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B20: the business forum promoting economic growth

A global gathering looking for holistic solutions to complex problems

B20: the business forum promoting economic growth

Claudia Astarita

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Not many people are aware of what B20 is. B20 is a business forum linked to the more famous G20 gathering. Its official goal is the one of finding holistic solutions to complex problems. To achieve that, a forum has been created to welcome suggestions coming from the private sectors and share them with the political leaders when they meet to identify realistic and sustainable solutions to boost global economic growth.

The latest B20 forum has been hosted in Berlin, where an extremely diverse community of business leaders and operators has been discussing issues related to trade and investment; energy, climate, and resource efficiency; financing; growth and infrastructure; digitalization; employment and education; SMEs development; responsible business conduct; and anti-corruption practices.

B20 leaders in Berlin admitted their deep concern "about current anti-globalization sentiments, which can be witnessed in many countries around the world. Increasingly, communities are voicing strong opposition to trade liberalisation and international investment. We need to take these concerns seriously and support communities during times of change and disruption. At the same time, seemingly easy solutions risk having long-term negative consequences for business, workers, and consumers. We urge governments to resist the temptation to resort to protectionist measures such as trade barriers or investment restrictions".

Both advantages and challenges linked to globalisation have been identified. In particular, prosperity was confirmed as the "result of exchange - of ideas, goods, services, and finance", and the opening of markets praised for its direct contribution to competitions. Also, the direct link between increased openness and societies was stressed, as "more opportunities for exchange mean lower production costs, less resource consumption for production as well as technology and knowledge transfer.

Finally, trade contribution to meet some of the major challenges of our time such as migration flows, climate change, and global health risks was emphasised, confirming that globalisation and sustainability are not mutually exclusive but rather mutually reinforcing.

Among Italian representatives, Emma Marcegaglia, Business for Europe President, and Protom Founder Fabio De Felice deserve to be mentioned. De Felice has been selected as a business leader that succeeded in promoting innovative solutions for helping SMEs to solve contemporary industry challenges by offering them a new platform to facilitate the transfer of technology and know-how from more innovative sectors to the less advanced ones.

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