Chief executives to offer global solutions

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Chief executives to offer global solutions


Oh Young-ho, commissioner of the G-20 Business Summit Organizing Committee, giving a briefing yesterday on the agenda items to be discussed during the business summit that starts today. Oh said that this will be the first time that such a meeting has been held on such a grand scale and that it should become a regular event at future G-20 Summits. [NEWSIS]

Oh Young-ho, the commissioner of the Seoul G-20 Business Summit Organizing Committee, said yesterday that the Seoul G-20 Business Summit will be a forum for the private sector to provide suggestions to improve the global economy under the theme, “The role of business for sustainable and balanced growth.”

A two-day meeting, which begins today at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel in eastern Seoul, will be attended by more than 100 chief executive officers from major multinational companies, one of the biggest corporate gatherings of its kind ever seen. Participants will also include several national leaders attending the G-20 Summit.

The G-20 Business Summit will focus on four main agenda items, including trade and foreign direct investment, finance, green growth and corporate social responsibility, with each agenda having three discussion groups.

The concept of the Business Summit was created by the Korean government as part of the G-20 Summit that begins tomorrow.

Up to now, the G-20 leaders had taken ideas related to the summit from two separate pools of experts. One is the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors, which focused on global economic and regulatory concerns, and is held prior to the summit.

The other is the so-called Sherpas meeting, which reviews broader themes involving trade and investment. But these discussions have been limited to the realm of the public sector, which by its nature has excluded the input of the private sector.

The organizers of the G-20 Summit in Seoul wanted to overcome this limitation by inviting more than 100 top business leaders from around the world.

As a result, the Business Summit can be seen as a distinctive global collaborative effort initiated to create synergies between the public and the private sectors as government and businesses thrash out issues around at roundtable discussions.

This rare opportunity, which amounts to an unprecedented global summit between the public and private sectors, is likely to set a model for such discussions at future G-20 Summits, including the next one in France in 2011.

The business leaders are expected to make recommendations in the following areas:

*Revitalizing world trade: the G-20 should commit to complete the Doha Development Round of multilateral trade talks in 2011 and put trade and investment permanently on the agenda of the G-20.

*Boosting foreign direct investment: Working toward a multilateral framework for investment that reflects all interests and ensures a clear and enforceable legal framework for principle-based FDI regulations.

*Nurturing SMEs: Provide incentives encouraging the financial sector to lend to SMEs, promote the value of intellectual property, and improve awareness of the range of financing options available.

*Financial services: Reaffirm commitment to global capital flows and consistent global regulatory standards, work with financial services supporting SME financing, and establish credit bureaus in emerging countries.

*Coordination of exit strategies: Cutting government spending, returning monetary policy to a neutral stance, and providing new standards for banking regulation and supervision.

*Funding for infrastructure, natural resources and technology: Help to better quantify and reduce infrastructure project risk, cooperation between governments and the private sector to create alternative funding mechanisms to reduce the government’s need to invest in projects, and make infrastructure more attractive to the private sector.

*Improving energy productivity: Governments should work together in energy efficiency by establishing clear, consistent standards and providing new financing solutions for long-term investment plans.

*Renewable energy issue: The G-20 governments should pursue market-based carbon pricing, mandate regular meetings of energy-related ministers, and strengthen international public-private partnerships.

*Creating green jobs: The G-20 countries should set high efficiency standards on buildings and adopt renewable and other low-carbon energy policies.

*Technology impact on productivity: Industry sectors should work together and develop a joint commission between the G-20 and other relevant international organizations to identify barriers to the diffusion of productivity-enhancing innovations.

*Reducing youth unemployment: Creating a public-private academic partnership, fostering entrepreneurship, and identifying high-growth sectors by geography.

*Health care: The G-20 should recognize the importance of health to economic growth by including it as a permanent agenda, focus on the urgent need for health care systems in developing economies, and recognize the importance of developing countries to invest portions of annual budgets in health.

By Limb Jae-un, Jung Seung-hyun []
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