Business / Hangzhou G20

G20 urged to curb protectionism with transparent policies

By Zhong Nan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-04 10:31

The Business 20 has called on the G20 leaders to curb the rising protectionism in international investment and trade by introducing clear and transparent policies.

A number of proposals by the B20's organizing committee and taskforces, focusing on international investment, trade, innovation, infrastructure development and employment-the labor force participation rate is at its lowest in 40 years, and is continuing to decline-are expected to be included in the G20 Summit statement this year, said Jiang Zengwei, chair of the B20 2016.

The B20 provides a platform for international companies and chambers of commerce to participate in global economic governance, as well as economic and trade regulation, through meetings and summits that collect the opinions of world business leaders and making recommendations to the G20 leaders.

"The B20 has suggested that the current investment agreements be reassessed, in a bid to build more effective standards. This will help to resolve disputes and assist global investment activities," said Jiang, who is also chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

More than 3,300 investment agreements are currently in use in global markets, which hinders the flow of capital and increases investment costs for enterprises.

Bill Winters, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Plc, said there are still significant risks to the global economy and the sluggish global growth will make it harder for the world economy to cope with any more shocks.

"We need to focus on ways in which to unlock investment to support the huge need for infrastructure finance across the world and to fund clean energy technologies that will enable us to transition to a low carbon, sustainable world," Winters said.

The B20 proposals include a plan for global infrastructure connectivity, along with an electronic world trade platform and suggestions for promoting innovative growth.

A total of 815 representatives attended this year's B20 Summit in Hangzhou, including 142 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list and 103 enterprises from China's top 500 companies.

Zhang Yanling, a member of the executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce and former vice-president of Bank of China Ltd, said in Beijing on Wednesday: "In its policy proposals to the G20, the B20 has suggested adopting innovative technologies and management instruments to enhance the value of infrastructure projects and strengthen infrastructure connectivity among countries and regions.

"It is important that different countries join the efforts to develop infrastructure as a means to leverage global economic development."

The B20 provides a great opportunity for business leaders to communicate their priorities with heads of governments. Germany will hold the B20 presidency in 2017.

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