Business chiefs push for more innovation

Business leaders from the world's major economies are calling for more digital innovation, the empowerment of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, or MSMEs, and increased collaboration between developed and developing economies to ensure a global economic recovery.

These are the three key policy recommendations that were presented in the final communique of the Business 20 Summit on Monday. The B20 is the official business group that leads engagement with the G20. Indonesia, the current president of the G20, is hosting the leaders' summit and related meetings on the resort island of Bali.

Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, chair of B20 Indonesia, said these recommendations are actionable plans and come in response to Indonesian President Joko Widodo's call for the B20 to collaborate with the G20 in contributing to the global recovery. This is in line with the G20 theme of "Recover Together, Recover Stronger".

"We have made recommendations to drive this forward. This is the legacy of B20 Indonesia," she said in closing remarks.

The B20 summit closing also featured the establishment of a $2 billion fund for electric vehicles, or EVs. The fund brings together the Indonesia Investment Authority, or INA, with Chinese battery maker CATL and financial services company CMB International. It will invest in the EV value chain.

INA chief executive Ridha Wirakusumah said the EV fund is in line with Indonesia's aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by accelerating the country's green transition. He added the authority partnered with CATL and CMB as they have track records.

The B20 called for innovation to unlock growth after the effects of the pandemic. This can be realized by advancing digitalization to bridge the digital divide, promoting broader access to innovative financing models and implementing measures to ensure digital innovations are people-centered, responsible, and safe.

Call for equal access

"To enable a speedy recovery and solid post-crisis growth, the world cannot afford to leave behind — or put at risk — significant parts of the population that, given equal access to the enablers of innovation, would be able to greatly contribute to global economic growth," the communique said. "Hence, B20 Indonesia has placed a greater emphasis on promoting solid and equitable foundations for innovation that can unlock value-creating opportunities for all stakeholders, especially groups currently underserved and underrepresented."

Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and host of B20 Indonesia, told China Daily: "Talking about the recommendation of policies is just talk. We need to make it down to action plans, and then even to projects."

The B20 also aims to empower MSMEs and vulnerable groups. This means the inclusion of more MSMEs and women-led businesses in the global economy and the implementation of sustainable business practices. Women and other vulnerable groups also need to be promoted and protected in the workplace.

In addition, business leaders also called for increased collaboration among developed and developing countries to build a sustainable future. This collaboration involves a green transition, strengthening cooperation to build resilience against future shocks to the global economy and developing interoperability to enable more robust global cooperation.

B20 Indonesia has also initiated four B20 Indonesia Legacy Programs: the Carbon Centre of Excellence, a platform to help businesses know more about carbon trading; the B20 Wiki, a platform to scale up MSMEs; the One Global Women Empowerment, a platform to aggregate capacities and networks to accelerate female empowerment efforts; and the Global One Shot Campaign, which aims to harness the potential of next-generation vaccines and injectables.

Rasjid said the voices of global business are called upon to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth for the future.