B20 Russia, 23 May 2013. A meeting of the Business 20 Organizing Committee on preparations for the G20 Business Summit, to be held as part of the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 20-21, 2013, took place at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom. Russia was represented at the meeting by the President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) and Chief of the Business 20 for the period of the Russian Presidency Alexander Shokhin.
The meeting participants considered the draft recommendations of the Business 20 Task Forces – the ”Green Book”. All groups of recommendations and proposals, which have been further presented for wider discussion, were covered at the meeting.
“The mechanism of business-to-government dialogue within the G20 is being developed quite successfully. The RSPP, which heads the Business 20 over the period of the Russian G20 Presidency, together with foreign partners seeks for the optimal form of cooperation with due regard to the experience gained over the last five years,” Alexander Shokhin stressed.
Download Green Book
WTO, 22 May 2013. The Panel on Defining the Future of Trade, convened by Director-General Pascal Lamy, issued its report “The Future of Trade: The Challenges of Convergence” on 24 April 2013.
The Panel was established in April 2012 to examine and analyse challenges to global trade opening in the 21st century. It met three times, in May 2012, September 2012, and January 2013. The Panel also engaged in consultations and discussions with various stakeholders. Meetings took place in Beijing, Singapore, Geneva, New Delhi and Amman.
“Regulating trade opening is only one of the many challenges facing a rapidly integrating world economy. But it is also one where we already have a system which has shown its resilience. Like all assets, it needs not just proper maintenance. It also needs investment in the future. We offer this report as a call to action and a contribution to further reflection – action and reflection that we believe are essential to address our current stasis and the real risk this carries of imposing significant economic, social and political costs across the globe,” the Panel said.
OECD, 17 May 2013. We, the heads of tax administrations from 45 economies, have come together here in Moscow for the 8th meeting of the Forum on Tax Administration. We meet at a time when our Governments continue to face significant challenges in overcoming the impact of the global financial crisis. We are dedicated to securing high levels of voluntary tax compliance by providing excellent service and effectively addressing tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance in all its forms, including the underground economy.
These are key elements in managing and responding to the effects of the crisis. As heads of tax administration, we are committed to co-ordinated action and united in our resolve and determination to improve the effectiveness of our tax administrations, tackle trans-national tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.
B20 Russia, 17 May 2013. The B20 has released the ‘Green book’ with the draft of its recommendations to G20 and invites a wide range of stakeholders to consultations on how to foster economic recovery and global rebalancing. The Russian G20 Presidency is committed to harnessing G20 political will for generating strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. The B20 shares the Russian Presidency’s overarching priorities of generating growth through sound macroeconomic policies, investment and quality jobs, transparency and trust, and effective regulation.
As the B20 Chair, the RSPP’s objectives are that the B20 recommendations reflect business interests, underpin the Russian G20 agenda priorities, and help promote the G20-B20 shared objective of global growth. Through the work of the Task Forces the B20 focused on the topics of investment and infrastructure; financial system – restoring confidence and growth; trade as a growth driver; innovation and development as a global priority; jobs creation, employment and investments in human capital; transparency and anti-corruption. The Task Forces brought together leading CEOs and representatives of business organizations from the G20 members, heads of international organizations and expert partners. The agreed-upon draft recommendations are the results of the B20 members’ intense deliberations.
OECD, 3 May 2013. Multilateral agreement to cut red tape in international trade would dramatically reduce trading costs and add a substantial boost to the global economy, according to new OECD research.
The OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators estimate that comprehensive implementation of all measures currently being negotiated in the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round would reduce total trade costs by 10% in advanced economies and by 13-15.5% in developing countries. Reducing global trade costs by 1% would increase worldwide income by more than USD $40 billion, most of which would accrue in developing countries, according to the OECD.
“Trade facilitation is about easing access to the global marketplace,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said. “Complicated border processes and excess red tape raise costs, which ultimately fall on businesses, consumers and our economies. The trade facilitation negotiations offer countries a golden opportunity to reduce or eliminate these bottlenecks, cut the cost of trading, boost the flow of goods and reap greater benefits from international trade,” Mr Gurría said.
On the Trade Facilitation Indicators
Read B20 Coalition Joint Letter on Trade Facilitation
IMF, 6 May 2013. Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is set to pick up from 3 percent in 2012 to 3½ percent in 2013, supported by stronger external demand, favorable financing conditions, and the effects of earlier policy easing in some countries, the IMF said.
In its Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere, released on May 6 in Montevideo, Uruguay, the IMF said that external risks to the near-term outlook have receded. Policy actions in the euro area and the United States have removed immediate threats to global growth and financial stability, the report said.
That said, in the United States, failure to replace the automatic fiscal spending cuts (“the sequester”) with more backloaded measures before the start of the next fiscal year (in October) would affect growth in late 2013 and beyond.
Download the report
IMF, 29 April 2013. After a year of subdued economic performance, growth in Asia is set to pick up this year driven largely by continued robust domestic demand, says the IMF in its latest Regional Economic Outlook, which predicts growth will reach about 5.75 per cent in 2013.
As a result, the region is expected to lead the global three-speed recovery.
Consumption and private investment will be supported by favorable labor market condition – unemployment is at multiyear lows in several economies – and relatively easy financial conditions, notes the report.
Asia should also benefit from intraregional demand spillovers mainly reflecting growing Chinese demand and policy stimulus in Japan but also, in the case of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, growing integration in final consumer goods trade.
Download the report
G20 Russia, 29 April 2013. Dmitry Feoktistov, Deputy Director of the Department of New Challenges and Threats of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, in an interview to the RIA Novosti news agency spoke on anti-corruption activities of the G20 and Russia’s proposals in the field of fighting corruption.
Question: Why is the G20 so focused on countering corruption?
Dmitry Feoktistov: Not only the G20, but the entire world is focused on this issue, because corruption is a huge multidimensional problem. For instance, morally, corruption is eroding people’s souls – both the bribe-takers and bribe-payers are involved in unsavory deals. It also has an enormous economic dimension: the developing economies are losing between $20 billion and $40 billion annually due to corruption. And a political dimension as well: anti-corruption measures applied by some countries are sometimes used by the other not with fair-minded intentions.
The G20 is drawing particular attention to the problem, since a two-year Anti-Corruption Action Plan was adopted last year. Now, during Russia’s G20 presidency, we are halfway towards its completion. This is a comprehensive document, with targets in more than 10 different areas of work. We discussed it during the first meeting of the Anti-Corruption Working Group in Moscow in February. The next meeting will take place in Ottawa in June.
2 May, 2013. National authorities of G20 countries have made continued efforts to develop resolution strategies and operational plans for all G-SIFIs and introduce resolution powers and tools consistent with FSB’s Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions.
To avoid systemic disruption and taxpayer losses, home and host countries must cooperate across borders and with help of necessary resolution tools.
The US Chamber of Commerce prepared the summary below for the B20 Coalition.
Summary of FSB report on resolution regimes April 2013 (2)
Dutchnews.nl, 29 April 2013. The Netherlands attracted foreign direct investment of $3.5 trillion by the end of last year, but just $573bn ended up in the ‘real economy’, the Financial Times said on Monday, quoting OECD figures.
The rest went to what the paper called ‘special purpose entities’, the letterbox firms and holding companies designed to help big business avoid tax, the FT said.
OECD secretary general Angel Gurría has called on governments to make reforms to their tax regimes. ‘We cannot blame business for using the rules that policy makers themselves have put in place”, the FT quoted him as saying.