‘Building consensus for fair and sustainable development’ was set as the main objective of Argentina’s G20 summit. President Mauricio Macri identified the priorities as the future of work and employability through quality education, infrastructure for development and a sustainable
Throughout our presidency, the Business 20 (B20) has strongly supported multilateral dialogue and cooperation as crucial to defining consistent policies that ensure investment predictability, economic growth, social inclusion and improved governance under the framework of the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs).
Following up on Germany’s 2017 process and as a member of the troika with past chair Germany and next year’s chair Japan, we went through a learning process as we led Argentina’s B20 presidency, and as we worked to convey continuity for all the G20 stakeholders and to strengthen the methodology and structure of our work.
At the local level, we worked closely with the business chambers of the G20 members and engaged national business organisations and companies.
Consequently, there were important milestones along the path for the B20 Argentina, and we thank our predecessors for their guidance and support.
Since we started on 1 November 2017, we have had 1,700 members, consisting of 1,200 titular and 500 deputies. Of this membership, 27% were women, and 34% represented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which 80% were the highest leaders in their companies and employed more than 35 million people globally. The membership also included national business federations. They were all engaged in more than 56 taskforce meetings to provide meaningful, consensus-based recommendations.
Throughout Argentina’s presidency, the B20 also joined efforts with other engagement groups. As a result, seven joint documents were issued with the Labour 20, Women 20, Think 20 and Youth 20.
The B20 focused on fundamental and structural issues deemed to be the most urgent and challenging, either at the multilateral level or at the national level, looking for consensus on best practices for moving forward.
These recommendations form a framework that looks towards substantially alleviating global poverty through creating decent work and economic growth and through investment, as well as through reducing inequality.
They included promoting gender equality, transparency and clear anti-corruption rules, and covered all the transversal challenges facing SMEs, as fundamental enablers of a developed and inclusive future.
In addition to the task forces, we organised a high-level caucus (for advocacy), involving the top business leaders of national business federations and the most prominent leaders engaged in the B20 process.
The National Leaders Forum organised several meetings in different provinces and regions of Argentina, to facilitate the participation of the domestic business community, bring the working process closer to the whole country and engage SMEs in issues that are substantially relevant for economic development, linking local concerns to global strategies.
Throughout the whole process, we wanted to define crystal clear policies, not only for large businesses, but also for SMEs, and not only internationally. We wanted to build up local commitment to the global system in each one of the G20 members.
We believe that business plays an essential role in the concerted effort for inclusive and interconnected development. In fact, business is the incubator of new technologies and innovation. It delivers jobs, incomes and livelihoods, allows community integration, and facilitates greater economic and social equity and inclusiveness.
Business for development
Now the new challenge for the B20 Argentina has been to secure the adoption of our recommendations and seek their implementation in order to achieve their objectives, promote structural reforms to create enabling environments for business that foster investment and growth, more and better jobs, and respect for global rules – using our own voice but within a process of global integration and recognising that the role of the state must neither be omnipresent nor absent.
Our communiqué reflected our recommendations that were concrete and subject to follow-up on their effective implementation. Our main purpose was for them to become actual and effective policies, for all G20 members, taking into account that our societies expect from the G20 more than a set of shared principles; they expect concrete actions and solutions to crucial challenges.
For the business community, the B20 combines private initiatives, integration of international markets and fair rules on trade, and – at the same time – effective public-private cooperation.
Dialogue and consensus-building remain the real drivers of the B20 process to influence the G20 leaders and their agenda and to turn the SDGs into an effective reality.