Published: 21:31, November 14, 2022 | Updated: 22:33, November 14, 2022
B20: Unity, cooperation vital for global economic recovery
By Prime Sarmiento

Representatives of the Indonesia Investment Authority, battery maker CATL, and CMB International sign an agreement for the establishment of a $2 billion green electric vehicle (EV) fund at the closing ceremony of B20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Nov 14, 2022.  (PRIME SARMIENTO / CHINA DAILY)

BALI, Indonesia -- Business leaders from the world’s major economies are in Indonesia calling for digital innovation, empowerment of micro, small and medium enterprises and increased collaboration between developed and developing economies to support and sustain the global economic recovery.

The three key policy recommendations presented in the final communique mark the conclusion of Business 20 (B20) Summit on Nov 14. The B20 is the official business group that leads engagement with the G20 and Indonesia, which holds the group’s current presidency, held the summit on the resort island of Bali from Nov 13.

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, chair of B20 Indonesia, said the recommendations are actionable plans and are in response to Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s call that B20 collaborate with G20 in contributing to global economic recovery

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, chair of B20 Indonesia, said the recommendations are actionable plans and are in response to Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s call that B20 collaborate with G20 in contributing to global economic recovery. They are also in line with the G20 theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

“We have made recommendations to drive this forward. This is the legacy of B20 Indonesia,” she said in her closing remarks.

The B20 summit’s closing session also featured the establishment of a $2 billion green electric vehicle (EV) fund. The fund is a collaboration between the Indonesia Investment Authority (INA) and China’s battery maker CATL and CMB International. The fund will invest in the EV value chain.

INA’a CEO Ridha Wirakusumah said the EV fund is in line with Indonesia’s aim to achieve net-zero emissions by accelerating green transition. He added INA decided to partner with CATL and CMB as they’re the right partners and have a proven track record.

The B20 called for innovation to unlock post-crisis growth. This can be realized by advancing digitalization to bridge the digital divide, promoting broader access to innovative financing models and implementing measures to ensure digital innovations are people-centered, responsible, and safe.

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“To enable a speedy recovery and solid post-crisis growth, the world cannot afford to leave behind— or put at risk—significant parts of the population that, given equal access to the enablers of innovation, would be able to greatly contribute to global economic growth,” the communique reads. “Hence, B20 Indonesia has placed a greater emphasis on promoting solid and equitable foundations for innovation that can unlock value-creating opportunities for all stakeholders, especially groups currently underserved and underrepresented.”

Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) and Host of B20 Indonesia, told China Daily in an interview: “Talking about recommendation of policies is just talk. We need to make it down to action plans, and then even to projects.”

B20 also aims to empower micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and vulnerable groups. This means the inclusion of more of them and women-led businesses in the global economy and the  implementation of sustainable business practices in MSMEs. Women and other vulnerable groups also need to be promoted and protected in the workplace.

Business leaders urge for increased collaboration among developed and developing countries to build a resilient and sustainable future. This collaboration involves green and just transition, strengthening cooperation to build resilience against future shocks to the global economy and developing interoperability to enable a safer and more robust global cooperation.

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B20 Indonesia has initiated four B20 Indonesia Legacy Programs:  the Carbon Centre of Excellence, a platform to help businesses know more about carbon trading; the B20 Wiki, a platform to scale up MSMEs; the One Global Women Empowerment, a platform to aggregate existing capacities and networks to accelerate and scale impactful women empowerment efforts globally and the Global One Shot Campaign, a global campaign that aims to harness the potential of next-generation vaccines and injectables.

Rasjid said that now more than ever, the voices of global business are called upon to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth for the future.