Trade & investment

ICC concludes successful B20 in Cannes

  • 4 November 2011
ICC Management

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), along with its partners including MEDEF (French business confederation) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), yesterday concluded an intensive two days of meetings in Cannes, France, for the G20 Business Summit (B20).

B20 CEOs, including the 20 members of ICC’s G20 Advisory Group, presented policy recommendations to G20 heads of state participating in the business summit. The policy recommendations were the product of a collaboration between the B20 working groups and those of WEF and ICC. The priorities shared with G20 leaders covered subjects including: trade and investment, financial regulation, commodities and raw materials, food security and global economic policy imperatives.

The B20 Summit proceedings began with a briefing for participating CEOs hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, and then continued with a series of roundtable meetings between the business and government leaders gathered in Cannes.

“Business leaders have come together to share policy priorities and to emphasize that G20 deliberations must be aligned with core business goals of open trade and investment, economic growth and job creation,” said ICC Chairman Gerard Worms. “We are responsible for ensuring that the voice of world business is heard.”

Among the G20 leaders participating in the B20 Summit were Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, South Korean President Myung-Bak Lee, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, South African President Jacob Zuma, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russian Federation President Dimitri Medvedev.

“We came to Cannes to impress upon G20 leaders that there is much that business and government need to do together to solve the current economic problems and to chart a course for economic growth and prosperity,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “ICC is committed to continuing to provide constructive business views to the G20.”

The B20 featured a keynote address from Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who emphasized the importance of B20 Summits for the G20’s work.  He also committed to continue the process next year, with a B20 Summit back-to-back with the G20 in Los Cabos.

“Our hopes are that by the end of the G20 we will have a multilateral solution to the current crisis,” said ICC Honorary Chairman Victor K. Fung.

“Business leaders have a social responsibility to find sustainable solutions to the world’s challenges. The B20 policy dialogue is a unique and much welcome means for business leaders to live up to this commitment,” said Martin Senn, CEO of Zurich Financial and one of the leading members of the ICC G20 Advisory Group of CEOs.

The B20 Summit also included an opening plenary featuring World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy, who issued an invitation to business to provide the WTO with its priorities for a 21st century multilateral trade agenda.

In addition to Messrs Worms,  Fung and Senn, participating representatives from ICC’s G20 Advisory Group included: Cesar Alierta Izuel, Executive Chairman, Telefonica; Antonio Brufau, Chairman and CEO, Repsol; Andreas Koopman, Vice Chairman, Nestle; Eduardo Eurnekian, Chairman and CEO, Corporacion America; Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys Technologies; Rifat Hisarcıklıoglu, Chairman, Eskihisar Group; Sheikh Al-Thani Khalifa, Director, Doha Insurance; Seung Youn Kim, CEO, Hanwha; Young Tae Kim, Chairman, Daesung; Harold McGraw III, Chairman and CEO, The McGraw Hill Companies; Gerard Mestrallet, CEO, GDF Suez; Yogendra Kr. (YK) Modi, Chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy; Steen Riisgaard, CEO, Novozymes; Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President and CEO, Schneider Electric; Peter Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell; Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman and CEO, SEB.