The B20 Summit will encourage the G20 Summit to put aside differences and produce a joint declaration.
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Business actors from Group of 20 member states called for the heads of state who will meet at the G20 summit next week to push for solutions to end geopolitical conflicts that have now suppressed the economy in many countries. The theme of inclusive recovery raised by the Indonesian presidency is expected to not just be jargon.
The call for the importance of peace to save the global economic recovery will be delivered in a communiqué containing policy recommendations and cooperation programs achieved at the Business 20 (B20) Summit. The forum, which be held will Bali on 13-14 November, is a meeting place for business people from the G20 members, the 20 countries with the world's largest economies and the European Union.
At the forum, Indonesia as the president will encourage “urgency” from the global business community so that the country's leaders can put aside differences and produce a joint declaration.
Lobbying and approaches have been carried out by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) as the chair of the B20 through visits to several G20 member countries prior to the G20 Summit. Kadin chairman Arsjad Rasjid was optimistic that the B20 Summit could produce recommendations regarding current geopolitical conditions.
“How can we talk about economic progress or whatever if the world is not at peace and war is still going on? Hopefully, this can be part of the declaration of the G20 leaders, especially since they have received votes from business people across all G20 countries," said Arsjad in a special interview with Kompas in Jakarta on Wednesday (9/11/2022).
The business and political sectors are like two sides of a coin, separate yet side-by-side. Arsjad said this could be seen from the steady flow of talks between business actors from G20 countries whose political positions are opposing. Even, business-to-business cooperation can still be carried out by companies from countries with different camps.
Business goes beyond politics, so even though it is tough at the G20 level, at the B20 the atmosphere is more fluid.
However, on the other hand, the business world is also the sector most affected by the geopolitical tensions. They have disrupted global supply chains, hampered the availability of raw materials, increased production costs, weakened the value of developing country currencies and has exacerbated credit obligations of business actors.
“Business goes beyond politics, so even though it is tough at the G20 level, at the B20 the atmosphere is more fluid. Indeed, there are considerations, oh my, what will my country's stance be? But, off camera, all are the same. Why fight for so long? How can business run if there is no security and political stability?” said Arsjad.
Besides voicing business leaders’ stance on the latest geopolitical tensions, the B20 Summit will also present 25 policy recommendations and 68 policy actions. There are also a number of legacy programs that will be continued in the next Indian presidency.
One of them is the Wiki B20 program, a platform that connects micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and large corporations across countries. The platform will open market access for MSMEs to penetrate global supply chains. For the pilot program, Indonesia will explore cooperation with the Japanese and Indian business communities.
Arsjad said the program was in line with the theme of inclusive recovery that has been raised by the Indonesian presidency at the G20. In previous years, the interests of developing countries and MSMEs as the backbone of the economy were often underestimated. "This is the first time for the B20 to raise an issue that focuses on the recovery of MSMEs," he said.
In order to enable MSMEs to go up in class, they must be helped to penetrate the world supply chains. “We create a trading platform. There, MSMEs can meet each other. Know each other and meet their needs for raw materials. What do you need, what do I have? For now, it is still a pilot project, next we will bring it to the ASEAN level, then the world, "he said.
The B20 Summit will be attended by 1,600 registered delegates. Also present will be CEOs from leading global companies, business leaders and organizations from G20 countries. There will be 96 speakers from 30 countries who will be involved as panelists at the B20 Summit, including Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, Alibaba Group chairman Daniel Zhang, Unilever CEO Alan Jope, and former British prime minister Tony Blair.
So far, said Arsjad, the results of business cooperation achieved from various investment forum sessions are estimated to reach Rp 784.5 trillion (US$50 billion with an exchange rate of Rp 15,690 per dollar). This figure is expected to rise until the peak of the B20 Summit later.
Contacted separately, Indonesian MSME Association secretary-general Edy Misero said that the MSME community in Indonesia had high hopes for the G20 event. However, he reminded, taking sides with MSMEs should not just be jargon.
“Give us room to seize opportunities on the global market. So far, it is difficult for MSMEs to get information, what exactly is needed by other countries that we can provide. I have repeatedly reminded our trade attaché, please update the needs of the business world in the country you are in charge of because that information is owned by many attachés, "said Edy.