G20 Leaders Summit, St Petersburg, Russia 2013
G20 heads of state met with CEOs representing the Business-20 or "B20" during a special session of the G20 Leaders' Summit at Strelna Palace, near Saint Petersburg in Russia. CEOs, including members of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) G20 CEO Advisory Group, presented policy recommendations to the heads of state, urging world leaders to drive economic growth and job creation by liberalizing trade and improving conditions for global investment, particularly in infrastructure.
For the first time, the G20 created a special session for "social partners" within the framework of the G20 Leaders Summit. While the meeting was voluntary to the heads of government, the "semi-official" meeting represented a significant step forward in the G20's recognition of the role of international business.
Members of the ICC delegation participated in the special session, which included a select group of about 25 Business-20 representatives and nine G20 leaders (Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Russia, Mexico, Netherlands and the EC). The meeting also featured heads of key intergovernmental organizations including IMF, World Bank, WTO, OECD, etc.
Key messages from the business delegation included: trade, investments and infrastructure, financial systems, innovation and development, job creation, as well as transparency and anti-corruption.
The delegation was led by ICC Chairman Harold McGraw III (President, CEO and Chairman of McGraw Hill Financial; Marcus Wallenberg, ICC G20 Advisory Group Chairman and Chairman, SEB; Alejandro Ramirez, CEO of Mexico's Cinépolis; and ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier.
- French President Francois Hollande told business leaders, "agreements reached between G20 government have the objective of creating economic growth and jobs, particularly for the young. A strong signal has been given on trade, that there is a convergence of interests to agree".
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "we have agreed strong measures to fight protectionism, which is the worst enemy of jobs and of growth". She said specific measures have been agreed to provide trade finance assistance to enable SMEs to join the global market.
- The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said "the priorities of our agreements have been jobs and growth -- decent jobs and sustainable growth". He emphasized the importance of the agreement by the G20 to extend the stand-still on protectionist measures to 2016. It had been meant to expire at the end of 2013. Mr Barroso said the G20 leaders were determined to achieve agreement during the WTO Ministerial in Bali (December, 2013). He said there is agreement to "get a deal done" as "the least expensive way to stimulate growth.
- UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the G20 takes business issues seriously. The measures on tax and transparency agreed by the G20 will level the playing field. "It is pro-business to be transparent on the ownership of companies", he said. The G20 governments have agreed to improve in the short term the sharing of tax information as part of a series of measures to fight tax evasion.
G20 leaders declaration
The final communiqué issued 6 September by the G20 leaders is far from the failure represented by media due to the lack of agreement of Syria. The work carried out by G20 officials over the last year has produced agreements on trade, protectionism, taxation, anti-corruption and other measures -- which are central to ICC's policy agenda and which will generate millions of jobs and stimulate growth in the world economy.
G20 official documents