December 12, 2012 online broadcasting of B20 meeting
The G20 summit is due to be held on September 5 – 5 at Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg, announced Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergey Ivanov at the meeting of the Organizing Committee for preparing Russian presidency in G20. The stage is being set by the coordinated work of the working groups which include, among others, the so-called ‘Business 20’, B20.
Thanks to the partners’ assistance, the December 12 meeting of the Organizing Committee was broadcasted online at http://www.b20russia.com/. The speakers of the day included most prominent business leaders from the G20 countries. The meeting adopted the B20 chairman and deputy chairmen.
During the event, it was officially confirmed that the participants were divided into seven functional groups to focus on their specific areas and cooperate in preparing proposals of the business community to be examined at the G20 Leaders Summit in St. Petersburg.
Hence, the following groups were established: Trade (chaired by Aleksey A. Mordashov, General Director of Severstal Open Joint-Stock Company, Chairman of the Committee for Integration, Trade and Customs Policy and WTO), Investment and Infrastructure (Kirill A. Dmitriev, General Director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund), Financial Markets (Andrey L. Kostin, President - Chairman of Management Board, VTB Bank Open Joint-Stock Company), Labour Markets and Employment (David M. Yakobashvili, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bioenegy Corporation, Chairman of the Committee for Corporate Social Responsibility and Demographic Policy), Global Priorities in Innovative Development (Victor F. Vekselberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Renova Group, President of Foundation for Development of Skolkovo Innovation Center, Chairman of the Committee for International Cooperation), Transparency and Anti-Corruption Measures (Andrey Ye. Bugrov, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Norilsk Nickel MMC, Non-executive Director, Norilsk Nickel MMC, Deputy General Director, Management Board member, Interros Holding Company), Efficiency of Dialogue between Business and Power (Aleksandr N. Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs).
Those task forces are going to work proactively until the beginning of the G20 summit in order to formulate proposals aimed at improving current mechanisms of fostering growth and sustainability. The proposals of the business community will be handed over to the policy makers and are bound to serve the development of our civilization as a whole. This idea was concisely expressed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) chairing the ‘Business 20’.
Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs held the first B20 meeting
On December 12, 2012, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs held the first B20 meeting within the framework of the G20 Sherpas’ meeting launching the Russian presidency in G20.
To set the frame for efficient discussion of the issues topical both for the global leaders and business community, seven target groups were formed: Trade, Investment and Infrastructure, Finance, Global Priorities in Innovation and Development, Job Creation and Investment in Human Capital, Transparency and Anti-Corruption Measures. Efficiency of G20 – B20 Dialogue.
Opening the meeting with a welcome address, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs A.N. Shokhin said that the work of those task forces would be organized in accordance with the priorities set for the Russian presidency in G20 as formulated by President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The RSPP leader stressed the significance of the B20 activities: “It is very important that we could arrange the work of the B20 experts in such a way that all our recommendations be included in the G20 Summit’s final documents next September.”
The participants of the task force on Trade, chaired by General Director of Severstal OJSC A.A. Mordashov, set forth the following directions of their work: enhancing the role of trade in economic growth and job creation, opposing protectionism, development of free trade, promotion of multilateral agreements among the G20 countries. According to Mr. Mordashov, one of their priorities will be to assert the idea that trade is not only important at the government level but at the social level as well: “We should dispel the myth that trade is cutting jobs.”
The meeting of the Investment and Infrastructure task force headed by Director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund K.A. Dmitriev was devoted to the importance of joint investments within the global economy. According to Mr. Dmitriev: “Joining the capital and the investment possibilities of Europe, BRIC and other G20 countries will help create conditions for new economic growth in the context of a probable recession in 2013”. In his opinion, a special role in this process will be played by investment in transport (ports, airports, motorways and railroads), communication and other types of infrastructure. The meeting also raised the questions of the best ways of evaluating return on investment, obtaining government guarantees for infrastructure projects and choosing high-yielding projects.
The Finance group chaired by President – Chairman of Management Board of VTB Bank A.L.Kostin devoted their attention to six major ssues: financial regulation, financial market infrastructure, private sector liabilities management and better access to financing, infrastructure financing, international monetary system, government emergency planning and crisis aftermath prevention. As Mr. Kostin had previously emphasized: “Structural changes both at the macroeconomic level and in the corporate governance system constitute a major factor of re-establishment of investors’ trust”. He expressed firm belief that at the G20 summit financial experts and business leaders will find the most appropriate solutions of this problem.
The participants of the task force on Global Priorities in Innovations and Development, chaired by President of Skolkovo Foundation V.F. Vekselberg, focused on three areas: energy, information science and computer technologies and biotechnologies. The participants agreed that the above-mentioned areas had enormous possibilities for fostering the world economic growth and that these possibilities could be best developed by stimulating competitiveness and creating cooperation. A special guest was Professor of Harvard Law School Roberto Unger, who shared his views on the best way of implementing innovations in the national economy: “What is important to realize is that small, medium and big business or the developing and developed economies require absolutely different kinds of innovations.”
The meeting of the task force on Job Creation and Investment in Human Capital, headed by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bioenergy Corporation D.M. Yakobashvili, focused on the problems of reducing unemployment and improving work conditions. The participants defined three directions of solving those problems: first of all, creating conditions for professional training, secondly, formation of flexible labour market and, thirdly, establishement of a sustainable pension system. Mr.Yakobashvili stressed: “To achieve those goals, we need to form fruitful cooperation between B20, on the one hand, and Union20, Civil 20, and Youth20, on the other.”
The participants of the meeting devoted to Transparency and Anti-Corruption Measures, led by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norilsk Nickel MMC, Senior Executive Manager of Interros Group A.Ye. Bugrov, identified four key issues – coordination of efforts of the business community, G20 governments and international organizations in preveting corruption, disseminaiton of the best anti-corruption practices and sharing experience in this sphere, development of a program for SMEs aimed at forming corruption intolerance and provision of public procurement transparency. Summing up the discussion, Mr. Bugrov said: “We simply cannot afford to lose this battle against corruption.”
The meeting of the group on Efficiency of G20 – B20 Dialogue worked out the rules to govern the interaction between B20 and G20 and formulated the main provisions of B20 Coalition.
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