20 June 2013

The outcomes of the first day of the Business 20 Summit

The first day of the Business 20 Summit was held on June 20 in St.Petersburg. The program of the first day of the Summit included the B20 Task Forces Sessions, where their recommendations were presented, and the Business 20 Summit Plenary Session.

During the session "Investments and Infrastructure" the participants discussed the problem of stimulating investment into the real sector and infrastructure projects, including encouraging cross-border investment flows. The participants also discussed the possibility of enhancing financial return from investments in infrastructure and green economy. The Task Force Session was chaired by Russian Direst Investment Fund Director Sean Glodek.

During the session "Transparency and Anti-corruption" the participants discussed what can be done by companies to combat corruption. In this context they paid attention to developing the G20-B20 dialogue on this issue. Transparency of public procurement and the role of Joint Operation Centres and Anti-Corruption Centres of Excellence were also among the key points of discussion.

The results and effectiveness of the actions taken by the international financial institutions to improve global and multilateral financial regulation within the framework of the G20 were among the key topics of the session "Financial System - Restoring Confidence and Growth". The participants shared their vision of what can be perceived as the optimum financial market regulation aimed to achieve an ideal balance between stability and growth, and to make funding for SMEs more available. They paid special attention to securing innovation-oriented economic development and to the financial markets development in the emerging economies.

Renewal of the standstill agreement on protectionism, finalizing negotiations and a treaty on trade facilitation, which is expected to be signed during the upcoming ministerial conference in Bali, were on top of the agenda during the session "Trade as a Growth Driver". Among other issues covered at the session were the extent of interrelation between trade and production, ways to stimulate both, and the issues related to the trans-regional trade and investment agreements.

The participants of the session "Innovation and Development as Global Priorities" discussed an adverse impact of the economic crisis on innovation policies. The Business 20 Summit delegates agreed that these policies need to be efficient and comprehensive. During the meeting the participants addressed the pivot points for innovative development, including in the spheres of intellectual property, energy, biotechnologies, information and communication technology.

Job creation issue, a traditional one for the G20 agenda, was discussed during the session "Job Creation, Employment and Investments in Human Capital". The participants stressed the need to secure high employment rate through facilitating access to high quality education and creation of favorable conditions for  entrepreneurship. In this context the issues of stabilizing and reducing the demographic pressure on economically active population were also discussed.

The Task Force Sessions continued with Business 20 Summit Plenary Session entitled "Promoting a New Mode of Economic Growth as the B20 Priority for 2013" . The participants discussed the draft recommendations for the G20 Leaders covering the areas of task forces' activities. The participants also discussed the necessary pre-conditions for the transition to the new global economic development mode that would ensure sustainable growth. They paid special attention to the need of the business community's recommendations transformation into G20 Leaders' decisions.

The В20 Chairman in 2013 Alexander Shokhin and Executive Director of the World Economic Forum Robert Greenhill acted as moderators of the meeting. Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD, Andrey Kostin, President - Board Chairman, VTB Bank, took part at the Plenary Session as well as two members of the Troika, Alejandro Ramirez (the 2012 Chair, Mexico) and Richard Goyder (the future 2014 Chair, Australia).

The commentary emerging from the Summit's discussions will be reflected in the White Book - the final version of the Business 20 proposals for the G20 Leaders providing recipes to tackle key economic challenges faced by the international community.