B20 Summit in Buenos Aires


B20 celebrated the year´s work in Buenos Aires on October 4-5th.

The event was held at the Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK) and the Argentine Rural Society in Palermo. The Summit was the final event of the B20 consensus process, which comprised 26 meetings and 32 teleconferences, and finalized with the submission of the Public Policy Recommendations document to President Mauricio Macri.  

The first day of the B20 Summit took place at the Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK). Prior to the opening ceremony, President Mauricio Macri met at the Government House Museum with business sector leaders attending the summit. The Summit was opened by  Marcos Peña (Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers), Horacio Rodriguez Larreta (Head of Government of the City of Buenos Aires) and B20 Chair Daniel Funes de Rioja. They were accompanied by Carolina Castro (B20 Executive Sherpa) and Fernando Landa (B20 Policy Sherpa).

“We have promoted a work process that convened over 1700 representatives of the world business community. This is the time to show the result after one year of work. We are persuaded that multilateral dialogue and cooperation have been crucial to define consistent policies that ensure investment,” said Daniel Funes de Rioja.

“We understand that our problems have to be solved by us. We understand that the world may help with markets or institutions like the International Monetary Fund, but it is our responsibility to build a more balanced economy,” stated Marcos Peña.

The first panel included representatives of the B20 Troika and presented a review of the work done under the coordination of the G20.  Panel members included Daniel Funes de Rioja (B20 Chair), Ingo Kramer (representative of the B20 Germany), Shuzo Sumi (representative of the Chair of the B20 Japan 2019) and Pedro Villagra Delgado (G20 Argentina Sherpa). Gabriela Ramos (OECD Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20) closed with comments on the cooperation process.

“We have worked non-stop for many hours with the Troika, and we expect a successful summit concluding with a significant document, a document that is clear, has impact and can be put into practice,” added Pedro Villagra Delgado.

Funes de Rioja referred to the need for a debate based on the international agenda: “Argentina needs to be a normal country. For this to happen we have to share the agenda of normal countries. We have a concrete agenda that is implementable for us”.

The second panel focused on financing of infrastructure projects. Participants included Laura Jaitman (G20 Finance Group representative), Eduardo Elsztain (Financing Growth and Infrastructure Chair and President of the IRSA Group), and Jorge Mas Figueroa (President of the Confederation of International Contractors'​ Associations) and moderator Gustavo de Hoyos Walther (President of Coparmex).

“I dream of a world in which the liquidity of the monetary system can be used as a major amnesty to invest long term savings in infrastructure, because the way to close the gap is building infrastructure,” said Eduardo Elsztain.

The last panel addressed the current state of multilateral trade and the guidelines to be followed to consolidate exchanges between the G20 countries. Participants included Roberto Azevedo (Director-General of the World Trade Organization), Nicolás Dujovne (Minister of the Treasury of Argentina), Jorge Faurie (Minister of Foreign Relations and Worship of Argentina), Paolo Rocca (Trade and Investment Task Force Chair and President of the Techint Group) and moderator Susan Segal (President and CEO of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society). 

“During the good times it is important to avoid tough times by strengthening regulations, there is no other group like this capable of doing it given the representativeness it holds,” stated Nicolás Dujovne.

 

“The distortions that affect commerce are limiting the participation in the wealth created by trade for some sectors. In order to build consensus we need more companies to participate of the global trade system and we have to build multilateral agreements to maintain a rules based system,” said Paolo Rocca.

The event was closed by a musical performance of “Piazzolla plays Piazzolla” by Escalandrum Music Show and a cocktail dinner.

The second day of the B20 Summit started early in the morning at the Argentine Rural Society in Palermo.

The first panel focused on transparency and compliance. The panel was moderated by Delia Ferreira Rubio (President of Transparency International) and included Laura Alonso (Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency and Fight Against Corruption), Jorge Mandelbaum (B20 Integrity and Compliance Task Force Chair and President of CIPPEC), Marc Firestone (President of Foreign Affairs and General Counsel of Philip Morris International), Christoph Leitl (President of Eurochamber) and Kathryn Wengel (Director of Johnson & Johnson's Global Supply Chain).

“When we see companies that have women in the board of directors, we also see that those companies are more transparent. We have to promote the discussion on gender equality in all G20 groups,” stated Laura Alonso.

“The costs of infrastructure will be a lot lower if they are well controlled and if corruption ceases to be a problem” said George Mandelbaum.


Daniel Funes de Rioja and Luis Pagani (Sustainable Food System Task Force Chair and President of Arcor Group), were part of a keynote conversation on inclusive and sustainable development.

“The whole chain participated in our group, from the primary sector to the supermarket shelf. Argentine has the potential to feed more than 400 million people; having all sectors represented to elaborate our document was very important,” stated Luis Pagani.

The following panel included Alejandro Finocchiaro (Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of Argentina and Chair of the G20 Education Working Group), Francisco Camacho (Executive Vice President of Danone), José Manuel González Páramo (Financing Growth & Infrastructure Task Force Co-Chair and Executive Board Director of the BBVA Bank), Michael Goltzman (Vice President of Global Public Policies, Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact of Coca-Cola), Shea Gopaul (Executive Director of Global Apprenticeship Network) and Ellen West (Vice President of Investors Relations at Google) and moderator Miguel Kozuszok (Susatainable Food System Task Force Co-Chair and CEO of Unilever Latam).

“We conceive education as a fundamental human right that not only guarantees access to other rights but is a driving force of societies,” stated Alejandro Finocchiaro.

“A third of the food production gets lost in the value chain. There is a huge opportunity in reusing or generating a situation for it to be consumed,” said Michael Goltzman.

The panel was closed by Joe Kaeser, Siemens CEO, who concluded that “A necessary prerequisite for success is to be innovative, competitive and be the best. Only then shall we be able to help others and move forward”.

The following panel was moderated by John Denton (General Secretary of the International Chamber of Commerce) and included Daniel Dreizzen (Secretary of Energy Planning of Argentina), Jing Qian (Global Vice President of Jinko Solar), Sven Smit (Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company) and Hung Tran (Executive Director of the Institute of International Finance).

“Natural gas is key to move towards a cleaner energy: it is cleaner than liquids, it is more abundant and less costly, this can be achieved by using only one sixth of the area of our non- conventional resources in Vaca Muerta,” stated Daniel Dreizzen.

“The most important thing is to reach consensus in all cases, and we have delivered a document that will add a grain of sand to this continuum, which goes from the German to the Japanese presidency into the future. I consider we are making a valuable contribution from our perspective as an emerging economy,” said Gutiérrez.

Carolina Castro, Executive Sherpa of B20, moderated the following panel with the top representatives of the G20 Engagement Groups which focused on the joint statements made during the year. The session was attended by Juliana Bonetto (Sherpa and Executive Director of Women 20), Gerardo Martínez (Labour 20 Chair), Pablo Secchi (Civil 20 Chair), Julia Pomares (Co-Chair of the Think 20) and Agustín Batto Carol (Youth 20 Chair). 

“When we think of the 21st Century challenges, we wonder if we will be able to cooperate in order to move forward in solid and accurate decisions regarding the most complex issues. The B20, as well as all G20 Engagement Groups, have worked together to approach the diverse agenda of all member countries and make recommendations that contribute to inclusive development,” said Carolina Castro.

The next panel focused on the multilateral trading system and included Dan Iochpe (President of the Administrative Board at Iochpe-Maxion), Phil O’Reilly (Chairman Business at OECD), Dante Sica (Argentine Minister of Production and Labour), Inés Van Lierde (Chair of AEGIS) and Fernando Landa (Policy Sherpa, B20).

"We must make an effort to update the rules of international trade and bridge the digital gap," stated Daniel Sica.

"A third of the profits in 50 countries are the result of food exports. Reducing tariff barriers would represent a big impact for developing economies," explained Phil O´Reilly.

An in-conversation segment followed with Marc Allen (President at Boeing International) and moderator Isela Costantini (CEO at GST Financial Services).

"A big part of Boeing's history is the commitment to innovation, and it is important that governments understand how it can be promoted by companies like ours," stated Marc Allen.

An expert panel followed including Mary Andringa (Chair of the Board Vermeer Corporation), Gonzalo Bofill Velarde (President at Carozzi Group), Laxman Narasimhan (CEO Latam, Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa at Pepsico), Luis Miguel Etchevehere (Secretary of Agribusiness of Argentina), Luc Remont (Executive VP International Operations at Schneider Electric) and panel coordinator Stormy-Annika Mildner (External Economic Policy Head BDI).

“Neither the State or the private companies can do it by themselves, we need to work collaboratively, understanding the importance of value chains and their needs. We believe in an open economy and bilateral trade,” stated Luis Miguel Etchevehere.

“Governments should recognize the importance of SMEs in our economy and keep them in mind when issuing loan or financing programs,” says Mary Andringa.

The next segment focused on the future of work and education. The opening words were made by Martín Migoya (CEO & Founder Globant  and B20 Employment and Education Task Force Chair). Participants included Inés Berton (CEO & Founder at Tealosphy and B20 SMEs Development Task Force Chair), Gianfranco Casati (Group Chief Executive, Growth Markets at Accenture), Clarisa Estol (Business Women Leaders´ Task Force), Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu (B20 Turkey Chair), Erol Kiresepi (B20 Education & Employment Co-Chair and President at International Organisation of Employers) and panel coordinator Carolina Castro (B20 Executive Sherpa).

“We should give children the opportunity to learn 3 languages: english, mandarin and programming,” said Gianfranco Casati.

“Criticizing the educational system has become a cliche of our time. We need to recognize that it brought our society to where it is today. We can't say everything is broken, everything has to evolve,” said Martín Migoya.

The last panel focused on digitalization and included an in-conversation segment with Marcos Galperín (CEO at Mercado Libre Chair and Digital Economy and Industry 4.0 Task Force Chair) and moderator Silvia Torres Carbonell (Entrepreneurship & Innovation Director at IAE Business School). The expert panel included Hans Paul Buerkner (Chairman at Boston Consulting Group), Andrés Rengifo (Director of the Digital Crime Unit and Intellectual Property Matters for Microsoft Latin America), María Inés Baqué (Secretary of Management and Public innovation at the Ministry of Modernization of Argentina) and panel coordinator Fernando Landa (Policy Sherpa B20).

 “If as humans we can dominate this technology we have ourselves created, we will benefit as a society. Artificial intelligence will create a lot of jobs,” said Marcos Galperín.

"When governments embrace technology, the digitalization gap can be closed faster and transparency can be increased," said Hans Paul Buerkner.

President Mauricio Macri and Daniel Funes de Rioja closed the B20 Summit after a long day of discussions. Funes de Rioja delivered the final document of public policy recommendations and called for strengthening of multilateral cooperation to help their implementation and evaluation through development indicators.

“Argentina is going through a huge transformation. We have decided to confront the problems and try to resolve them instead of hiding themstated the Argentine President and highlighted the Anti-Corruption joint statement that was signed for the first time in the history of the G20.

“Argentina is taking this matter very seriously for it is crucial for sustainable development in the next 20 years” stated Macri and gave a message to the businessmen in the auditorium: “Global solutionrequire commitment and action. You have a fundamental role to play, you are leaders and people see you as such. You have the responsibility to create opportunities and jobs”.

We are very proud of the work done, it is the reflection of our commitment and responsibility as a business community,” stated Daniel Funes de Rioja.

The event finalized with a dinner of Asado Argentino (Argentine Style Barbecue) in the Argentine Rural Society´s premises.