On 31st, May, 2016, the Business 20 (B20) China Second Joint Taskforce Meeting was held in Paris, France. As chairman of B20 Trade and Investment Panel, Chairman Frank Ning attended and chaired the meeting. This event marked the final round of negotiation over the draft of policy recommendations. All members of B20 Trade and Investment Panel reached final consensus: Such draft expresses the concerns and policy claims of global business community for promoting global trade and investment growth, which is targeted and feasible.
The Business 20 (B20) is an important instrument for the participation of global business community in global economic governance and the development of international trade rules. Annual works were mainly conducted by taskforce meetings and summits, during which key issues concerning global economic growth were consulted. Policy recommendation and reports were submitted to the G20 Summit. Upon discussion and modification at this meeting, B20 Policy Recommendation Report will be officially submitted to the G20 Summit by early September 2016.
According to Chairman Frank Ning, in recent years, the global business community raises increasingly strong appeal for governments of the G20 Members to jointly strengthen the establishment of global economic governance system. He expected that a series of policy recommendations, set forth by business community via B20 platform, could be adopted and put into practice. In his presentation, Chairman Frank Ning mainly put forward policy proposals and calls for optimization of global trade and investment system, fulfillment of trade facilitation agreement, advance of SME capacity building, development of cross-border E-commerce, support for trade financing and other issues.
Firstly, bilateral and regional trade agreements coexist during present time;various trade clauses are complex and intertwined; enterprises lacked understanding towards free trade agreement and administrative costs are high so that preferential policies of free trade agreement haven’t fully taken effect. In a survey, only 28% of Asian respondent enterprises really benefited from the preferential policies. In this regard, it is advised that G20 should strengthen the integration of trade agreements, establish a clearer, more transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system, accelerate the execution and implementation of the agreements on trade facilitation, simplify trade procedures and have more enterprises benefited from the agreement.
Secondly, there are a total of 3,300 international investment agreements in the world up to now. Numerous agreements set obstacles for enterprises in overseas investment. Developing countries currently witness an annual investment gap of USD 2.5 trillion. It is proposed that G20 should develop clear, transparent and fair investment policy guidelines, and promote the implementation of these guidelines at the national, regional and multilateral level.
Thirdly, SMEs and E-commerce are major driving forces of economic development. It is proposed that G20 should facilitate SME capacity building projects, help SMEs integrate into global value chain, simplify rules and standards, create a transparent, reliable and secure environment, and promote the stable development of cross-border E-commerce.
Fourthly, trade financing is one of the important concerns for enterprises. At present, different channels are available to support enterprises and especially SMEsin trade facilitation. But the demand gap of global trade financing remains as high as USD 1.4 trillion. To this end, it is proposed that IMF and WTO should jointly kick off a plan with quantified targets, and further bridge the gap between export and financing. Such plan should be aimed at attracting resources from multilateral organizations and private banks.
The Business 20 (B20) China Second Joint Taskforce Meeting coincided with Annual Meeting of OECD. Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Department of Commerce, Ms. Angel Gurria Secretary-General of OECD , Ms. Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and the G20 Sherpa, Mr. Phil O’Reilly, Chairman of Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD attended the plenary meeting and delivered speeches. They spoke highly of 2016’ B20 Policy Recommendations, and expected that voices of the global business community could be accurately conveyed to the G20.