B20 Saudi Arabia, the official voice of business to the G20, today announced a six-point plan designed to combat the current global pandemic and lay a foundation to address future resurgences of the disease, including a potential “second wave” of the virus in the coming months. The warning comes in concert with the launch of a new special report by B20, which was developed in collaboration with business leaders and leading multilateral organizations around the world.
B20 wanted to get consensus from the business world on how governments can better support the private sector during the crisis, protect the economy and prepare for future crises. More than 750 business leaders from the G20 countries and beyond, including from multinational corporations and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), provided input.
The proposed areas of focus of the six-point plan, entitled Jump-starting the Global Economy Post-COVID-19 Phase, are wide ranging and include:
• Build health resilience
o Accelerate development and availability of a COVID-19 vaccine
o Strengthen future pandemic preparedness
o Oppose new trade restrictions on medical products and services
o Address the risk of corruption in public procurement of critical supplies
• Safeguard human capital
o Avoid restrictions on movement of human and intellectual capital
o Minimize unemployment and increase employability
o Ensure implementation of OHS requirements suited for minimizing risks of infections
• Prevent financial instability
o Avoid negative spillovers on financial markets
o Increase support to vulnerable economies
o Increase capital allocation to enterprises and infrastructure projects
• Unclog global supply chains
o Immediately restore supply chains
o Recapitalize global supply chains
o Reduce corruption risks in supply chains
• Revive productive sectors
o Cooperate in stimulus design
o Make stimulus sustainable
o Ensure energy market stability
o Revitalize travel and tourism
• Digitize responsibly and inclusively
o Accelerate digital transformation
“As the group representing the official voice of business to the G20, it was incumbent upon us to consider the role we, as business leaders, can and must play in addressing this global pandemic. Particularly as we see a resurgence of the virus in several economies around the world,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of B20 Saudi Arabia. “While a cure to the virus is the ultimate health goal, we must identify how the private and public sector can cooperate to create an environment that instills safety, integrity and confidence while advancing economic prosperity.”
In response to COVID-19, B20 Saudi Arabia formed a committee in March 2020 to look at how businesses were responding to and managing the pandemic by identifying best practices and lessons learned. The efforts resulted in the capture of a set of recommendations in alignment with the group’s policy recommendations that will be put forth to the G20 for inclusion in their official communiqué this November.
The recommendations are aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as a further commitment by the global business community to achieving those priorities by 2030. Through this special report, B20 Saudi Arabia reiterates its support to the G20 and proposes a set of inclusive, actionable recommendations to address the immediate health crisis and commence a post-COVID-19 recovery phase. The G20 and multilateral institutions including the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should substantially improve information and experience sharing, and create a coordinated monitoring system.
“There is no alternative to global cooperation and consensus to overcome a multi-dimensional and systemic crisis. Multilateral institutions, governments and business must be more agile and adaptable in their operating models if we indeed are to return the global economy to a path of growth,” added Mr. Al-Benyan.