Buenos Aires hosts B20 business meeting ahead of G20 summit

Global Business

Buenos Aires hosts B20 business meeting ahead of G20 summit

The G20 leaders’ summit will take place in Argentina in November, but ahead of that, Buenos Aires hosted the B20. The Business 20 meeting is the private sector’s voice of the G20 community. But as with all high profile events in Argentina this year, it took place against a backdrop of on-going protests as the host country’s economy sinks deeper into crisis.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

Panels discussed the big business questions of the day, from multilateralism and corruption and transparency, to digitalization as the Business 20 laid out its proposals in Buenos Aires.

“Our societies expect from the G20 more than a set of shared principles. They expect concrete action and solutions to pressures and challenges,” said Business 20 Chair Daniel Funes de Rioja told the gathering.

Summit officials say over 1,700 business leaders, 740 companies and 260 employers’ organizations were part of a task force that developed proposals aimed at promoting economic and job growth.

The B20 summit ends a year of meetings and debate on a range of issues, the focus being on how the private sector can bring to the table proposals that fit into the G20 agenda.

The central themes of this year’s G20 are food security, the future of work and infrastructure for development. Yet, the positive rhetoric of the meetings was set against the backdrop of a complicated economic outlook in Argentina. The country’s industrial output in August showed a 5.6 percent drop year-on-year, leading to protests outside the Ministry of Production.

Among the protesters was Leo Bilanski, the Argentina delegate for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in 2011. Now he is president of National Entrepreneurs for Argentine Development, a group that unites small- and medium-sized Argentine businesses whose voice, he says, is not heard loud enough at the B20.

“We think that in these forums the small- and medium-sized companies’ voice is under-represented. Although we make up 99 percent of all companies, only 34 percent of SMEs have access to these meetings, which are these places for lobbying,” he said.

The final result of the B20 is a series of policy recommendations which are designed to boost growth and generate jobs. That can’t come soon enough for many of the G20 countries and their economies.