The G20 business forum, the B20, began today in Buenos Aires its annual summit with a closed defense of free trade, a unanimous rejection of protectionism and a call to the countries to reach a consensus for greater economic integration.
The meeting of the "affinity group", of two days, will end with the preparation and delivery to the Argentine President, Mauricio Macri, of a document of recommendations and conclusions of the business associations ahead of the final summit of G20 leaders. , which will take place at the end of the year, within the framework of the Argentine presidency of the group.
The meeting of the B20 (Business 20) has the participation of more than 1,800 business representatives, something that the organization attributed to the support of this sector to the current Argentine Government.
At the opening of the event, the head of the Argentine Cabinet, Marcos Peña, said that the international panorama they found upon his arrival in power in 2015 was "different" from the current one, since "debates, leaders and policies have changed. ", and acknowledged that" globalization offers many challenges "and there are" many people in the world with doubts "about it.
However, he showed his conviction that the road is integration and international agreement to achieve a "sustainable development" in the long term, which should also take into account issues such as environmental protection.
After thanking to have found a private sector "very committed", the politician exposed the will of his Government to offer a scenario of "friendly" dialogue for consensus in the G20, and assured that in the ministerial conferences that there have been throughout the of the year a "productive agenda" was given, reason why it has "hope" that that is the tonic of the summit of agents.
The leader for 2018 of B20 and vice president of the Argentine Industrial Union, Daniel Funes de Rioja, declared that the multilateral trading system has "many aspects" in which "they do not find answers", so a "more creative" model is needed "that responds to existing concerns.
The claims of the business community are greater integration and "fair" rules for trade, according to the "chair" of the B20, for whom "Governments must act now" to achieve sustainable growth, the slogan of the Argentine presidency of the G20 .
The director of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, described as "fair" the requests for the organism to be updated, knowing that the reform of the WTO is "what you want to talk about" within the framework of the G20
Azevedo pointed out that fields such as subsidies, state-owned companies or electronic commerce have rules, but these "are not too specific", so the system of resolutions is being "outsourced" to "cover those gaps".
The leader of the WTO pointed to this as one of the main complaints, and declared that the resolution system "is already doing much more than it should".
The Argentine Minister of Economy, Nicolás Dujovne, praised the importance of the G20 in "difficult times" for its "flexibility" to deal with matters currently under discussion such as digital taxation or cryptoactives.
Dujovne said that the presidency of the G20 is "the strawberry" of the cake "for its efforts to" return "to the international order, and valued that they have been able to achieve consensus in a" moment of geopolitical tensions ", in which He has acted as a "composing agent" between the different positions.
The Argentine Foreign Minister, Jorge Faurie, stressed that the trade disputes of the major economies are having "very specific results" that affect emerging countries, such as Argentina.
Faurie called on countries and institutions to be "flexible" to face the questions they are receiving.
The president of the Argentine group Techint, Paolo Rocca, responsible for the B20 area of trade and investment, affirmed that the business community "is pronouncing itself very strongly in favor of world trade and a level playing field".
Rocca criticized that state companies "have grown a lot" in the last 20 years, "generating distortions" that convey the feeling that there is no equalized playing field, so he urged to "define differently" the concept of business public.
The head of the B20 in 2017, the German Ingo Kramer, said that "the world is better in the last 40 or 50 years" thanks to free trade, and pronounced "against protectionism", supported the multilateral system and praised agreements of free trade like that of the European Union and Japan.