B20 summit to discuss business transformation that enables inclusive growth

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RIYADH — Business 20 (B20) Saudi Arabia, the official voice of the global private sector to the G20, will host the B20 Summit virtually on Oct. 26-27, 2020, bringing together global leaders from business, academia, civil society and international organizations to discuss the world’s most pressing economic issues affecting communities today.

Saudi Arabia is the first Middle Eastern country to ever host the G20 Presidency, representing the region and the developing world.

“Rooted in our mission to drive Action Through Collaboration, the B20 Summit is the culmination of the efforts of our more than 650 members, who worked tirelessly this past year to develop action-oriented policy recommendations to the G20 across several issue areas.

"The year 2020 has been an incredibly challenging year as communities around the world deal with the impact of the pandemic, and our leaders must act with urgency to address their immediate needs while looking into building a more inclusive and sustainable future,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of B20 Saudi Arabia.

“I look forward to welcoming renowned global leaders and to the fruitful discussions that will take place at the Summit.”

Under this year’s B20 theme, Transforming for Inclusive Growth, discussions taking place at the Summit will address the post-pandemic recovery and how collaboration between parties can help build back a more sustainable, inclusive global economy.

Within this context, discussion topics will focus on the role of multilateral organizations, the digital economy, how to build a more sustainable future and leveling the playing field for women in business.

Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), who will be speaking on the panel Redesigning Multilateralism for a New Era, shares his perspectives ahead of the discussion: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards the world of the future. And it is crucial that our institutions keep up with the rapid pace to ensure no one is left behind.

“The changes we make now will have a lasting impact on our world as our economies and societies recover.”

“Policymakers around the world have already taken extraordinary and synchronized measures to curb the spread of the pandemic and avoid massive bankruptcies and layoffs. The IMF contributes to these efforts by providing policy advice and financing — more than $100 billion was extended already to 81 countries.

“We urge further efforts for international cooperation to preserve stability, support confidence and build forward to a more sustainable and inclusive recovery,” adds Kristalina Georgieva, managing director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), on the role of multilateral organizations.

Speaking on the second day, which will focus on digital economy, trade and participation of women, Diane Wang, founder & CEO, DHgate, and co-chair, Digitalization Taskforce at B20, notes: “COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the digital divide, and especially the gender digital divide. Women-owned businesses typically have access to fewer resources than their male-owned counterparts.

“Yet the rapid digitalization of the last few months can bring long-term opportunities to millions of women and girls, allowing them to contribute to economic growth.”

Other confirmed speakers of the B20 Summit include Princess Reema Bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US, Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister to the UK; Amin Nasser, president & CEO, Saudi Aramco; Carly Fiorina, chairman, Carly Fiorina Enterprises; Bill Winters, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank; and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO, Total, amongst other prominent leaders from G20 countries.

In early October, B20 Saudi Arabia announced 25 policy recommendations to reinvigorate the global economy. The policy actions, delivered to G20 Leaders, focus on key issues such as digitalization, free and fair trade, sustainable finance and infrastructure, mainstreaming women in business, integrity and compliance, climate change and sustainability, and the future of work and education. — SG


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