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B20 Summit: Companies defend an inclusive and sustainable economy

Buenos Aires is currently welcoming the annual summit of the B20, or Business 20, as part of the Argentinian presidency of the G20 in 2018. Over 1,500 representatives of the business community have gathered in the Argentine capital to put forward their recommendations to the world’s main leaders.

Representing BBVA at the forum, José Manuel González-Páramo, formed part of a B20 delegation that met with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. The BBVA executive board member and head of global economics, regulation and public affairs also took part in a debate on the challenges faced in achieving an inclusive and sustainable future. During the meeting he underscored the importance of boosting economic development in two areas: the financing of infrastructure and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The executive focused on the contribution coherent regulation among countries can make to infrastructure investment. In his opinion, promoting such investment is vital for growth and development and in order to achieve this, governments should encourage private investment.

However, for a number of different reasons there is a clear lack of such investment. One of those reasons is a lack of a coherent and coordinated regulatory framework not only between borders but in terms of promoting public-private investment.

He pointed out that currently that there are imbalances between regions of the world and regulatory divergences that have to be addressed. To achieve this, the BBVA executive believes that the G20 should recognize the need for broader and more independent assessment of the impact of policies and regulatory initiatives. This should be carried out both on a national and international level to strengthen financial stability, economic growth and productivity, he said.

José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA executive board member and head of global economics, regulation and public affairs, during his speech at the B20 Summit in Buenos Aires - BBVA

SMEs, the driver of the economy

José Manuel González-Páramo emphasized the important contribution of SMEs to economic growth, innovation, job creation and social cohesion. However, he noted the need for ways to ease their access to credit.

He believes there are three key requisites that need to be taken into account to bolster access to financing. Firstly, he noted the need for transparent financial infrastructure and the accessibility of information. Secondly, regulation needs to meet the challenges of the digital revolution. This in turn requires promoting harmonized regulatory environments that create economies of scale. Thirdly, the need to improve access to diversified financing instruments while at the same time enhancing the financial education of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

In conclusion, digitization is crucial in improving SME access to the financing they need to tackle the obstacles they face in both demand and supply.

What is the B20?

The B20 is a forum consisting of representatives of global private companies, such as BBVA, which offers recommendations to support G20 governments’ efforts in meeting the most pressing challenges of the world’s economic and financial agenda. BBVA has played a very active role in the B20 in Turkey in 2015, particularly as a member of the group’s task force on Financing Growth and Infrastructure. José Manuel González-Páramo is one of the vice presidents of this task force.