Firm Serves as Official Knowledge Partner for Energy, Climate and Resource Efficiency, Digitalization, and Trade and Investment Taskforces
The Business 20 (B20) conference was held in Germany on May 2-3. Participants gathered in Berlin from more than 700 companies—representing every G20 nation—to discuss and present the B20 recommendations for growth and global welfare to the Group of 20 (G20). The B20 perspective has a strong influence on how policymakers and governments around the world set their respective agendas and ultimately drive policymaking.
Established in 2010, the B20 provides all participating stakeholders with visibility and access to senior policymakers and G20 members. At the conclusion of each annual mandate, the B20 delivers the policy recommendations to the G20 presidency. This year's B20 oversight and management was coordinated by the three major German business and industry associations—BDI, DIHK, and BDA—and the B20's recommendations were presented to German chancellor Angela Merkel.
For the fifth consecutive year, BCG played a pivotal role in facilitating preparation on topic-specific taskforces and providing policy recommendations, positioning itself as a thought leader in the B20 process. Our senior team of public sector and industry experts was involved in a seven-month working course of the Digitalization, Energy, Climate and Resource Efficiency, and Trade and Investment taskforces. In partnership with the B20 secretariat, BCG identified and developed each taskforce's focus topics, drafted policy papers, and integrated the contributions of approximately 100 members within each taskforce.
The Federation of German Industries (BDI), Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA)
This year's inaugural establishment of the Digitalization taskforce confirmed the importance and impact of the topic for businesses across G20 member states. BCG was well positioned to contribute meaningfully to the digital transformation, technology advantage, and artificial intelligence–related policy dialogue of the taskforce.
BCG's chairman, Hans-Paul Bürkner (pictured above), served as one of the taskforce's co-chairs, alongside Rajeev Suri (CEO, Nokia), Klaus Rosenfeld (CEO, Schaeffler), and other industry leaders. The recommendations proved the need for favorable framework conditions that will promote the wider application of digital technologies. More specifically, the B20 requested that the G20 foster global connectivity, strengthen Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet, and made forward-looking recommendations for governments to embrace artificial intelligence.
For the first time, the B20 acknowledged the opportunities of the Paris Agreement and the global energy transition. B20 members demanded consistent and robust carbon pricing, predictable and technology-friendly energy markets, and an advanced international innovation agenda.
B20 members made a clear statement against protectionism and underlined the need for a common G20 perspective on the benefits and disadvantages of the current state of trade. Businesses request more support for the disadvantaged populations around the globe and a more transparent agenda for the expansion of digital trade in developing countries.
In light of the current geopolitical climate, the Summit's participants acknowledged B20's recommendations as being of great significance to future economic and social development. Additional B20 taskforces included Financing Growth and Infrastructure, Employment and Education, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Responsible Business Conduct and Anti-Corruption.
Over the next months, BCG will further support the advocacy of the B20 policy recommendations through participation in events, including the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). In previous years, B20 dialogues took place in Russia, Australia, Turkey, and China, and BCG's B20 work will be continued when Argentina hosts the next G20 Leaders Summit in 2018.