Beyond Engagement: Reinventing the B20 Narrative under India’s G20 Presidency
Amidst the pandemic, a significant upheaval in the world has shaken the foundations of our civilizations, disrupted our daily lives, and put an unprecedented burden on our families and communities. For the first time in the past two decades, global poverty has increased, inequities between people and nations have widened, and thousands of businesses in India and around the world were in danger of going out of business. The pandemic will eventually pass, but for individuals and businesses to thrive in the new environment, they will need strong encouragement to swiftly change course and concentrate, especially in light of other current and forthcoming problems.
When Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed over the G20 presidency baton to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi it has been regarded as an exceptional and unprecedented opportunity with immense scope and potential. With the mantra "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam," which translates to "One Earth, One Family, One Future," India hopes to inspire not just the efforts but also the thought of other nations for the benefit of the global community. The voices of healing, harmony & hope that the G20 under India’s Presidency will generate will be a harbinger of a better common future.
Over the years, Business 20 (B20) has emerged as a significant platform for fostering dialogue between business leaders and policymakers. The B20 has advanced significantly during India's chairmanship, becoming a significant engagement group that unites various parties and tackles pressing global issues. The leadership of India has been instrumental in enhancing the B20's influence, fostering its synergy with other engagement groups, and ensuring that it continues to serve as a crucial platform for promoting sustainable development, innovation, and economic progress.
The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community. Established in 2010, B20 is among the most prominent Engagement Groups in G20, with companies and business organizations as participants. The B20 leads the process of galvanizing global business leaders for their views on issues of global economic and trade governance and speaks in a single voice for the entire G20 business community. Each year, the G20 Presidency appoints a B20 Chair (N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, as the chair of B20 India this year), who is supported by a B20 Sherpa and the B20 secretariat.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been appointed as the B20 India Secretariat by the Indian government to lead the B20 India process. CII works with industry, government, and civil society in partnership to establish and maintain an environment that is supportive of India's development through advising and consultative procedures.
The B20 Group concentrated on building a solid reputation as a legitimate forum for the representation of the private sector throughout its early years. It served as a consultative body, communicating to the G20 the issues and interests of the business world. The group's work had been centered on identifying important economic concerns and developing policy suggestions that complemented the G20's top goals. A lot of ink has been expended in gauging the efficient nature of B20 over the past twelve years.
Throughout its history, the B20 has focused on various priorities under different presidencies, including trade, innovation, energy security, entrepreneurship, and digitalization. Each presidency aims to address key global economic challenges and provide actionable policy recommendations to spur growth and development.
The transformation of the B20 Group from a consultative body to a powerful international platform has been a defining feature of its history. It has been crucial in fostering communication between the business community and governments, influencing policies, and promoting economic progress during several presidencies. The B20 Group's role as a reputable forum for public-private cooperation will remain crucial in tackling global economic problems and promoting inclusive and sustainable development as the globe faces new challenges.
The B20 delivers concrete actionable policy recommendations on priorities established by each rotation presidency to spur economic growth and development. Its working proceeding is based on Task Forces (TFs) and Action Councils (ACs) entrusted with developing consensus-based policy proposals for the G20 and international organizations and institutions.
The G20 India logo is part of the B20 logo to demonstrate the collaboration between G20 governments and businesses on promoting fair and just growth in the globe as a whole while navigating through difficult times. An image of the Sun, a symbol of energy and knowledge that are essential to successful business and growth, is used to represent the Zero (0) in B20. The Sun is a well-known auspicious motif in many cultures. Twenty rays of the sun represent the G20's twenty members.
The B20 Logo also features the R.A.I.S.E. (Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, Equitable) business theme for the B20 India Summit. The theme for the B20 India is R.A.I.S.E. This stands for Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, and Equitable Businesses.
To streamline the B20 strategic vision and transform it into policy deliverables on crucial issues of the global economic agenda, B20 India will work through Task Forces and Action Councils. During B20 India, seven Task Forces will discuss and decide on the key areas in the following areas:
Inclusive GVCs for Resilient Global Trade and Investment
Future of Work, Skilling, and Mobility
Financing for Global Economic Recovery
Financial Inclusion for Economic Empowerment
Energy, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency
Tech, Innovation, and R&D
B20 India has two Action Councils:
ESG in Business
African Economic Integration: An Agenda for Global Business
The B20 officially conveys its final recommendations to the G20 Presidency on the occasion of the B20 Summit which will be held on 25-27 August, in New Delhi.
The world economy has been recovering this year, but disruptions in supply chains, the need for pandemic recovery, the widening innovation and technological development gap, and the urgency of the climate problem have all had a substantial influence.
Business seeks consensus rather than disagreement, sees solutions rather than issues, and prioritizes win-win arrangements over confrontations.
A fair and inclusive socioeconomic recovery, long-term growth, and improved shock absorption will depend on revitalizing multilateralism, encouraging the "just transition," and carefully allocating resources across a range of development dimensions with sustainability at their core.
Influential thinkers and businesspeople from around the world to discuss crucial economic issues from a commercial viewpoint.
India is making the most of its G20 leadership to promote the nation's Northeast and all of its various cultures, alluring scenery, and colourful history. More than 200 G20-related meetings are scheduled to take place in India, with some of these events taking place in the Northeast.
Fostering Collective Synergy:
India's presidency of the B20 has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to collaboration. By actively engaging with business leaders, policymakers, and civil society representatives, India has created an inclusive environment that encourages collective action. Recognizing the importance of diverse perspectives, India has encouraged dialogue across sectors, fostering meaningful discussions on a wide range of economic and social issues.
This collaborative approach has helped the B20 to become an effective conduit for generating innovative ideas and policy recommendations. Recent events have highlighted supply chain weaknesses, and unanticipated choke points, volatile prices, and product shortages have negatively influenced the growth trajectories of economies all around the world. We urgently need to build robust GVCs that are risk-aware, secure, transparent, and adaptable.
Upholding Sustainable Development as a Priority:
Mainstreaming Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience for Collective Action” which came at no better time than when India assumed the G20 presidency. Recognizing the urgent need to address climate change and promote environmental stewardship, India has facilitated discussions on sustainable business practices, green finance, and clean energy. Laying down the vision for ‘Green Growth’ across multiple sectors, with the underlying thought being that all future growth in the country has to essentially be green. India has already submitted its Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy document at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh which is premised on two major pillars of climate justice and sustainable lifestyles alongside principles of CBDR-RC(Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities).By encouraging businesses to embrace sustainable and inclusive models, India aims to drive economic growth while ensuring the long-term well-being of people and the planet. Living in harmony with nature has been traditionally ingrained in Indian ethos and the same has been reflected by the mantra of LiFE or Lifestyle for Environment coined by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The ‘One-Word mass Movement’ – “Lifestyle for Environment”, to the global community which has been reflected in India's updated NDCs, is now significant in propagating a healthy and sustainable way of living based on traditions and values of conservation and moderation which essentially has SDG 12 at its core on sustainable production and consumption.
Catalysing Digital Transformation:
Given the pandemic and disruption caused by newer technologies, there is a need to address the existing skill gaps resulting from technological advancements, and advancing efforts focused on upskilling and re-skilling individuals. India's presidency of the B20 has coincided with a period of rapid technological advancement and digital transformation. Recognizing the immense potential of digital technologies.
India has developed digital public goods whose basic architecture has in-built democratic principles.
Digital Public Infrastructure
Cybersecurity in the Digital Economy, and
With the all-pervasive technical advancement and digital transformation, India has made strides in the creation of digital public infrastructure. These solutions are based on open source, open APIs, and open standards, which are interoperable and public.
India has championed the integration of digitalization into the B20's agenda. By fostering discussions on digital innovation, cybersecurity, and digital skills development, India has positioned the B20 as a platform for shaping the digital future. Through its leadership, India has emphasized the importance of harnessing emerging technologies to drive inclusive growth, improve productivity, and bridge the digital divide.
Empowering Global Economic Growth through Trade and Investment:
India's presidency has also been marked by efforts to enhance global trade and investment. By advocating for open, transparent, and rules-based trade systems, India has promoted a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. The B20 has facilitated discussions on trade barriers, investment facilitation, and market access, providing a platform for constructive dialogue between business and government leaders.
Charting a New Paradigm:
With the full support and involvement of State Governments and Union Territories, meetings are being organized all throughout India. The largest geographical spread of any G20 Presidency, India welcomes international delegations for more than 200 G20-related meetings in almost 60 places throughout India during our Presidency. There have been meaningful interactions started by all 13 Sherpa Track Working Groups, 8 Finance Track Workstreams, 11 Engagement Groups, and 4 Initiatives.
During our G20 Presidency, new Working Groups on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Engagement Group "Startup 20," and Initiative Chief Science Advisers' Roundtable (CSAR) have been operationalized. The 11 Engagement Groups offer a forum for discussion between the public and corporate sectors, academia, civil society, young people, women, and organizations like parliamentary bodies, auditing agencies, and urban administrations. During its Presidency, India is also amplifying the voice and concerns of the Global South and developing countries.
Showcasing the melting pot of cultures:
The schedule for the visiting delegates includes special encounters that highlight India's diversity, inclusive customs, and cultural richness. The menu now includes dishes made with millet, and numerous cultural events and excursions have been planned. Over 7,000 artists participated in over 150 cultural events that featured both local and international art genres. India's G20 Presidency is a "People's G20" since numerous Jan Bhagidari activities are taking place at the same time with widespread public engagement. There are numerous more G20-related events organized by the commercial sector and civil society, such as the G20 University Connect lecture series, Model G20 meetings, Special G20 sessions in Schools/Universities, G20 Pavilions at Major Festivals, and countless other G20-related events.
India’s B20 Vision:
B20 Summit on 25-27 August 2023 in New Delhi this year will result in agreement and shared ground on important issues so that we can advance as a single front. The voices of international business are needed more than ever to promote equitable and sustainable growth for the future. At a time when there are many moving elements, India is in an extremely fortunate spot on the globe. The B20 has a special chance and a crucial role to play while India is the G20's leader.
Through its visionary leadership, India has fostered collaboration, advanced sustainable development, promoted digital transformation, and enhanced global trade and investment. As India passes the baton to Brazil end of this year, it leaves behind a legacy of meaningful dialogue, innovative solutions, and a strengthened commitment to shaping a prosperous and sustainable future.