Global business presents recommendations to President Calderon ahead of G20 Summit

  • 19 April 2012
ICC Global governance

ICC, along with World Economic Forum (WEF) and Mexican business associations COPARMEX and COMCE, this week delivered recommendations on the priorities of global business to Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Mr Calderon on Tuesday hosted a meeting of 60 CEOs and experts from various intergovernmental organizations and civil society to receive a set of recommendations from B20 task forces, which have been working together since January to frame business views and an action plan for consideration by G20 governments in advance of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos in June.

Mr Calderon, in his remarks to the CEOs, expressed his gratitude to the business community for its work. “Today’s dialogue will help us set the policy framework that will lead us to economic prosperity,” he said. “I will provide these recommendations to my colleagues in the G20 and will organize a mechanism for business to government dialogue during the Summit in Los Cabos,”

Mr Calderon also highlighted that this was the first time that business views had been provided in advance of the Summit, allowing governments adequate time to consider the recommendations. “Business has an important role to play in rebuilding trust and helping to address global economic issues. Today’s challenges are too large, too complex, and too interrelated to be solved by governments alone. We all must play our part,” said Cinepolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez, who has been designated by Mr Calderon to coordinate the B20 Summit.

The work of the B20 taskforces addressed key themes for Mr Calderon’s presidency of the G20, including food security, green growth, employment, improving transparency and eliminating corruption, trade and investment, information and communication technology and innovation, and financing for growth and development.

Trade and investment are among the top policy priorities for ICC, because they have already made a fundamental contribution to global peace and prosperity.  “The G20 must not take trade for granted, especially in the current adverse global economic environment in which protectionist pressures are on the rise,” said Martin Senn, CEO of Zurich Financial and a leading member of the ICC G20 Advisory Group. “Furthermore, trade and investment can provide a much needed debt-free stimulus to world economic growth.”

Members of ICC’s G20 Advisory Group were invited on Thursday to participate in the meeting of G20 Trade Ministers preparing for the Los Cabos Summit. Mr Senn was joined by Pierre Froidevaux, Chair of ICC Mexico, Kimball Chen, Chairman and CEO of the Energy Transport Group, and representatives from Dow Chemical, The McGraw-Hill Companies and Corporacion America.

Mr Senn shared views from the B20 task force on trade and investment and called on the G20 to make trade and investment a permanent item on its agenda, including periodic meetings of trade ministers between Summits. He warned against a rise in protectionist measures.

“The G20 should lead by example by rejecting measures that restrict trade and investment and by promoting measures that enhance trade and investment,” he said.

Mr Senn also suggested that the G20 encourage progress in multilateral trade liberalization and rule-making within the World Trade Organization and reiterate its support for open cross-border investment as an essential contributor to growth, development and job creation. He called on the G20 to create a working group on investment to move forward the trade agenda and report back to the next G20 Summit in Russia in 2013.

“Business wants to make sure that G20 leaders take into consideration issues of importance to us when they meet later this year in Los Cabos,” said Mr Froidevaux. “Our recommendations are designed to help government leaders respond to the challenges of the current economic climate. We are, among other recommendations, insisting that a new approach to trade negotiations could stimulate growth and job creation at time when governments are struggling with disproportionate amounts of debt.”

ICC G20 Advisory Group member companies participating in this week’s meetings in Puerto Vallarta included Telefonica, Repsol, Dow Chemical, Corporacion America, Hanwha Group, The McGraw-Hill Companies, GDF Suez, Novozymes, Schneider Electric, Energy Transport Group, Royal Dutch Shell, and Zurich Financial Services.

Visit the ICC G20 Advisory Group pages for more information