Global governance

G20 Scorecard: Could do better on business policy priorities

  • 1 December 2016
Intellectual Property

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has unveiled the latest edition of ICC G20 Business Scorecard rating G20 responsiveness to key business policy priorities for growing the global economy.

The Scorecard shows G20 progress on a number of international business priorities but reveals important missed opportunities by the group to advance international trade and international policy frameworks.

Presenting the sixth edition Scorecard at an official Business-20 (B20) Germany kick-off event in Berlin, ICC Secretary General John Danilovich said:

“Our Scorecard aims to help the G20 gauge progress and identify areas that merit greater attention. We are encouraged to see that G20 work is becoming increasingly responsive to priority recommendations put forward each year by business that aims to spur economic growth and job creation.”

The 2016 ICC Scorecard examined 25 business priorities developed during the Chinese B20 cycle and rates the G20’s responsiveness across seven policy areas.

The overall score of 2.3 out of 3.0 across all seven policy categories marks the highest overall score since ICC began its monitoring. However, despite the positive overall trend, progress is shown to be uneven with three GOOD, three FAIR and one POOR score.

Mr Danilovich said: “The mixed scores highlight several notable advancements on business priorities, but also that there is still much room for improvement.”

Supporting trade and investment

G20 commitments and decisions on Trade and Investment scored 2.25 out of a total of 3.0 points, a significant improvement from last year’s score of 1.0 and the second highest score in this area since ICC’s monitoring began. The improved score reflects G20 commitments to enhance an open world economy by working towards trade and investment facilitation and liberalisation, solid progress on ratification of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, and first steps taken on multilateral investment policy coordination.

“The G20’s adoption of the Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policy-Making marks an historic step toward bridging unhealthy disparity among inter-state investment policies and corresponds to a longstanding ICC recommendation for the G20 to intensify multilateral investment policy coordination,” said Mr Danilovich.

Mr Danilovich said that a higher score was withheld due to insufficient G20 action on prioritising a meaningful curb on protectionism at a time when strong leadership and support for open trade is needed.

“The global business community has been clear that tackling protectionism is a first order priority and has called on the G20 to demonstrate much-needed global leadership in refraining from protectionism or introducing new trade barriers. There is mounting evidence that rhetoric and reality are diverging at an increasing rate,” said ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group Director Jeff Hardy. “In the current environment of global uncertainty and anti-trade sentiment, G20 economies must lead by example in the fight against protectionism. New trade-restrictive measures must be rejected, and existing ones need to be rolled back.”

In the current environment of global uncertainty and anti-trade sentiment, G20 economies must lead by example in the fight against protectionism.

Demonstrating leadership on anti-corruption

Reflecting the close partnership between the B20 and the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group, the scorecard gives an overall score assessment of 2.0 out of 3.0 points for G20 commitments and decisions on anti-corruption. A lack of detailed timelines, actions and deliverables in the new 2017-2018 G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan prevented a higher score.

“Business has consistently highlighted the problem of corruption and presented strong recommendations to help tackle the issue focusing on private sector anti-corruption training and education initiatives. It is therefore rewarding to see that the new 2017-2018 G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan identifies several business priorities, including beneficial ownership, private sector integrity, capacity building and increased transparency in public contracting and customs,” said ICC Senior Policy Manager Viviane Schiavi, who leads ICC works on anti-corruption. “These commitments must now translate into tangible and specific actions to strengthen anti-corruption efforts that are reflected in the day-to-day operations of businesses.”

Energy and environment challenges

Equalling the highest score achieved in the fifth edition of the Scorecard, the overall score assessment of G20 commitments and decisions on Energy and Environment is 2.2 out of 3.0. The score is the result of a heightened focus on energy and climate change at G20 leader level, coupled with the organisation of a second G20 Energy Ministers Meeting in June 2016.

“We are pleased that the 2016 Hangzhou Communiqué recognised several ICC priorities and maintained a strong focus one nergy and climate change, building on the unprecedented attention to these issues in the 2015 Antalya Leader’s Communiqué,” said Mr Hardy. “The joint ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by the US and China,just hours ahead of the Hangzhou Summit, serves as an example of how G20 Heads of Government can deliver shared global leadership.”

While welcoming G20 recognition of several of the ICC business priorities outlined in Six steps to energy sustainability and security, Mr Hardy said a lack of private-sector participation in the G20’s formal energy discussions remained a concern.

He concluded: “This edition of our Scorecard suggests that real progress will only become effective when policy guidance takes root in national capitals. So, while this year’s relatively high score reflects a strong policy response at the Leaders’ level, our eyes will beon national governments and their resolve to implement the extensive guidance that the G20 process has managed to produce.”

Download G20 Business Scorecard from Flickr