Our work, and the work of the G20 summit, is global in nature: while we have a global outlook, the G20 agenda influences business around the world.
One of the G20’s key themes for 2018 is the “future of work: unleashing people’s potential” – a focus area closely aligned to the mission of the World Chambers Federation (WCF) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). We need to create the conditions for more and better jobs, and provide tools and skills to those seeking employment. To this end, we champion the mobility of people and fair globalisation, which drive prosperity, growth and global sustainable development.
Migration across borders continues to be a subject at the fore of many countries’ dialogues, as migrant flows increase. It is also the subject of controversy, following the economic downturn of the past decade. But the movement of people is no new phenomenon, and nor does skilled migration negatively impact economies. In fact, it contributes enormously to sustainable growth, and skilled migrants are increasingly among those crossing borders in search of better economic opportunities. The World Bank reports that around 28 million high-skilled migrants lived in Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) countries in 2010 – an increase of almost 130% over 1990.
By encouraging global mobility, we can bridge opportunities and connect people, goods and ideas, providing easier access to markets, knowledge and innovation. Crucially, global mobility makes a significant contribution to sustainable economic growth around the world.
This idea is a core tenet of Dubai Expo 2020 – the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Key themes driving Dubai Expo 2020 are mobility, sustainability and opportunity, which tie closely to the benefits of skilled migration. Through the expo alone, we expect to create over 275,000 jobs in the United Arab Emirates.
Global business development is central to the expo, which will see the business community play a crucial role in delivering our commitment of a legacy that lasts for generations. It is an unparalleled opportunity to access a region of more than two billion people. We believe in connecting people and ideas for progress, and in integrating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the wider world of business.
This is an exciting juncture for global business development. There are major shifts taking place in the world economy, from banking innovations to internet governance. The ICC-WCF is steadfast in its mission of protecting the free market, free trade, and sustainable economic growth and stability, and firm in its belief that globalisation, international cooperation and technology contribute immensely to this growth.
BENEFITS BEYOND BORDERS
In an evolving business landscape, the ICC provides voluntary rules, guidelines and codes designed to better facilitate cross-border transactions and support governments in managing global developments in a collaborative manner. This work, much like the collaborative work of the G20, benefits the world economy as a whole.
The ICC also acts as the voice of business in major international organisations and negotiations. We partake in high-level policy discussions with the aim of facilitating global business.
The results of this work are evident around the world. In the United Arab Emirates, the business community benefits from a system based on the principles of free and fair competition among enterprises. Having a voice in the international business space to reflect local interests is essential to growth.
Such growth is a strategic objective of the Dubai Chamber, which seeks to expand Dubai business overseas. To further this work, we launched the Global Business Forum series – a platform to engage key business and government leaders in developing trade and exploring new investment opportunities in emerging markets, and position Dubai as the gateway to the world. To date, we have hosted forums in Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Latin America. These events have welcomed 5,400 CEOS, as well as heads of states, ministers, dignitaries and other high-ranking delegates from 65 countries.
A GLOBAL POSITION
We now have 10 international offices all over the world: in Panama City, Panama; Mumbai, India; São Paulo, Brazil; Baku, Azerbaijan; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Erbil, Iraq; Accra, Ghana; Maputo, Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya; and Shanghai, China.
By positioning ourselves globally, we can help our members expand into emerging markets. To assist with decisions pertaining to expansion and growth, we also encourage use of the Dubai Innovation Index. The index captures several facets of innovation and serves as a tool to assist decision-makers in enhancing policies to promote sustainable economic growth, improved productivity and job growth.
All of this work converges to cultivate a global business environment that thrives off innovation, talent and growth. It is part of a global discourse, and one which the G20 is a close party to.
I therefore call on the G20 to support international expansion; facilitate talent migration; and continue connecting economies – not just those of its members, but of each and every economy around the world, to spur and create opportunity for business growth worldwide.