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SBF strongly supports G20’s push for collective action to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth

Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies of the world (G20) concluded their annual Summit in Antalya, Turkey, on 16 November, with a joint communiqué pledging to continue with their collective action to lift the actual and potential growth of the G20 economies, support job creation, strengthen resilience, promote development and enhance the inclusiveness of its policies. The G20 leaders remain committed to achieving their ambition to lift collective G20 GDP by an additional 2% by 2018, as announced in Brisbane last year. SBF is strongly supportive of the G20’s key thrust of pushing for collective action to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth. This is particularly in view of the direct and indirect benefits to Singapore companies given the proliferation of global value chains and increasing interlinkages of economies around the world.

Although Singapore is not a G20 economy, Singapore has been invited to participate in this year’s G20 and B20 Turkey process this year. SBF is proud and privileged to represent the views and interests of the Singapore business community in this year’s B20 process, and in the 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 B20 processes. For this year’s B20 process, Mr S S Teo, Chairman of SBF, is a member of the International Business Advisory Council led by Mr Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, that enhances engagement and dialogue with governments on B20 Turkey’s recommendations. Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF, Mr David Yang, Regional CEO, Europe, Mediterranean & the Americas, of PSA International and Co-Chairman of the Turkey-Singapore Business Council, and Mr Lawrence Leow, Chairman & CEO of Crescendas Group, & Chairman of the SBF-led SME Committee, are members of the B20 Trade, Infrastructure & Investment, and SMEs & Entrepreneurship Task Forces respectively. The Task Forces are responsible for coming up with the B20’s recommendations in the respective areas.

This year’s B20 has four key recommendations to the G20 leaders, that have been identified as offering the greatest potential to boost economic growth and create broad-based opportunity globally:

(a) Ratify and implement the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
(b) Develop country-specific infrastructure strategies linked to G20 growth aspirations.
(c) Broaden and deepen SMEs’ access to alternative financing by supporting and harmonizing policies, regulations, and standards.
(d) Increase youth employment and women labour participation rate and reduce skills mismatches.

At the same time, Turkey has also established the World SME Forum as part of its chairmanship of the B20. The World SME Forum will support, engage and represent SME interest globally through advocacy and research, advisory services and access to global markets and expertise.

SBF is strongly supportive of the four key recommendations, especially recommendations (a) to (c). SBF also welcomes the establishment of the World SME Forum as our SMEs can benefit from the Forum. All four key recommendations and the World SME Forum have been reflected in the Antalya G20 Leaders’ Communiqué, signaling the leaders’ collective intent on implementing the recommendations in their respective economies and endorsing the World SME Forum respectively.

Mr S S Teo, Chairman of SBF, shared “We strongly support the G20 leaders’ resolve to boost growth and opportunities in a sluggish global economy. Collectively, the G20 economies account for about 85% of the global economy and 80% of world trade. Our businesses are increasingly dependent on the performance of the global economy”.

Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF added, “The Peterson Institute for International Economics estimates that implementation of the TFA can boost global GDP by some US$1 trillion and create some 21 million jobs in the process. The removal of unnecessary delays and red-tape when moving goods across borders will have direct benefits to our businesses. The recommendation on developing country-specific infrastructure strategies will provide opportunities for our companies to participate in more infrastructure projects. It will also spur infrastructure investments in our region thereby leading to better connectivity and regional integration. Singapore has a role to play as a major financial centre and as a centre of expertise in capacity building, with many companies here excelling in projects and operational management. The recommendation on SME financing will open up more avenues of financing to our SMEs.”

China will host next year’s G20 and B20. SBF will represent the interest and views of the Singapore business community once again in next year’s B20 process.

Mr Ho Meng Kit’s Op Ed on the B20 Turkey’s Recommendations published in the Business Times on 12 November 2015

B20 Turkey’s Key Recommendations for the G20 Leaders

G20 Leaders’ Communiqué 2015

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