dialogue. He said, “It’s my belief that contributions from the business community across the world are important to the success of our Summit in Hangzhou.” Mr Baodong serves as the Chinese government’s G20 Sherpa, responsible for developing the G20 agenda and leading interaction with business and other engagement groups.
Ning Gaoning, Chairman of Sinochem, will serve as Chair for the B20 China Trade and Investment Task Force. Under his leadership, the B20 initiated the first steps in crafting recommendations for conveyance to G20 leaders, focusing on trade facilitation, protectionism and investment guidelines.
“The G20 is creating an official working group on Trade and Investment to demonstrate the importance of these issues,” he said. “This provides the B20 with a direct vehicle for our policy engagement this year.”
In his remarks, Mr McGraw pointed out that the G20’s work on trade has not been sufficient. “Leaders in Antalya missed an important opportunity to build momentum on the trade agenda and progress on ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has been disappointingly slow,” he said. “We are committed to delivering clear guidance and fresh ideas to the G20.”
ICC’s G20 Business Scorecard is a valuable mechanism for evaluating the G20’s responsiveness to our B20 recommendations.
During the opening ceremony, Mr McGraw presented the 5th edition of the ICC G20 Business Scorecard.
“We published the Scorecard to help the G20 gauge progress and identify areas that merit greater attention,” he said.
Stressing the importance of G20 accountability in the process Mr Ning, a member the ICC Executive Board said: “ICC’s G20 Business Scorecard is a valuable mechanism for evaluating the G20’s responsiveness to our B20 recommendations.”
The opening ceremony also included keynote remarks by other CEO members of the ICC G20 Group.
Sam Walsh, CEO of Rio Tinto, echoed Mr Wang’s views that business is an important part of the process. “I’ve been involved in the process for several years and B20 China’s initial policy preparations are impressive.”
Rifat Hisarciklioglu, B20 Turkey Chair, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and ICC Executive Board Member, and Alexander Shokhin, B20 Russia Chair and President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), both provided insights from their tenures as chairman of B20 Turkey and B20 Russia respectively.
B20 China is chaired by Jiang Zengwei, Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). CCPIT Vice-Chairman Yin Zonghua will serve as the B20 Vice-Chair. CCPIT Vice-Chairman Yu Ping, a longstanding delegate to the B20, is serving as the B20 China Sherpa. B20 China is being staffed by CCPIT and the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).
The annual B20 process provides a significant platform for the international business community to participate in global economic governance, and supports the work of the G20 by hosting focused policy discussions and developing recommendations geared towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth in the global economy.
“Hosting the B20 is an enormous undertaking,” said ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group Director Jeff Hardy. “We are fortunate to have CCPIT and CCOIC’s expertise and leadership this year.”
The ICC delegation to Beijing also included ICC Executive Board member and Executive Director, GITI Group Cherie Nursalim as well as representatives from Novozymes, Shell, Repsol, Dow Chemicals, Hanwah Group, BHP Billiton, Standards and Poor’s, National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET), Energy Transportation Group, Bank of China, Engie, Danfoss, SEB, Corrs Westgarth, Telefonica and Wesfarmers.