Business 20 Forum. G20/В20 Priorities: Infrastructure, Employment, SME Development, Prospects for Germany’s В20 Presidency
In the course of the second panel session of the B20 Forum ‘G20/В20 Priorities: Infrastructure, Employment, SME Development, Prospects for Germany’s В20 Presidency’ its participants continued discussing recommendations by target groups. They explored possibilities for optimum regulation and encouragement of investment in infrastructure, expansion of employment opportunities, effective distribution of human resources, and inclusion of SME in global value chains, as well as search for new SME development capacities.
Kevin Michael Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and former prime minister of Australia, acted as the moderator at the panel session.
Recommendations of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce were presented by Konstantin Zubanov, Director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The taskforce had prepared five recommendations, of them two focus on the improvement of existing arrangements.
Mr. Zubanov called on the G20 states to increase the number of beneficial projects and expedite implementation. Another recommendation by the taskforce pertains to the legal aspects and financial instruments, which can facilitate the development of infrastructure projects. This recommendation incorporates such measures as the promotion of the regulatory framework concerning investment, introduction of mechanisms for the monetization of infrastructure assets, and investment of funds received.
New recommendations mentioned by Mr. Zubanov include the strengthening of the role of international banks and development institutions, support for the introduction of state-of-the-art asset management methods, and promotion of infrastructure cohesion. “According to our estimates, these measures have potential to increase the volume of the global economy by more than USD 2 trillion,” said the RDIF director.
Evgeniy Ditrikh, First Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, spoke about the Silk Road Economic Belt project. “We presented a series of projects that we currently implement in this area to our Chinese partners. These include the eastern polygon of the Baikal–Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian Railway, which will accelerate freight traffic; the international transport route Europe–Western China, which will allow freight transportation by heavy haulers; and projects associated with the development of ports in the Far East,” said Mr. Ditrikh.
Xinjun Liang, Executive Director, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fosun International Limited and Co-Chair of the B20 Employment Taskforce, spoke about recommendations developed by his taskforce. They include the implementation of a programme and reforms that encourage entrepreneurship and innovations, envisage the removal of structural barriers, and support for employment expansion mechanisms.
David Iakobachvili, President of Orion Heritage LLC and President of the Russian–American Council for Business Cooperation, voiced the position of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) on employment. With a view to creating modern jobs it is important to take well-targeted measures to promote innovative projects and systemic measures to establish a relevant business climate and remove barriers to business. In Russia, these arrangements need to be complemented with increased flexibility of the labour market and liberalization of the labour legislation,” Mr. Iakobachvili said as he commented on the report by his Chinese counterpart.
Jack Yun Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, presented the recommendations by the B20 SME Development Taskforce. First of all, support should be channelled towards the promotion of the idea of a global electronic trading platform. It is also important to put in place training programmes for SMEs in association with international organizations. Finally, it is necessary to cut compliance costs for SMEs.
Matthias Schepp, Chairman of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce, spoke about prospects for Germany’s В20 presidency. He mentioned the priority objectives that Germany is planning to present to the G20 members.
“The top priorities are trade and investment; they are followed by energy and climate, financing of growth, digitalization, jobs, and education. Taskforces are formed in accordance with these priorities, as well as separately for SME and combat against corruption,” Mr. Schepp said.
Moderator Kevin Michael Rudd summarized the results of the forum. The former prime minister of Australia called for implementing the recommendations to improve infrastructure, develop innovative financial products, ensure employment-related gender equality across the globe, promote youth employment, and create a global electronic platform and electronic trade route.