The B20 recipe for global economic redress features China’s footprints B20为世界经济复苏开出了一剂印有中国特色的处方


Early September 2016, the Heads of State and government of 19 major developed and developing countries, as well as the heads of the EU Institutions, got together in Hangzhou, Eastern China with the critical task to build an“innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive global economy”. Not an easy mission at a time when the world economy, trapped in low-growth, is undergoing painful adjustments, questioning the benefits of free trade and globalization, and desperately seeking new drivers of growth and stability, in a context of destabilizing demographic challenges and the threat of terrorism.


The G20 Summit, chaired this year by China, showed its ambition to become the premier forum for international cooperation in light of a perceived declining relevance of other traditional international organizations.


A key element for this purpose is the connection with the business world.  The G20 leaders were assisted throughout the year by the business community, or B20. The B20 held several meetings over the past eight months to discuss and formulate specific and actionable policy recommendations to be endorsed by the governments. Over 600 companies and organizations, including ChinaEU, sent their representatives to the B20 Summit, held in Hangzhou on September 3-4, at the eve of the G20 Summit.


The very elite of China’s entrepreneurship was present: Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of e-commerce company Alibaba and Chair of the B20’s SME development taskforce, Robin Li, CEO of tech giant Baidu and Chair of the B20’s employment taskforce, Frank Ning, Chairman of Sinochem Group and Chair of the B20’s trade and investment taskforce, Ren Hongbin, Chairman of China National Machinery Industry Corporation and Chair of the B20’s infrastructure taskforce, Miao Jianmin, President of China Life Insurance and Chair of the B20’s financing growth taskforce, Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo. A selection of G20 leaders were present in the discussions together with the business community, including President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as well as the heads of nine major international organizations, including IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.


Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the floor of the B20 meeting with an important reminder that the business community must act to move forward and deliver tangible progress. “Action speaks louder than words” he warned. And he went on giving concrete examples of how China itself has made concrete steps to adjust its own economic development model toward a new normal, to further integrate itself in the world economy, to promote a greener and more sustainable economy. A case in point being China’s commitment to cut domestic steel capacity and coal production, while investing in high-tech production.

中国国家主席习近平在B20峰会开幕式的主旨讲话中提醒工商界必须采取行动才能推动世界经济走上强劲、可持续、平衡、包容的增长之路并取得实实在在的成果。“行胜于言” ,习近平主席继而强调到。他列举了很多具体例子阐述中国近年来是如何采取切实措施转变其经济发展方式、适应经济发展新常态、融入世界经济、以及坚持推动更加绿色的可持续经济发展战略。其中一个非常有说服力的例子便是中国承诺削减钢铁和煤矿产能,同时加大对高科技产品的投资力度。

2016090322261185736Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the B20 summit 中国国家主席习近平在B20峰会开幕式上发表主旨演讲

The message of Xi Jinping to the international business community was one of confidence. Confidence over the Chinese economy, whose uncertain future has become target of finger-pointing and subject of major concern worldwide: “We have the confidence and the ability to maintain medium-to-high growth rates, making significant contribution to global growth. China is resolved to carry out reforms through the end. China’s opening up will not stop or reverse course and the country will continue to be fully engaged in international cooperation, expand access to foreign investment, promote fair and open competition, create sound business environment”. It was also a message of confidence in the capacity of G20 to play a major role in resolving the ills of the world economy, shifting its focus from crisis management to long-term governance, through a coordinated effort aimed at “seeking common ground while shoveling differences”.


In Hangzhou, the B20 made 20 policy recommendations to the G20 leaders. Of these 20 recommendations, in particular two initiatives stand out and both of them are fruit of the vision of charismatic Chinese business leaders. The first and boldest one is the proposal of launching an electronic platform for world trade, or eWTP, aimed at integrating small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the global economy through multi-channeled financing and improvement of the regulatory environment.


Speaking in favor for trade at a banquet at the B20 Summit, Jack Ma – who is himself from Hangzhou, further elaborated on the rationale behind the eWTP proposal that he aired at the beginning of this year at the Bo’ao Forum. “2000 years ago China built a wall because we were worried about the others. Somebody here today says that we should build another wall to prevent trade. I am not happy about that. Globalization is not a threat to the economy or to jobs. Globalization means prosperity, it means jobs, if only we can improve it.” Today’s trade rules are designed for big companies, who represent only 20% of overall businesses and yet manage 90% of global trade. While contributing to more than 50% of global GDP and an even higher percentage of employment, he explained“SMEs face challenges such as poor access to global markets, complex regulations and certifications designed for big companies, and a lack of access to financing.” eWTP proposes to tackle these inefficiencies and improve the global trade environment for the small and medium businesses, incubating new rules for e-trade.

在B20峰会的晚宴上,本身就是杭州人的马云进一步详细阐述了他于2015年三月在博鳌论坛上首提的世界电子贸易平台倡议背后的理念:“ 2000年以前,中国建造了长城,那是因为担心外敌入侵。今天还有人说要建贸易壁垒,来阻止自由贸易,这种论调我不同意,我们不能再用2000年前的办法来解决问题。在我看来,全球化不是对经济的威胁,不是对就业的威胁,全球化本身就意味着更多的就业和更多的工作岗位,只要我们能够让全球化进行的更加顺畅。”现如今的贸易规则多为大公司服务,它们仅仅代表全球商业总额的20%,但却掌握着全球90%的贸易。尽管它们贡献了全球超过50%的GDP以及更高的就业率,马云解释说,“中小企业发展正面临着严峻的难题,比如进入全球市场的挑战、为大公司定制的那些复杂的管理规章和资质证书制度、还有资金短缺。”世界电子贸易平台倡议的提出便是希望解决上述问题、改进全球贸易环境并提出新的电子商务规则,让自由贸易也能够惠及那80%的中小企业。

jack-ma-speechJack Ma, Executive Chairman Alibaba and Chair of the B20’s SME development taskforce speaks at the B20 Summit Banquet  阿里巴巴执行主席及B20中小企业发展工作组主席马云在B20峰会晚宴上讲话

Jack Ma’s position is apparently shared by the political leadership of his country, who positioned itself at the G20 as a driver and defender of free, open and inclusive trade, balancing against the growing anti-globalization sentiments, which threat to undermine the most important drivers of growth: trade and investment. With this goal, China proposed the launch of the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance, building on the One Belt One Road initiative and aimed at interconnecting it with other national, regional and transnational infrastructure projects.


China has also shown leadership in shifting the attention of the G20 political leaders to the importance of digital and 5G as growth engines, along the line advocated by ChinaEU in the B20. President Xi Jinping drew the attention of his counterparts on the “need to build an innovative world economy to generate new drivers of growth: innovation is key to unleash the growth potential. The new round of scientific revolution with internet at its core is gathering momentum, bringing revolutionary changes to our way of work and way of life.”

中国还成功将G20政治领袖的注意力转到数字和5G上面,以及它们作为新的增长引擎对世界经济复苏的重要性,而这一点也是中欧数字协会在参与B20所有会议时所一直提倡的。习近平主席向他的伙伴们强调: “建设创新型世界经济,开辟增长源泉。创新是从根本上打开增长之锁的钥匙。以互联网为核心的新一轮科技和产业革命蓄势待发,人工智能、虚拟现实等新技术日新月异,虚拟经济与实体经济的结合,将给人们的生产方式和生活方式带来革命性变化。”

This was the first time that innovation, the new industrial revolution and the digital economy were discussed in a G20 Summit, leading to the formulation of a G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth and to the decision to add a new B20 taskforce on digitalization starting from next year G20, to be chaired by Germany.


ChinaEU will further invest efforts in the B20 in favour of its members because it sees eWTP as one of the most ambitious yet actionable measures to boost internet penetration in the broad public and justify further investment by telecom operators in faster and even more reliable global connectivity, including 5G. One of the key roles of ChinaEU will be to extend the scope of eWTP from global business application to a more holistic concept, encompassing regulatory reforms. ChinaEU is particularly well placed to provide an added value in this debate, building on its expertise in European Union regulations and their review in the framework of the EU Digital Single Market. For ChinaEU the EU experience shows that co- and self-regulation are the best way to achieve an effective consumer protection in web, and increasing consumer trust in e-commerce. In particular, experience shows that detailed Government regulation – the way initially chosen by the EU and most of its member states – leads to litigation and uncertainty, at the expense of legal certainty and consumer trust.


2-pic_hdLuigi Gambardella, President of ChinaEU and Yu Ping, B20 China Sherpa and Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade at B20 中欧数字协会主席鲁乙己和中国国际贸易促进委员会副会长及B20协调人于平在会场交谈

ChinaEU will also provide its support to further develop the second bold initiative promoted at B20 by Baidu’s leader Robin Li. Named G20 SMART, the initiative consists of a series of actions to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, through for example the creation of a joint fund to develop advanced technologies or visa-free policies for managers of small and medium businesses to travel within the G20 countries.


1-pic_hdCEO of Baidu and Chair of the B20’s employment taskforce speaks at B20 Summit 百度首席执行官及B20就业议题组主席李彦宏在B20峰会上发言

ChinaEU and the other B20 participants left the B20 summit with feeling of “mission accomplished”. However, now the work is starting on the practical follow up. The B20 will continue feeding in proposals to the G20, but in parallel, business must take its responsibilities. On the other hand, ChinaEU looks forward to governments and international organizations integrating the G20 recommendations and make their business regulations more simple, more business oriented and friendly. This is the only way to ensure that investment and innovation would continue and grow.


Full speech of President Xi Jinping available here:


Full B20 taskforces policy recommendations available here:


Press Review:


People’s Daily:



China Daily:

Xi shows confidence in global economy at B20

China-led initiatives ‘open to all’

European organization endorses eWTP proposal

Alibaba chief seeks global e-trading platform

Xinhua News Agency:

News Analysis: G20 in China, a new launchpad for global economy

Xi’s G20 summit opening speech reverberates across world

Interview: Expert says upcoming G20 summit important opportunity to better understand China





China Radio International:

二十国集团工商峰会闭幕 为G20峰会提出20项政策建议

Guangming Daily

站在新起点 勇做弄潮儿——记2016年二十国集团工商峰会开幕式及全体会议


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