Zurich, 19 October 2011

The ICC G20 policy consultation in Zurich deliberated the current global economic situation and put forward recommendations for the G20 to promote economic growth and create jobs.

Agenda

Zurich consultation - October 2011-agenda

Participants were invited to share views and priorities on a set of policy papers that are being produced for transmission to G20 leaders. Topics included: trade, investment and development; strengthening financial regulation; fighting corruption; reforming the international monetary system; reducing commodity price volatility and encouraging green growth.

In addition, and given the recent challenges to the global economy, participants were also invited to contribute views on current conditions, with the aim of helping to frame business input to the G20 on how to stimulate jobs and growth in light of the ongoing economic crisis.

Participants

The meeting brought together over 20 business leaders and policy experts from nine European countries, predominately non-G20 members, in order to give business experts from these countries an opportunity to contribute to the development of ICC policy input for the G20’s work.

Key participants included: Jean Guy-Carrier, ICC Secretary General; Andreas Schmid, Chairman of ICC Switzerland and Manfred Gentz, Chairman of Zurich Financial.

Outcomes

Zurich consultation - October 2011-Outcomes

The broader macro-economic context in which the Cannes G20 Summit on 3-4 November would take place and concerns over the state of the world economy and its impact on growth and jobs also featured prominently in the discussion. Four main messages came out of the consultation and are summarized below.

  • Business expects the G20 to restore confidence in the world economy and stabilize the global economic situation as it did in 2009.
  • The G20 should restart multilateral trade negotiations, which have been in a longstanding deadlock for the first time in 60 years. Revitalizing world trade is one of the most effective and debt-free ways of injecting growth in the world economy. Business fully expects that the G20 will adhere strictly to its pledge to resist protectionist pressures, both collectively and at the level of individual G20 countries.
  • The G20 should seek to empower business to create growth and jobs and reduce uncertainty and volatility to encourage business investment.
  • ICC’s proposals for the G20 should draw from other relevant areas of ICC work such as taxation, relating to recurrent proposals from G20 countries on these subjects. This would require a prospective view of G20 issues on the horizon.

The meeting participants in Zurich discussed the need for business investment and for dealing with the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the United States, as well as the need to boost domestic demand in emerging economies and to reduce global economic imbalances. Participants agreed it is crucial that the G20 take decisive action in order to restore confidence in the global economy.

Selected quotes

“Our discussion centered on setting out a plan for business to work alongside governments as politicians face tough choices over how to boost economic growth and job creation. Business does in fact have large amounts of investment capital at the ready, but it remains undecided as to whether, when, and how to invest it in a climate of so much uncertainty.”

Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General

"In today’s interconnected, global economy, it’s critical to have input from different parts of the world. Enduring measures to stabilize the economy are still lacking in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008.”

Andreas Schmid, Chairman of ICC Switzerland

“The G20 countries need to avoid short-term protectionist measures. The world needs leadership and collective action that will stimulate trade and investment, peace and prosperity.”

Manfred Gentz, Chairman of Zurich Financial

“Trade will play a key role in tackling the jobs crisis. Economic growth depends largely on the capacity of G20 governments to improve the conditions for international trade. Despite commitments to reverse protectionism, we’ve seen that protectionist measures are actually growing within the G20. This trend must be reversed and more needs to be done to dispel the myths that trade results in job losses. Trade is a dynamic process that contributes to job creation.”

Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General

“The business community is the engine that drives growth and creates jobs, so we believe that a business-government task force would benefit from our contributions. This effort should focus on setting out some demand side measures to create jobs.”

Jean-Guy Carrier, ICC Secretary General

Press release

Business executives from Europe gather in Zurich to provide input to G20

Business executives from Europe gather in Zurich to provide input to G20

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), under the umbrella of its G20 Advisory Group, today consulted with business leaders from European countries on key messages on growth and jobs for G20... Read more