ICC G20 Scorecard shows improvement

  • 13 May 2013

The G20 is responding to business concerns, but needs to further improve its performance in order to maintain momentum in the global economic recovery, according to a new report from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Produced halfway through the current Russian G20 Presidency, the second annual ICC G20 Business Scorecard assesses four policy areas that the ICC G20 Advisory Group considers priorities for G20 attention: trade and investment, financing for growth and development, energy and environment, and anti-corruption. 

Overall, the Scorecard rates G20 responsiveness to business priorities as ‘fair’, indicating that G20 leaders are making progress but at a somewhat protracted pace. This is an improvement on the score from the 2012 Scorecard, which rated overall progress as ‘poor’.

The Scorecard – which examines developments on business recommendations through to the end of the 2012 Mexican G20 Presidency – measures progress on business priorities on a scale of: ‘inadequate’, ‘poor’, ‘fair’ or ‘good’. It indicates that progress has been steady but limited, partially due to an unavoidable but distracting focus on responding to the on-going Eurozone crisis.

Despite the ‘fair’ overall score, the Scorecard marks good performances in some policy areas. Notable areas of progress include a strengthened dialogue between business and the G20 on anti-corruption and steps taken under the Mexican G20 Presidency to improve financial inclusion.

“It is encouraging to see the G20 making progress towards addressing business priorities, and this is reflected in an improved grade over last year,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier. “However, this year’s mixed results indicate the G20 needs to do more to fulfil its self-defined role for leading the global economic recovery. Jobs and economic growth are in the balance.”

Although ICC was encouraged by the Mexican G20 Presidency’s increased focus on trade and investment, the Scorecard rates the G20’s performance in this area as ‘poor’. This score reflects the continued lack of progress towards completing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, and the G20’s poor performance on rolling back protectionist measures, despite recurring pledges to do so.

According to a recent report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (commissioned by the ICC Research Foundation), the conclusion of the current WTO trade negotiations would have a significant impact on jobs and growth globally. For instance, an agreement on trade facilitation alone would translate into more than US$1 trillion in world export gains and more than 21 million jobs.

“For these reasons, the Scorecard calls on the G20 to push for an agreement on trade facilitation at the 2013 WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali,” said Mr Carrier. “It’s incumbent on the G20 to take a leadership role in this forum.”

Of the four sets of business priorities, financing for growth and development was the G20’s strongest performance with a score of ‘good’, due largely to the favourable treatment given to trade finance under Basel III, as well as efforts to increase SME’s access to finance, and strong programmes created to improve financial education, protection and inclusion.

Performance relating to both energy and environment and anti-corruption was rated as ‘fair’. The mixed result on energy and environment issues comes as a result of encouraging progress on G20 support for clean energy technologies and steps taken to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, tempered by a lack of progress towards eliminating barriers to trade in environmental goods and services.

The score of ‘fair’ for anti-corruption indicates a good level of progress made on the G20’s anti-corruption agenda (notably the extension of the G20 Anti-Corruption working group’s mandate to 2014), but with plenty of work still to be done, such as universal ratification across the G20 of the UN Convention on Anti-Corruption.

“The 2012 summit in Los Cabos set out a highly ambitious agenda, yet much of the summit and consequent declaration focused on containing the Eurozone crisis. Despite this, the G20 Sherpas have been working hard behind the scenes, and as this work matures we expect scores to continue to improve,” Mr Carrier said. “International business is encouraged by the progress on our priorities and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with leaders at the September G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg.”

Compilation of the annual Scorecard reflects ICC’s belief that direct feedback from the business community will help the G20 set priorities, honour commitments, measure its own progress over time and identify deficiencies that deserve greater attention. In parallel, ICC and the international business community are committed to working closely with the G20, collectively and individually, to promote economic growth and job creation.

Download the full 2013 ICC G20 Business Scorecard