>The Group of 20 (G-20) was established in 1999 to allow the world's most developed nations to discuss policies and to minimize any risk to international financial stability. The world had recognized even before World War One that each national economy has an impact on other countries. It took another ninety years to bring the most powerful industrial governments together in one forum.
This year’s upcoming G-20 Summit will probably be the most challenging ever. The COVID epidemic hit every nation in the world; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in nations of Asia, Europe, and North America taking sides; and East Asian military concerns are creating tensions extending far beyond the region. Saudi Arabia led OPEC in limiting petroleum exports to the United States. Although loose-knit, the BRICS (first initials of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has been formed to challenge Western Europe and North American economies.
With all these international factors at play, it is the government of Indonesia’s turn to bring together the twenty most developed countries in the world, all of which are part of the aforementioned problems. Although not a member of the G-20, Ukraine has been invited to participate.
The intent and goals of these summits are to identify ways of mutual development and sustainability while allowing for adaptability to changing environments. Although not stated, it is very much an intent of the summits to once a year bring together the twenty most powerful heads of state face-to-face where they can directly communicate with each other. The Government of Indonesia has its work cut out for this summit.
As host nation, Indonesia has selected three subjects for review: energy transition, global health architecture, and digital economy transformation. The success of every G-20 annual summit is dependent upon the work completed by the task forces assigned to do the preparatory work. The Government of Indonesia has appointed seven action councils composed of representatives of every G-20 nation that meet prior to the summits to develop proposals and non-binding recommendations to the respective governments.
Among these, is the Business of 20 (B-20) that was first initiated in 2010 and has served every summit since to channel the voice and aspirations of the global business community to G-20 leaders. Organized this year by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia), at the behest of the Government of Indonesia, the B-20 brings together global business and industrial leaders to address pressing economic issues from each of their perspectives. The voices of global businesses are called upon to facilitate the pathway to sustainable growth for the future.
The Government of Indonesia selected the right person to serve as the B-20 Chair. Educated at Barnard College of Columbia University and Harvard Business School, Shinta Kamdani is the CEO of the Indonesian-based consumer products and energy company Sinesa Group. Several generations of successful business leaders run through her blood-line, and she took leadership of a well-established family business and made it stronger.
Formally, the B-20 will meet in Bali on November 13th and 14th. The team members are not waiting until they meet to figure out what they wish to accomplish. Coordination has already started on finding consensus and commonality on priority causes to afford the G-20 the option of moving forward on a united front. They are focused on actionable policy recommendations to G20 leaders on economic policies, investment, trade and more.
Last week, in an interview with Frontier Markets Shinta Kamdani identified three themes as the B-20 moves forward: prioritizing innovation to unlock post-crisis growth; empower subject matter experts and vulnerable groups; and supporting increasing collaboration within developing countries’ businesses.
The B-20 recognizes that the post-, but not completely eradicated, COVID world has developed a new normal. By developing and presenting well-thought out and reasonable economic, investment, and trade recommendations to G-20 leaders, the B-20 can help the world successfully transition into that new normal.
Upon receiving the results of the B-20 teamwork, it would serve the heads of state within the G-20 to apply the same open-mindedness and become part of the solutions and not continue to be primary sources of the problem.