ICC calls on G20 Finance Ministers to accelerate implementation of the Brisbane Action Plan and National Growth Strategies

  • 10 February 2015
ICC World Chambers

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joined discussions today with G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to set priorities for continued economic growth during the Turkish G20 presidency.

As part of Turkey’s G20 platform for inclusiveness, implementation, and investment – the three I’s of the government’s G20 2015 presidency – Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan hosted the meeting to connect business (B20), academic (T20) and labour (L20) leaders with G20 finance ministers and Central Bank governors.

“The Turkish government wants to ensure that discussions within the G20 resonate with the stakeholders that drive the global economy,” said Mr Babacan.

Representatives of the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group participated in the business delegation and called for progress on financial regulation, modernization of international tax rules, acceleration of infrastructure financing, the world trade agenda, and safeguarding the availability of trade finance.

B20 Turkey Sherpa Sarp Kalkan presided over the meeting and delivered remarks on behalf of the B20. “The G20 has proven to be an effective platform in the face of economic crises, but today the global economy confronts new problems, such as energy, infrastructure and trade that necessitate global responses that require global coordination from the G20,” he said. “The B20 is committed to helping governments solve these problems and build confidence in economic and financial systems.  Our work never ends in this regard.”

ICC reiterated that the actions agreed by the G20 in November 2014 to build additional growth remained the right responses but that implementing the Brisbane Action Plan and national growth strategies must be accelerated.

Nearly one year ago in Sydney, Finance Ministers established the 2% growth target that underpins the Brisbane Action Plan. “There remains a pressing need for G20 Finance Ministers to continue driving the economic agenda and we are hopeful that G20 Leaders will continue in the spirit of the unprecedented cooperation that followed the 2008 financial crisis,” said Jeffrey Hardy, Director of the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group. “The first step is for the G20 to increase visibility and understanding of the country growth plans and the second step is to ensure accountability,” he said.

The meeting was attended by approximately 70 members of the B20, T20, and L20 networks and provided an important platform to exchange views on the 2015 G20 agenda.

The ICC delegation included senior business executives from Shell, Repsol, GDF Suez, Eskihisar Group, Wesfarmers, Bayer, Nestle, Dow Chemicals, Li & Fung, National Petrochemical Industrial Co., Citi, Energy Transportation Group, Sabanci Holding, Novozymes, RSPP, Telefonica, and McGraw Hill Financial.

Business executives expressed an expectation that infrastructure investment will continue to be a G20 priority this year. “Last year, the B20 emphasized the importance of infrastructure investment and its potential to leverage economic growth and job creation,” said Robert Milliner, B20 Sherpa during the Australian presidency. “We were pleased with the leaders’ commitment to the Global Infrastructure Initiative, but while infrastructure is captured in some of the country growth plans there is room for more commitments,” he said. “Business has a strong interest in working with governments to address this challenge, not only in providing finance and design, construction and operating services but also in creating the conditions required for future business investment.”

ICC continues to fully engage in the G20 mandated Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project as the debate over tax planning and business paying its fair share of taxation reaches the highest levels of government and public debate. ICC urged finance ministers to ensure that the deliverables of the BEPS Action Plan were implemented in a coordinated and consistent manner to prevent disparate rules and double taxation.

“We’ve endorsed the G20’s approach to modernize international tax rules, but they need to make sure those new rules are harmonized, transparent and predictable,” said Mr Hardy. “We must not lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of businesses do not engage in tax evasion or other abusive practices,” he said.

Noting the extremely ambitious timeframe of the BEPS project, ICC expressed concern that insufficient attention was being given to the necessary analysis and study of the repercussions of potential changes to the international tax infrastructure. “Failure to conduct the necessary due diligence and dialogue with stakeholders will result in faulty rules – creating difficulties for businesses and significantly hampering cross-border trade and economic growth,” said Mr Hardy.

The 2015 G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in Antalya on November 15-16.

For more information and a copy of ICC key messages to finance ministers, please visit the ICC Global Influence page.