The two-day B20 Summit took place on May 2-3 in Berlin, Germany with the theme “Resilience, Responsibility, Responsiveness – Towards a Future-oriented, Sustainable World Economy.” Approximately 700 representatives from the B20 met for the final summit of the German B20 Presidency. USCIB’s President and CEO Peter M. Robinson was among them in his capacity as Co-Chair of the B20 Employment and Education Taskforce.
Among the many meetings that took place during the summit was an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) G20 CEO Advisory Group that was facilitated by ICC Germany. The meeting was chaired by ICC Secretary General John Danilovich. ICC First Vice-Chairman John Denton also participated in the meeting, which brought together Group members at both Deputy and CEO levels, together with representatives from ICC Argentina, ICC Germany, ICC United Kingdom, and USCIB’s Robinson.
The meeting of the ICC Group was able to benefit from the participation of B20 Germany Sherpa Stormy-Annika Mildner. Mildner provided a detailed briefing of latest B20 activities and lessons learned thanking ICC for its sustained and substantive participation in the B20 task forces and working groups, and said that the summary of B20 recommendations would be presented to Chancellor Angela Merkel and sent to B20 members. She explained the G20/B20 “compact with Africa” initiative – a partnership between the B20/G20 and 5 African countries (the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia) to improve sustainable private sector development in African countries.
ICC Argentina Chairman Victor Dosoretz gave an update on preparations for the G20/B20 under Argentine presidency in 2018. He explained that the six main business associations in Argentina – which were all part of ICC Argentina – would work together in an organizing committee for the B20. Union Industrial Argentina Vice President Daniel Funes de Rioja, outgoing chairman of the International Organization of Employers, had been appointed as B20 Chairman by the Argentine government. The B20 sherpa had not yet been selected.
The B20 Summit officially got underway with remarks by B20 Chairman Jurgen Heraeus who emphasized that the B20 managed to craft consensual positions on all major issues. The B20 was united in its belief that trade increases prosperity worldwide, that protectionist policies are misguided and that policies are needed to help people who felt left behind by trade and technological change.
The B20 Task Force on Employment and Education, which is co-chaired by Robinson and which makes recommendations to the G20, promotes open, dynamic and inclusive labor markets, harnessing the potential of technological change through better education and training, and creating a global level playing field and promotion of fair competition for globally operating companies. The task force’s leaders recognize the need to address unemployment, raise labor force participation, improve education and work-force qualification and create framework conditions for quality jobs to ensure sustainable economic and financial development.
“With a high level of unemployment globally, employment and education have become core topics of the G20 and the B20,” said Robinson. “To address employment and training gaps, we [the B20 Employment and Education Taskforce] released a series of recommendations on investing in skills development, implementing commitments such as the ILO G20 training strategy and using technology as a complementary tool to improve access and adaption.” The B20 Taskforce on Employment and Education policy paper can be viewed here.
The G20 Summit will take place from July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany.