Business 20 (B20)
INFORMATION NOTE ON B20 TURKEY
Introduction and Brief History
As a crucial actor of economic activity, the private sector has a key role to play in achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The Business 20 (B20) leads engagement with the G20 governments on behalf of the international business community.
Being the first formally recognized G20 engagement group, the B20 has been playing a key role in helping the global business community engage with the G20 decision makers and has been contributing to the G20 agenda since the Korean Presidency in 2010.
B20 Turkey has commenced its activities on 15 December 2014 with kick-off meeting and continued with the first meetings of its Taskforces in the beginning of February 2015.
Executive Committee of B20 Turkey Presidency consists of 7 members. The President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu chairs the B20 Executive Committee. Other members of the Executive Committee are:
- Nail Olpak (Independent Industrialists’ Businessmen’s Association – MÜSİAD)
- Mehmet Büyükekşi (Turkish Exporters Assembly – TİM)
- Haluk Dinçer (Sabancı Holding, Retail Group)
- Erol Kiresepi (Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations – TİSK)
- Erdal Bahçıvan (The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey – TOBB)
- Tuncay Özilhan (Anadolu Group)
Priorities and Activities
B20 Turkey has determined its priorities as “Continuity”, “Inclusivity”, and “Connectivity” in line with the G20 priority areas.
Continuity: Since 2010, a great amount of valuable information has been accumulated on the problems of the global business community. Past B20 Chairs formed a rich corpus consisting of more than 400 recommendations. B20 Turkey is determined to ensure the continued growth of this information as well as refinement of past cycles’ recommendations for better implementation.
Inclusivity: To provide inclusivity both in participation and content, B20 Turkey has established SMEs and Entrepreneurship Taskforce to focus on global bottlenecks that hinder the growth of SMEs and also organized Regional Consultation Forums aiming to extend the reach of the B20 to the business communities of emerging economies and non-G20 economies.
Connectivity: Connectivity covers a broad range of areas including business, transport, and digital. As connectivity can enhance trade, growth and global wealth, B20 Turkey has been committed to enhancing connectivity among the G20 countries and business communities. In this regard, thematic conferences are organized on developing cross-country transportation, energy, and digital hubs.
Taskforces: B20 Turkey remained committed to all five priority issues pursued under the Australian Presidency of 2014, reflecting the focus of the Turkish G20 Presidency on boosting global economic growth and creating jobs, and leading to structuring of six Taskforces, namely Financing Growth (FG), Trade (T), Infrastructure and Investment (I&I), Employment (E) and Anti-Corruption (AC). An SMEs and Entrepreneurship Taskforce was also established under the Turkish G20 Presidency to focus on strengthening SMEs and supporting entrepreneurship. Foundation of this taskforce reflects the strong emphasis by the Turkish Presidency to addressing problems and needs of SMEs worldwide as they are main drivers of global growth and employment.
Process: Starting from December 2014, around 700 business leaders representing businesses throughout the world worked across these taskforces to finalize the B20 recommendations to present to the G20 governments. A significant increase in the membership from the last year’s B20, 299, to this year’s, 686, denotes the success of the Turkish Presidency’s efforts for inclusivity of the business community. Two joint taskforce meetings were held to receive inputs and share works with the participation of taskforce members as well as economy, trade, and finance ministers from the OECD countries and key partners. Another key component of the process was the regular teleconferences organized within the individual taskforces to finalize the B20 policy papers.
Regional Consultations: As an important addition from B20 Turkey to the B20 vision, several regional consultation meetings have been organized in various countries around the world to guarantee the business community’s support for recommendations received and that their concerns and ideas were heard. Some key meetings were held in Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Italy and Russia.
Upcoming Events: The B20’s timeline for Turkey’s G20 Presidency is outlined in Exhibit 1. The process will reach a major milestone at the B20 Turkey conference on 3-5 September in Ankara where the B20 policy communiqué will be shaped. The outreach of the communiqué to the G20 governments is to be ensured until November, where the process will conclude with the final communiqué to be presented in the B20 Summit on 14-15 November alongside the G20 Summit to take place on 15-16 November, in Antalya.
Exhibit 1: B20 Turkey 2015 New Recommendation Development Work Stream Timeline:
Joint Taskforce Meetings
16-17 April 2015, The Taskforces have held their meetings in the context of World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. and presented their work at the Plenary.
1-2 June 2015, The Taskforces have held their second and final joint meetings in the context of OECD Forum in Paris and further developed their recommendation priorities which are voted at the Plenary Conference.
Official Launch of the World SME Forum (WSF)
The World SME Forum (WSF) has been officially launched by Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Ali Babacan on 23 May 2015 in Istanbul as a global initiative for SMEs by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and World Chambers Federation (WCF).
International Business Advisory Council (IBAC)
The International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) has been established to bring together the prominent business leaders of the G20 countries and to serve as an advisory body for following Presidencies. Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company chairs IBAC. The Council has held its first meeting on 16 April 2015 in Washington D.C.
B20 Turkey Business Leaders Forum
B20 Turkey Business Leaders Forum (BLF) was founded as a platform of over 100 Turkish business representatives for better alignment with B20 process. First meeting of the BLF was held on 8 May 2015 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul.
Summary of B20 Recommendations
The B20 asks G20 members to continue their focus on structural reforms to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth as well as the effective and timely implementation of their respective growth and investment strategies. Further by addressing the following recommendations, the G20 will remove obstacles to increased private sector activity, particularly by SMEs.
To complete implementation of agreed policies G20 members should:
- Ratify and implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (T-1)
- Finalize implementation of global financial reform agenda (FG-5)
- Improve the consultation process in the financial reform agenda (FG- 6)
- Implement G20 High Level Principles on Beneficial Ownership (AC-2)
G20 members should invest in correcting imbalances by:
- Develop a common set of international investment principles related to FDI (I&I-3)
- Develop country-specific infrastructure investment strategies linked to G20 growth aspirations (I&I-2)
- Improve the infrastructure investment ecosystem to facilitate the development of infrastructure as an asset class (I&I-1)
- Developing and finance programs aimed at reducing skills mismatches in an era of rapid changes in technology and innovation (E-2)
To foster inclusiveness, G20 members should:
- Implement comprehensive structural reforms, making labor markets more dynamic and inclusive, to advance employment opportunities (E-1)
- Increase youth employment and female labor-force participation (E-2)
- Make data on SME creditworthiness more transparent and available so that various finance tools that reduce risk associated with SME lending can be used effectively (FG-1 and 2)
- Broaden and deepen SMEs’ access to alternative financing by supporting and harmonizing policies, regulations, and standards (FG-3 and S-2)
- Provide support to SMEs to comply with international standards and improve their access to international markets through capacity-building and technical assistance programs (S-1)
- Incorporate a five-year universal broadband connection target into G20 Member Growth Strategies, improve SMEs’ access to the digital economy, and innovation ecosystems by increasing stakeholder collaboration (S-3)
To enhance competition, G20 members should:
- Improve the global trade system for the emerging digital economy (T-3)
- Initiate G20-wide entrepreneurs’ visa programs (S- 1)
- Reaffirm the standstill commitment and rollback existing protectionist measures, especially non-tariff barriers including localization barriers to trade (T-2)
- Develop and adopt a comprehensive digital environment for customs procedures and cross-border automated clearance systems in all G20 countries within five years through public-private collaboration (AC-3)
- Digitalize public procurement systems, develop high-level reporting mechanisms, and incentivize business compliance programs for public procurement processes (AC-4)
- Reduce corruption and improve efficiency of trade, by moving towards a comprehensive digital environment for customs and cross-border systems through public-private collaboration in all G20 countries within 5 years (AC-1)
- Promote integrity in public procurement by instituting digital systems, high-level reporting mechanisms, and incentivizing business compliance programs (AC-3)