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  • Business 20 presents its final recommendations for the G20 Leaders

Business 20 presents its final recommendations for the G20 Leaders

A news conference on the occasion of the presentation the White Book - the final recommendations by the Business 20 for the G20 Leaders on possible ways to address key economic issues confronting the international community - was held at the RIA Novosti International Press Center on July 16.

The news conference was attended by:
- The Business 20 Chair and President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) Alexander Shokhin;
- The Russian G20 Sherpa and Chief of the Presidential Experts' Directorate Ksenia Yudaeva;
- Executive Vice President of RUIE and the Business 20 Sherpa Oleg Preksin;
- Chair of the Business 20 Target Group on Creating Jobs, Employment and Investment in Human Capital and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bioenergy Corporation David Yakobashvili;
- Chair of the Business 20 Target Group on Transparency and Anti-Corruption and Vice President of Interros Andrei Bugrov.

 * * *

Alexander Shokhin: We would like to thank RIA Novosti for the opportunity to present the White Book. We have employed the terminology of international organizations, where they use the term "white book" to denote the final version of a document.

In late May, we presented the Green Book, a preliminary version of the recommendations and the results of the work of our seven target groups within the Business 20.

When we released the Green Book in electronic and print editions, there was held a broad discussion of the submitted recommendations engaging experts and the business community representatives. The recommendations were publicly discussed on different occasions, including at the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum. During the forum, we organized the Business 20 Summit, which is also a traditional manner of work of the B20 as we put together our recommendations for the G20 Leaders.

During the Business 20 Summit, we used panel sessions to discuss the recommendations of all the target groups. At the plenary session, we put our proposals together and identified the most important recommendations through interactive voting. We then had a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, who is the acting G20 Chair. We had an opportunity to listen to what Mr. Putin had to tell us on a range of issues and take notice of his ideas as the G20 Chair in our recommendations.

Most importantly, Mr. Putin clearly said that the recommendations of the Business 20 are in line with Russia's priorities and the preparatory work conducted by the Sherpas. The President gave us a kind of a soft guarantee, but certainly far from everything depends on him, since the decisions in the G20, as well as in the Business 20, are consensus-based. We expect that the position of the Russian Sherpa and the President will help incorporate most of our recommendations into the draft final documents which will be on the desks of the G20 heads of states and governments as an official paper on September 6.

The outreach dialogue, which, along with the Business 20, also engages the Civil 20, Think 20, Labour 20 and Youth 20, is not just an attempt to expand the range of the participants in drafting recommendations, but also a demonstration of the openness of the process, namely, achieved by means of the G20 Leaders' approach to bring up their recommendations for discussion and use in their work the proposals put forward by the outreach groups. We hope that the proposals by the Business 20 meet everyone's expectations, also because the G20 is mainly an economic club, hence the interaction between the G20 and the B20 is, in my opinion, of paramount importance. In order to prevent any discrepancies between our opinions and opinions of the other outreach groups, we have worked closely with them, including the Civil 20, Youth 20, and Think 20. So, it's not just our proposals, where businesses lobby is pursuing only their own interests. We are doing our best to include the opinions of civil society, experts and young people.

We certainly realize that not all of our recommendations will become part of the final G20 document, because some of them may be of a strategic nature, others have been announced as discussion subjects but have yet to be transformed into any kind of practical mechanism or tool that may be used to achieve our goals.

Our work in form of the Business 20 will not come to an end on September 6, and we will not stop our cooperation with the G20. What we consider important is passing over to the Australian Presidency of all our achievements and priorities, and to organize the monitoring of the implementation of the commitments that the G20 will assume in Strel'nya through the relevant documents that will spell out hard and soft commitments, recommendations, and so on. That is, in a sense, the goal of our presidency: to do our best over the course of the next year so that national governments, as they work with their national business community and global corporations, and the G20 as an institution, could ensure that these recommendations are implemented.

* * *

Ksenia Yudaeva: First of all, I would like to thank the Business 20 for its very interesting recommendations, and the RUIE in particular for organizing a remarkable process of preparing and discussing recommendations as part of the G20 activities, which has resulted in the release of the White Book.

This is important, due to the fact that the G20 is virtually the governance body that coordinates policies in a multi-polar world. A multi-polar world is not only about many big players at the country level, who need to maintain relations among them, but also about great opportunities for various stakeholders to establish direct contacts with each other, including economic contacts, such as businesses, civil society and individuals.

In this sense, it is truly important to organize smooth interaction inside the G20 as the forum for the Leaders and government officials  between its members, and also between the G20 and its of stakeholders, who act as agents of policies and create demand for particular policies. That is why we focused so much during our presidency on interacting with the Business 20, Civil 20 and Labour 20.

In the near future, the Business 20 and trade unions (the Labour 20) will meet with the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers, and then discuss some of these recommendations will also be discussed at the Joint Meeting of the G20 Finance and Labour Ministers. The recommendations were discussed at the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum. They were submitted to President Putin, and some of them will be further presented at the Summit in September. Notwithstanding, we have already been discussing these recommendations throughout the year and will further discuss them at our next meeting in July, trying to make the most of them as part of the official process. This was also facilitated by the Business 20's focus in its activities on preparing the materials on the official goals of the Presidency.

The Russian Presidency has chosen the issue of fostering economic growth and job creation as a primary focus of its Presidency, and has structured the whole work around this principle and the three priorities: growth through quality jobs and investment, growth through trust and transparency, growth through effective regulation. The Business 20 task forces are not in full correspondence with the official working groups, but they are consistent with the business community's understanding of the issues that concern them and that are most relevant from the perspective of promoting economic growth. However, there are many overlapping issues. In cases where these issues do not overlap, we should probably think of including these issues, such as innovation, into the formal G20 process and paying them more attention.

So, thank you for your recommendations. Many of them are in line with what is being prepared as part of the official process, many of them give a different vision - a business perspective - on these policies. We will look carefully into all the recommendations and will try to use as many of them as we can. We also hope that the process that began this year will continue. With the Business 20 overseeing our work, we will just have to work harder under such a watchful eye. Thank you.

The full text of the White Book is available here

Full video of the news conference you can find here (only Russian version)