First Business 20 Meeting held as part of Russia's G20 presidency
The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs hosted the first B20 Meeting. It took place under the auspices of the G20 Sherpas meetings and the Conference - first within the period of Russia's G20 presidency.
Seven B20 Taskforces were established and focused on the areas crucial for global development: Trade, Investments and Infrastructure, Finance, Global Priorities for Innovation and Development, Job Creation and Investments in Human Capital, Transparency and Anticorruption Activity, the G20-B20 Dialogue Efficiency.
In his welcome address, RSPP President Alexander Shokhin, acting as the B20 Chairman, noted that the B20 activities should go in line and develop the priorities of Russia's G20 presidency, delivered in a speech of Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Alexander Shokhin underlined the high importance of the B20 activities: "It is significantly vital for us to structure the B20 process in the right way - to ensure that our recommendations will be included in the final G20 documents in September 2013".
The participants of Trade Taskforce working session chaired by Mr. Alexey Mordashov, outlined the key priorities: to increase the role of trade in economic growth and job creation, fight against protectionism, free trade facilitation and signing multilateral trade agreements between the G20 countries. One of the main goals of the Taskforce, believes Mr Mordashov, is to prove the role of trade not only on intergovernmental level, but on social as well: "We should dismantle a myth that the trade decreases the number of workplaces" - summarized Mr Mordashov.
"Investments and Infrastructure" Taskforce working session chaired by Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, was devoted to the role of joint investments in global economy. In his intervention Mr. Dmitriev noted that "bringing together capitals and investment potentials of Europe, BRICS and other G20 countries will create the terms for new type of economic growth in case of possible economic recession in 2013." Mr Dmitriev considers that the leading role in this process will play the investments "in transport (sea ports, airports, automobile roads and railways), communication and other infrastructures". The working session also covered the issues of assessment of investments revenues rates, state guarantees for infrastructure projects, criteria for selection of high-profit projects.
The B20 Finance Taskforce is chaired by VTB CEO - Chairman of the Board Mr. Andrey Kostin. Its activity during the working session was concentrated around six main areas, including financial regulation, financial market infrastructure, sovereign debt management and expansion of access to finances, finance of infrastructure, international monetary system, governmental planning for emergency situations and prevention of negative impact of financial crisis. Mr. Andrey Kostin noted that "structural changes on the macroeconomic level, as well as in the system of management in companies - the most important component of the post crisis recovery. The B20 summit will provide an excellent opportunity to reach at a common approach for financial experts and representatives of business community" - summarized Mr. Kostin.
The participants of the working session "Global Priorities for Innovation and Development" headed by Mr. Victor Vekselberg, President of Skolkovo Foundation, discussed three main issues, including energy, ICT and biotechnologies. By the general opinion of the members of the taskforce these areas accumulate considerable potentials for global development. These potentials might be reached by stimulating competitiveness and cooperation. Special guest of the meeting Mr. Roberto Unger, Harvard Law School professor, made a report on the ways of innovation implementation in the economy: "It is crucial to understand that small, medium and large companies as well as remerging and developed economies need the innovations of particular different types".
"Job Creation and Investments in Human Capital" taskforce focused on the ways of counteracting to unemployment and improvement of labour conditions. The participants marked three areas of activities: first and the most important one - create conditions for apprenticeship; second - establish flexible labour market; third - introduce stable pension system. In his speech Mr. David Iakobashvili, Taskforce chair and CEO of Bioenergy Corporation stressed that "to achieve these aims we need to build cooperation between Business 20 and Labour 20, as well as Civil 20, Think 20 and Youth 20."
Next working session "Transparency and Anticorruption Activity" was chaired by Andrei Bougrov, Senior Manging Director of Interros company. The Taskforce outlined 4 key priorities, among which are: cooperation of business communities, the G20 governments and international organizations in prevention of corruption, expansion of best anticorruption practices and experience exchange, evaluation of programs promoting intolerance to corruption among SMEs, transparency of public procurement procedures. In his closing remarks Mr. Bougrov said: "We cannot let ourselves loose the fight against corruption".
G20-B20 Dialogue Efficiency Taskforce discussed the perspectives and principles of cooperation between the B20 and the G20 and the main development objectives of the B20 Coalition.