B20 2016 Policy Recommendations to the G20 Released to the Public
B20 China 2016 held its second press conference in Beijing on August 10.
B20 Sherpa Yu Ping introduced the B20 policy paper and took questions from reporters. Wang Tongsan of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a member of the B20 International Cooperation Committee, and Policy Director of B20 China Sun Xiao also attended the meeting and answered reporters’ questions. Feng Yaoxiang, a spokesman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, served as the moderator.
The final version of the B20 Policy Recommendations to the G20, the B20’s core work, was completed in July after extensive negotiations and consultations held by international business communities in the past six months. The policy paper is now being publicized among G20 governments, business chambers and associations, companies and international organizations.
The paper will be submitted to G20 leaders during the B20 Summit to be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province from September 3 to 4, 2016.
According to Yu, this year’s B20 has aligned its priorities with the theme and vision of the G20 Summit through five taskforces – Financing Growth, Trade and Investment, Infrastructure, SME Development, and Employment – and a special forum on Anti-corruption. The taskforces are made up of 533 representatives from world industrial and commercial enterprises, business chambers and associations, international organizations and think tanks. Over approximately the last six months the B20 organized a total of 50 taskforce meetings, B20 special workshops and B20-G20 interaction events, and visited 14 G20 members and guest countries, bringing together more than 3,900 people for consultations and discussions so as to collect feedback and input for B20 policy recommendations. As a result, the B20 2016’s 20 principal recommendations were produced on the basis of consensus reached by various parties, Yu noted.
The B20 recommendations reflect the vision of the G20 2016 Summit with four measures – “break a new path for global economic growth”, “develop more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance”, “encourage robust international trade and investment”, and “promote inclusive and interconnected development”.
The B20 principal recommendations are as follows:
Break a new path for global economic growth by:
1. Implementing programs such as the SMART innovation initiative to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
2. Accelerating the pipeline of high-quality bankable projects and promoting the creation of financial instruments to facilitate infrastructure investment.
3. Enhancing the catalytic role of multilateral development banks and institutions in enabling private-sector infrastructure investment.
4. Facilitating the development of green financing and investment markets.
5. Stimulating financial inclusion by embracing digital technology innovation.
Develop more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance by:
6. Optimizing global financial regulations to support growth.
7. Facilitating the access of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bank financing and alternative funding.
8. Adopting consistent and aligned tax policies to drive inclusive growth.
9. Strengthening intergovernmental cooperation against corruption, and supporting the building of capacity for stronger anti-corruption compliance.
10. Promoting a more transparent environment for business to bolster competition.
Encourage robust international trade and investment by:
11. Strengthening the multilateral trading system and eliminating new protectionist measures while rolling back existing measures to enable trade growth.
12. Ratifying the trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by the end of 2016 and committing to rapid implementation.
13. Endorsing the concept of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) to incubate cross-border electronic trade (e-trade) rules and aid e-trade development.
14. Developing coordinated capacity-building and certification programs to ease the inclusion of SMEs into global value chains.
15. Enhancing the global investment policy environment in order to boost investment.
Promote inclusive and interconnected development by:
16. Removing structural barriers to increase youth employment, and implementing initiatives to raise the participation rate of women in the labor force.
17. Enhancing policies to assess and reduce skill mismatches and capability gaps in the workforce.
18. Lowering compliance costs and improving access to public procurement markets in order to support SME growth.
19. Enabling and promoting innovative technologies and asset management best-practices that support whole-project life-cycle productivity of infrastructure projects.
20. Strengthening or establishing national, regional and global initiatives to enhance infrastructure interconnectivity.
In his remarks Yu paid particular attention to two of those recommendations:
One, the G20 SMART innovation initiative, focuses on innovative growth, a major topic at the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The SMART initiative aims to provide a major platform to facilitate public-private collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, resources and technologies in order to promote technological innovation to accelerate global economic development and employment. The SMART initiative would strengthen cultural and educational exchanges among G20 countries, develop multilateral long-term visa and fast-track visa clearance for innovators and entrepreneurs within G20 countries, and establish G20 funds to promote technological innovation, build a G20 platform for the sharing of cutting-edge technologies as well as a G20 brain platform in order to drive economic growth.
The other is the eWTP initiative, which aims to encourage robust international trade and investment, another key topic at the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The initiative has been led by the Alibaba Group, the Chair of the B20 SME Development Taskforce. The B20 has recommended that the G20 endorses the concept of eWTP for public-private dialogue to incubate cross-border e-trade rules and foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment for cross-border e-trade development. Following that endorsement, the B20 proposes to formally establish the eWTP as an open, transparent, not-for-profit platform. It will cooperate with international organizations such as the World Trade Organization to prioritize e-trade development needs and enhance e-trade articles in the TFA; and expediting the use of e-trade and the digital economy through the construction of e-trade infrastructure and the adoption of best practices – such as building cross-border e-trade experiment zones – to address outstanding issues facing SME, especially in developing countries.
According to Yu, the B20 recommendations embody the concepts of openness, transparency and inclusiveness. The recommendations target the priority issues of the world economy and are geared towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. They reflect the common concerns of the international business community and have received wide support. The international business communities believe that China, as a responsible major country, has performed its leading and accountable role in the preparatory process of 2016 B20 with the principles of consensus building and innovation building on continuity.
Yu mentioned that at the Third G20 Sherpa Meeting in late June, the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting, the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers Meeting and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in July, G20 members offered high praise for the content of the B20 policy paper as well as the B20’s positive contributions, hailing its recommendations for their relevancy and value to the G20 in meeting its political targets.
The B20 recommendations are also impressive with their many “Chinese marks”. The China-led initiatives, such as the eWTP initiative, the G20 SMART innovation initiative, the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance initiative and the initiative of improving the global investment-policy environment, are of great significance to world economic recovery and thus have won extensive support from international business communities. Representatives from the Chinese business community took an active part in drafting the policy paper – 156 Chinese enterprises participated in the B20 taskforces, 30 percent of the total. Among them, 15 Chinese entrepreneurs served as chairs and co-chairs of the B20 taskforces, including Chairman of Sinochem Group Frank Ning, President of China Life Insurance (Group) Company Miao Jianmin, Chairman of China National Machinery Industry Corporation Ren Hongbin, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, and Chairman & CEO of Baidu Li Yanhong. They led discussions, exemplifying Chinese entrepreneurs’ talent in making international economic and trade rules and developing global economic governance.
The B20 recommendations, consistent with the G20’s focus, are practicable, specific and actionable responses to today’s challenges to sustainable global economic growth, creation of quality jobs and inclusiveness.
“We believe the above-mentioned policy recommendations will be conducive to the G20’s efforts in fostering a good environment for facilitating trade and investment, developing business models and creating jobs.” said Yu. “All of this is critical to achieving the G20’s objective of building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy and to ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”
According to Yu, in the next stage the B20 will shift its focus to advocating the policy recommendations among G20 countries’ business chambers and associations, major companies and international organizations after providing them to G20 governments. Having more of the business community’s recommendations included in the G20 Summit communiqué will contribute to building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.
The B20, an important supporting component of the G20 mechanism, is a significant platform from which the international business community can participate in global economic governance and boost global economic growth. Its mission is to put forward proposals to boost world growth and global governance solutions on behalf of the business community, and its core work is to develop a policy paper that garners the wisdom of the world business community for G20 leaders’ reference in decision making. So far, the B20 has submitted to the G20 more than 400 policy recommendations in various fields, including reform of the financial system, trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, employment, finance and anti-corruption. Many have been incorporated into previous G20 communiqués and turned into important actions in promoting international economic cooperation and enhancing global economic governance under the G20 framework.
The press conference attracted more than 50 journalists from about 40 media organizations, including People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, Guangming Daily, China Central Television, China National Radio, China Radio International, China News Agency and Zhejiang Daily.