The global economy is facing its worst crisis in a hundred years due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and ‘downside risks remained elevated’ unless urgent reforms are enacted during the G-20 Summit, to be hosted by Saudi Arabia in November, global business leaders belonging to B20, an engagement group of businesses from G-20 member nations, recently said.
“The opportunity is to ‘build back better’, with real urgency required from policymakers and business leaders,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of B20 Saudi Arabia in a press release.
The group urged G-20 leaders to undertake ‘bold and broad based’ policy action to put the post-pandemic economic recovery on a stronger, more stable growth path. It said trade tensions, policy uncertainty, geopolitical strains and building financial vulnerabilities were key risks to the outlook, as societies and economies navigate the crippling impact of the coronavirus.
The G-20 Leaders’ Summit will be held virtually during November 21-22 and chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. It will focus on protecting lives and restoring growth by tackling vulnerabilities uncovered by the pandemic.
This will be the second virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit since March, when Saudi Arabia, the current chair of the grouping, had convened a meeting following a suggestion from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways to counter the pandemic and its economic impact. India is set to take over as the G-20 chair in 2022.
The upcoming summit will also build on the outcomes of more than 100 virtual working group and ministerial meetings, said a statement from the G-20 secretariat. The G20 has contributed more than $21 billion to support the production, distribution and access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, and injected $11 trillion to safeguard the global economy as part of the fight against the pandemic.
Over the past year, the B20 engaged with more than 650 business leaders across the G20 and beyond through its six taskforces and Women in Business Action Council to ensure an inclusive and action-oriented process. All policy recommendations were developed with cross-cutting themes that drive sustainable and equitable growth: aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); empowering women across all sectors and ensuring a favorable environment for SMEs and entrepreneurs to thrive.
“I urgently call on the G20 Leaders to adopt these policy recommendations in order to prevent the pandemic from causing further damage, while setting the foundation for a more equitable world,” Al-Benyan added.
The policy recommendations address both immediate challenges and medium-to-long-term developmental goals and are grouped in the following themes that align with the agenda of the 2020 G20 Presidency.