Business chiefs from the G20 nations have held a virtual meeting to plan a strategy to revive the post-pandemic global economy.
The B20 Saudi Arabia, which represents the global business community across all G20 members, hosted a virtual plenary session entitled “Reviving Business for a New Normal.”
“The only way to address a crisis of this scale and protect workers is through a coordinated response and ongoing discussions between the global business community and governments,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of B20 Saudi Arabia. “We must also prioritize micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the world as they are being hardest hit and account for more than of 80 percent of employment in many countries. We must safeguard their viability.”
The latest outlook from the OECD projects a drop from original growth estimates of 2.9 percent to 2.4 percent in 2020, with growth possibly being negative in the first quarter of this year. More than 25 million people are expected to be unemployed worldwide because of the pandemic, the B20 said in a statement.
The input provided participants during the virtual plenary will help inform a set of recommendations that will be submitted to leaders of the G20 member states.
Nasser Al Nasser, the Saudi Telecom CEO and chair of the B20 Digitalization Taskforce stressed the importance of collaboration between governments and businesses to improve access to digital infrastructure. “After COVID-19, online business and virtual work will be the norm.”
Rania Nashar, chair of the B20 Women in Business Action Council and CEO of Samba Financial Group, said there was also a need for “an initiative to support women-owned businesses and protect against gender discrimination.”
The virtual plenary was part of the B20 COVID-19 Initiative, a cross-border and cross-industry group established to assess the key issues for business arising from the pandemic and how industries will react.
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