The consultation in Istanbul is part of a larger initiative. The ICC's G20 CEO Advisory Group is hosting a series of regional policy consultations, designed to provide local businesses with an opportunity to help shape ICC's policy recommendations for input into the G20 process.
The meeting gathered policy priorities from CEOs operating in the Eastern Europe and Middle East regions for contribution to the June 2012, G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. Participants in the consultation had the opportunity to discuss most of the issues on the B20 agenda and on which the B20 Task Forces intend to prepare recommendations to be presented to President Calderon of Mexico on 17 April. The issues discussed included: the global economic outlook, trade and investment, employment, and anti-corruption.
The meeting was hosted by Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, a leading member of ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group and President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The consultation brought together over 35 business leaders from Turkey and the Eastern Europe & Middle East regions, including Presidents from ICC National Committees in Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Georgia and Syria.
Participants also included Kimball Chen, CEO of Energy Transportation Group; Gökhan Bozkurt, CEO of Turk Telecom; Zeynel Abidin Erdem, Chairman of Erdem Holding; Abdülkadir Konukoğlu, Board President of Sanko Holding; Ömer Cihad Vardan, CEO of Çukurova Heating Systems; Nail Olpak, Chairman of Nora Electricity Equipments; Cihan Candemir, Board of Yüksel Construction; Levent Veziroğlu of Doğuş Holding; Yılmaz Argüden, Board of ARGE; Remzi Gür, Board President of GÜRMEN Clothing Co., and İbrahim Ekşi, Board President of HEKTAŞ Construction. Participants also included Presidents from ICC National Committees in Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Georgia and Syria.
The meeting called upon the G20 to concentrate on its core mission of providing strategic direction and setting norms and standards for not only themselves but also non-G20 governments and the many intergovernmental agencies responsible for specific project implementation and funding. The full list of outcomes are listed below.
- Participants suggested that the G20 focus on practical measures to stimulate economic growth and employment and reduce global imbalances so as to stabilize exchange rates and fund flows in order to contain the adverse effects on countries such as Turkey.
- Much of the discussion centered on the importance of keeping trade and investment open, especially because they are key contributors to job creation. Participants stressed the value of multilateralism especially for trade and investment liberalization and the necessity of the G20 to show political leadership in the face of growing inclinations towards protectionist measures.
- Participants also put forward suggestions for battling against unemployment, and called for G20 leadership that concentrated on incentive-based programs for entrepreneurs and training for youth.
- On the topic of Green Growth, many participants shared their experiences in investing in the emerging green economy, noting the value but also the long-term nature of the transition. They stressed the need for a new understanding of the positive returns on investment in green growth and the knock-on benefits for stimulating long-term employment.
Views from Ambassador Gücük
An important part of the program was the presentation and Q&A session with Ambassador Gücük, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Turkey’s lead government official for the G20.
During the session, Ambassador Gücük commented on his appreciation of ICC’s effort to solicit input from local businesses and declared that business is an integral part of the process and cannot be disassociated from G20’s work on the global economy. He stated that, "Business is an important part of civil society and is therefore responsible to play an active role.”
Ambassador Gücük said there should be better integration of the B20 process with meetings of G20 government "Sherpas", and cited this meeting as an example for future engagement. He said he would make such a recommendation to the G20 "Sherpas". Emphasizing the need to ensure implementation of G20/B20 decisions, he called on ICC to develop a mechanism to monitor the integration of B20 recommendations into the G20 agenda.
“This consultation is part of our effort to ensure that businesses worldwide have an opportunity to contribute their views and help shape ICC’s policy recommendations for input into the G20 process.”
Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General
“The B20 process offers a valuable opportunity for our local and regional business leaders to recommend solutions to the problems plaguing the global economy. Turkey is increasingly playing a more important role on the world economic stage and the views and concerns of Turkish companies are critical to both regional economic stability and global growth.”
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group and President of
the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB)
“The G20’s agenda impacts business priorities for growth and employment, among other key issues, and warrants our engagement from Summit to Summit to ensure that business recommendations are heeded. We aim to help Mexico build on the progress achieved in Seoul and Cannes.”
Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General