For two days, the corporate community of the G20 – the Business 20, or B20 – met in Berlin to discuss how to create a sustainable global economy in the future. At the end of the summit, the B20 presented its 20 recommendations for the G20 political leaders to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. BBVA played an important role in the meeting.
From May 2nd to May 3rd, the G20 for companies met at an event focusing on Resilience, Responsibility and Responsiveness: Towards a future-oriented, sustainable world economy. Some 800 representatives from corporations, NGOs, international organizations and politicians from G20 countries participated in the event. BBVA Executive Director José Manuel González-Páramo participated in one of the mainpanel discussions, as co-chair of the working group on Financing Growth and Infrastructure.“Globalization enables the inclusion of a host of vulnerable people and SMEs in the world offinance,” José Manuel González-Páramo said in an interview published on the B20Facebook page. “It’s about creating and exploiting opportunities,” he added, in reference to the possibilities offered by the digitization of finance, especially through smartphones.
What is the B20 proposing?
After a year of work, these corporate representatives from G20 countries produced 20 economic and corporate recommendations.
These are divided into three areas:
Fostering a resilient economy that is capable of adapting to changing circumstances. The B20 calls for the opening of international trade, the financial inclusion of SMEs through digitization, the application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the development of infrastructure and cybersecurity.
In terms of sustainability , the B20 stresses the importance of working to address climate change and moving toward more sustainable energy sources. It suggests making more efficient use of resources and energy sources, with greater investment in infrastructure that is respectful of the environment.
Finally, the B20 calls for a more responsible economy and more responsible companies by promoting open, dynamic and inclusive labor markets that take advantage of technology. They also urge the G20 to ensure that everyone follows the same rules, with greater efforts for transparency and compliance and responsible conduct in infrastructure projects.
B20 proposals for financing growth and infrastructure
Each of the B20 working groups came up with a series of recommendations. The Financing Growth and Infrastructure group, led in part by BBVA, focused on the following recommendations:
- Promote financing for infrastructure. The B20 urges the members of the G20 to foment financing for infrastructure by developing and promoting infrastructure projects that are eligible for financing and apt for investment, strengthening the role of multilateral development banks as catalysts for private sector investment, and fostering green financial markets.
- Design financial regulation that promotes growth. In this regard, the B20 calls on the G20 to reaffirm its support for international development. It also asks international and national organizations and regulators for greater regulatory coherence, transparency in the creation and application of regulations and accountability for G20 growth targets.
- Establishing a stable and accessible environment for financing . To do so, the B20 recommends that the G20 improve conditions for foreign direct investment, supporting stable legal and regulatory frameworks that foster long-term investment, including greater fiscal security.
Financing SMEs: a pending task for the G20
The B20 has been working throughout the year on analyzing and proposing ways to improve financing for SMEs. In a meeting in March prior to the Berlin summit, representatives from the B20 and the OECD, including BBVA, held a high level seminar in Paris to discuss SME’s lack of access to financing.
The outcome of this meeting was a document to which BBVA’s Executive Director José Manuel González-Páramo contributed. The document urges G20 leaders to follow three basic recommendations to help resolve this problem : 1) improve regulatory coordination in the financial services sector; 2) improve SMEs’ access financing mechanisms through successful public and private sector initiatives; 3) maximize access to data and share information on digital platforms to help face global challenges like cybersecurity.
This report coincides with the publication of the sixth edition of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs: An OECD Scoreboard . The study uses data on SME access to financing during the 2007-2015 period in 39 countries, including Spain .
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