G20 missed opportunities on trade and investment A recently released scorecard rating G20 responsiveness to key business policy priorities has revealed that during the Turkish presidency of 2015, the G20 made progress on a number of international business priorities but missed some important opportunities to advance trade and international investment policy frameworks. Prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Scorecard examines a total of 25 business priorities developed during the 2015 Turkish B20 cycle and rates G20 responsiveness across seven policy areas. This year’s score of 2.0 out of 3.0 translates to an assessment of ‘Fair’. ICC Chairman Terry McGraw said: “We publish the Scorecard to help the G20 gauge progress and identify areas that merit greater attention. This edition finds that the G20 is making progress on the B20 (Business-20) recommendations that will lead to economic growth and job creation. It is critical that G20 leaders, with support from business, unite to exercise stronger leadership in tackling the world’s economic policy challenges, particularly on trade, investment and the environment.” ICC Secretary General John Danilovich added: “The score is a slight decrease from the previous Brisbane and St. Petersburg Summits’ and reflect our disappointment in G20 leadership on the trade agenda.” The Scorecard suggests that passive wording used in the Antalya Communiqué led to a missed opportunity to underscore the urgency of implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which according to ICC research has a potential to add US$1 trillion to global GDP and 18 million jobs, primarily in emerging markets. “The G20 should have rallied endorsement for the TFA in the run-up to the WTO ministerial in Nairobi,” McGraw said: “Leaders in Antalya missed an important opportunity to build momentum on the trade agenda and progress on ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement has been disappointingly slow,” he said. “We need 108 countries to ratify the TFA and we still have 10 G20 countries that haven’t. We must get this done.” While the Scorecard G20 demonstrates some progress on the infrastructure investment agenda, it notes that G20 leaders have not responded to growing calls for G20 leadership on international investment governance, including business calls for a model investment framework. Jeffrey Hardy, Director of the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group said: “The country-specific investment strategies endorsed by leaders in Antalya are the type of concrete actions we need to see from the G20. But we also need them to set national targets on infrastructure spending, as a percentage of GDP and to agree overarching national strategies for credible infrastructure pipelines. This was also a missed opportunity for the G20 to demonstrate leadership on rationalizing the current patchwork of bilateral and regional investment rules.” The G20 received high marks for its commitments to SMEs, including recognition of the new World SME Forum (WSF), an initiative to unlock the potential of SMEs worldwide. Co-founded by ICC and launched during the Antalya Summit, the WSF is set to be an enduring legacy of Turkey’s G20 Presidency. While acknowledging a concrete commitment by G20 leaders to reduce the proportion of young people most at risk of being left permanently behind in the labour market, the Scorecard noted that implementation would require comprehensive reform and modernization of national and vocational education and training systems along with the creation of open and dynamic labour markets. “It is disappointing that G20 ministers failed again under the Turkish Presidency to address key issues around bringing more people into employment,” said Daniel Funes de Rioja, President of the International Organization of Employers (IOE). “It’s not enough for the G20 employment process to take the line of least resistance; the difficult tasks need to be tackled. Business stands ready to support G20 Governments in this endeavour.” Scores given for G20 efforts on Energy and Environment were significantly higher than the previous year – the result of increased focus on energy and climate change in the Antalya Leader’s Communiqué, coupled with the first G20 Energy Ministers Meeting on 2 October 2015. Hardy said: “ICC is pleased that the G20 has recognized several of the business priorities outlined in 2015. The Antalya Communiqué included unprecedented strong language on climate change, stating and that it was ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’. The G20’s Antalya commitments held firm and helped secure the historic global climate agreement reached in Paris in December.” The Scorecard also reflected good G20 progress on Anti-Corruption, an acknowledgement of the on-going partnership between the B20 and the G20 anti-corruption working group and several deliverables cited in the 2015-2016 G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan aligned to Business-20 recommendations. “It is encouraging that the G20 continues to demonstrate leadership in denouncing corrupt practices, including the delivery and publication in Antalya of national implementation plans on beneficial ownership transparency. This is an important area of focus for the G20 and presents a significant boon to the global effort to increase transparency and deter corruption,” said Danilovich. “However, one year after Brisbane, there are still gaps between the G20’s own principles and the current state of regulation in several G20 countries.” In January, an ICC delegation led by Mr McGraw joined 400 Chinese and international business leaders and government officials for the official launch of B20 China. The meeting marked the beginning of the business policy development process in the run-up to the 2016 G20 Summit scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China on 3-4 September 2016. To learn more about ICC’s G20 Scorecard visit: www.iccwbo.org/global-influence/g20/advisory-group
G20 leaders have not responded to growing calls for G20 leadership on international investment governance