Four things Turkey did for business in the G20

G20 Logo Turkey Antalya

This article was first published by the World Economic Forum Agenda on 29 October 2015 and the European Sting was authorised by WEF to republish it.

Written by Sarp KalkanAnna Kurguzova and Ussal Sahbaz

As we are coming closer to the B20 Summit in November, B20 Turkey is getting ready to pass the baton on to its partners from China.

The B20 started as a loose network of global businesses to engage with the G20 in South Korea in 2010. Hosted by the business community of a G20 recipient country ever since, the B20 is now the G20’s oldest and most structured engagement group. At the end of Turkey’s tenure, here is a summary of what we achieved. 

  1. From wish list to to-do list

From the outset, B20 Turkey prioritized implementation. The global business community has been developing a large set of recommendations to the G20 for years. What is the end result? Without implementation, another long document in this literature does not add too much value.

Therefore, we pushed the five taskforces that Turkey took over from Australia towards advocacy and refinement of the existing sets of recommendations. These taskforces are infrastructure and investment, trade, employment, financing growth, and anti-corruption – the last one was turned from a study group into a full-fledged taskforce this year.

Members in each of the taskforces picked two out of the existing five to six recommendations during an initial scoping exercise, tested barriers to implementation with policy-makers in their countries using advocacy papers, and then refined the recommendations based on the feedback received.

For instance, the trade taskforce focused on the ratification and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, and localization discussions on the non-tariff barriers to trade. The financing growth taskforce focused on SME financing, and the impact of the new financial regulations. The implementation focus transformed the B20 recommendations from a wish-list to an action-oriented to-do list for the G20 policy-makers.

  1. Tapping into the world’s think-tanks

Another novelty of B20 Turkey’s approach is its growing cooperation with think-tanks world-wide. It has become a tradition by now that top-tier international management consulting firms engage with the B20 as knowledge partners. In this role, they moderate taskforce meetings, and draft policy papers.

This year, on top of this traditional collaboration with knowledge partners, the B20 has become more engaged with leading think-tanks that specialize in economic and policy analysis.

TEPAV, Turkey’s largest economic policy think-tank that also chaired the Think 20 event this year, led the content development for B20 policy recommendations, as well as for B20 events organized throughout the year. At the B20 Trade Taskforce, the Peterson Institute for International Economics worked side by side with the knowledge partner while drafting the policy paper. These collaborations helped both put business perspectives into the policy frameworks, and add the policy lingo to the business proposals.

turkey1

After three in-person meetings held in Istanbul, Washington D.C., and Paris, and a number of teleconferences, the B20 taskforces finished their policy papers in September, and a synthesis paper with all the B20 policy proposals was put together. The final set of 19 policy recommendations were carefully crafted by a team of business and policy leaders. B20 Turkey pushed stakeholders hard to be inclusive in terms of ideas the B20 was bringing in, and to produce a high-quality policy document with not just recommendations, but also a well-founded analysis of underlying government and market failures where intervention from the G20 is most justified.

  1. Going digital

While prioritizing implementation, B20 Turkey also expanded the set of recommendations in certain limited areas. One major new area was the digital economy. Over the last decade, digital technologies have become fundamental to competitiveness and growth for companies, at the micro-economy level, and countries at large.

Yet digital technologies, along with their benefits, bring with them new economic and regulatory challenges. While no specific taskforce was established to study the digital economy, it has been a cross-cutting theme for all taskforces. Relevant recommendations from all the taskforces were brought together for the G20 leaders’ consideration in a separate policy paper, which was launched at the first-ever B20 Digital Economy Forum held on the margins of the G20 Trade Ministers meeting. The B20 community would like to see the digital economy topic developed further during the Chinese presidency, for the recommendations to be refined by a separate G20-B20 study group.

  1. A more inclusive B20

Another major novelty that Turkey has brought into the B20 is inclusivity. So far, despite the global economic trends of the rising influence of SMEs and start-ups on the one hand, and emerging market economies on the other, the B20 has been dominated by large businesses from North America and Europe.

This is despite of the fact that emerging markets are home to high-growth companies – according to the Boston Consulting Group, the number of emerging market based companies with over 1 billion USD annual sales has more than tripled to 1,700 in the last decade. However, they have not been included enough in the B20, due to a lack of awareness or dedicated resources.

On its inclusivity agenda, B20 Turkey took two main actions.

First, to ensure geographic inclusivity, B20 Turkey started regional consultation meetings. Given the fact that many emerging market businesses either are unaware of B20 engagements, or lack resources to participate to B20 taskforces, these meetings were held in major emerging markets hubs and/or on the margins of critical international gatherings.

Indeed, the B20 covered four continents with meetings in Jeddah, Delhi, Singapore, St Petersburg, Sao Paolo, Baku, as well as in Addis Ababa (Financing for Development Conference), Maputo (Annual Meetings of the Islamic Development Bank Group), and Torino (World Chambers Congress). The B20 reached out to 950 business executives, 52 of which were from non-G20 countries, and most of which were new to the B20 process.

During regional consultations, which were organized in the first half of the year, the B20 tested taskforce recommendations while they were under development, and incorporated the feedback into the taskforce process.

turkey2

Second, B20 Turkey set up a separate taskforce – SMEs and Entrepreneurship Taskforce – to develop SME-specific recommendations. Indeed, according to OECD research, SMEs employ more than two thirds of the private sector workforce in Brazil and 17 select OECD countries. However, their interests are often over-looked by policy-makers, and they are struggling to access global value chains.

The taskforce pioneered the World SME Forum, an institution that is specifically structured to assist in carrying out many of the B20’s SME-related recommendations. The World SME Forum, established by the International Chamber of Commerce and TOBB, and acknowledged by the G20 finance ministers, has become one of the most important tangible B20 outcomes. The business community would like to see its responsibilities expanded to ensure effective follow-through of the recommendations proposed.

Changes towards a better global policy environment to enable the private sector to thrive are not made overnight. B20 Turkey has seen itself as part of a larger and long-lasting effort.

With that in mind, it created the International Business Advisory Council, which includes leaders of major business umbrella organizations worldwide, as well as select CEOs. The Council is planned to maintain a core membership from year to year, and continue its advocacy efforts year-round. With the B20 hat going from one country to another, the global business community believes in the continuous and dedicated efforts of its leaders to implement recommendations to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

About the Authors

Sarp Kalkan is the B20 Sherpa for Turkey, Ussal Sahbaz is the director of G20 Studies Center at TEPAV and content lead for B20 Turkey, Anna Kurguzova is a content manager at B20 Turkey

Note related to the content

All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

The punishment gap: how workplace mistakes hurt women and minorities most

EU Summit’s major takeaway: a handkerchief cannot save Greece from austerity

Digital Single Market: Survey shows Europeans are well aware of rules against unjustified geo-blocking

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

How Japan can take the lead with an ageing workforce

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

Blockchain is not a magic bullet for security. Can it be trusted?

Here’s a reason to feel cheerful – the world is full of Good Samaritans

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

Mental disorders: a raging fire tearing apart the Moroccan society

FROM THE FIELD: One teen’s journey from refugee camp to US school principal

Humanity ‘at a crossroads’ as damage to planet poses growing risk to health, UN environment agency warns

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Protectionism doesn’t stand a chance in the age of connectivity

Brexit: No withdrawal agreement without a “backstop” for the Northern Ireland/Ireland border

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Why are so few women buying into Bitcoin?

The community and a decent working conditions for the young health workforce

Why we are using these custom-built drones to collect whale snot

Cobalt mining is a global scandal. We must build an ethical battery

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

Water inequality used to be a developing world problem only. Not any more

Without tackling ‘gross inequalities’ major issues will go unsolved, warns UN rights chief Bachelet

New Erasmus: more opportunities for disadvantaged youth

Mediterranean and Black Seas: Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2020

‘More time’ agreed for buffer zone, to spare three million Syrian civilians in Idlib

Who cares more about taxpayers? The US by being harsh on major banks or the EU still caressing them?

‘Preserve, revitalize and promote’ indigenous languages, or lose a ‘wealth of traditional knowledge’, UN chief says

E-energy declaration: will energy digitalization be beneficial to the climate?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

UN News 2018 Recap: In Case You Missed It

The importance of the strategy of health of a country working in accordance with the theory

Europe is designing satellites that ‘surf’ their way past space debris

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

These 4 Nordic countries hold the secret to gender equality

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

‘Do something’; UN relief chief urges Security Council action to stop the Syrian carnage unfolding ‘in front of your eyes’

Abuse of authority provisions adopted by the Senate raise concerns over Brazil’s capacity to ensure independence of prosecutors and judges in fighting corruption

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Stop Finning – Stop the trade’ initiative

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Veteran public official from Portugal elected to lead UN migration agency

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

UN Envoy urges Burundi leaders to ‘seize opportunities for national unity and peace’

UN condemns attack that leaves one ‘blue helmet’ dead in Central African Republic

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

European Elections: “Web giants” are urging users to vote

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

UN’s Bachelet rejects Sri Lankan official’s ‘spin’ on Human Rights Council encounter, urges reforms

‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

COVID-19: EU co-finances the delivery of more protective equipment to China

Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

Building a stronger Europe: new initiatives to further boost role of youth, education and culture policies

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s