SBF Joins Global Business Leaders’ Call for G20 Leaders to Lead Transformative and Inclusive Multilateral Trading System
Wednesday, 28 October 2020 [Singapore] – The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) joined global business leaders, policymakers, and international organisations at the Business Twenty (B20) Summit to discuss pathways for a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future. Held virtually on 26 and 27 October, the B20 represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
As a member of the B20 alongside Singapore’s participation as a guest country for G20, SBF’s CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit represented the Singapore business community as a member of the B20 Trade and Investment Taskforce at virtual meetings held from February 2020 to July 2020 to develop policy recommendations.
Led by Saudi Arabia, this year’s B20 theme of “Transforming for Inclusive Growth” has become even more relevant in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has strained the global economy and disrupted supply chains. The recommendations of the policy paper cover the reform of the multilateral system to provide a new level playing field for e-commerce, facilitate trade in services and trade finance, and make trade and investment more sustainable.
During the discussions, Mr Ho reiterated the urgent need for G20 leaders to demonstrate strong support for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the rules-based multilateral trading system by focusing on its reform in line with the Riyadh Initiative. Given the widespread outbreak of the pandemic, it is critical to have a globally coordinated response to tackle the challenges for economies and businesses to emerge stronger.
"This year has been challenging for the global economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have had to adapt and transform to overcome difficulties posed by various containment measures. E-commerce has become a necessity as businesses depend on digital platforms to spur growth and recovery. We call on world leaders to intensify efforts to create a facilitative environment for businesses, especially for the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to actively participate in the digital economy and cross-border trade by concluding a high quality and comprehensive agreement on e-commerce at the WTO.” said Mr Ho.
The outcomes of these discussions culminated in the submission of a report titled “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All” on 28 September. The report comprised 25 policy recommendations that called for bold, collaborative and decisive actions to embark on a resilient and sustainable path for growth. The action-oriented policy recommendations focused on trade and investment; digitalisation; energy, sustainability and climate; finance and infrastructure; future of work and education; and integrity and compliance to the G20.
This report follows an earlier B20 Special Report to G20, “Jump-starting the Global Economy in a Post-COVID-19 Phase”, which addressed the global health and economic crisis and provided six timely, informed and actionable recommendations on how governments can better support the private sector, protect the economy and prepare for future crises.