B20 firmly believes that a rules-based multilateral system that ensures open trade with a level playing field is crucial for inclusive development. The WTO has a central role as the guardian of such system.
Nevertheless, in order to assure inclusive and sustainable globalization, a comprehensive approach needs to be undertaken. An ambitious positive agenda for the 21st century is urgently required in order to avoid trade frictions, which in turn lead to economic disruptions.
One of the centerpieces of B20 recommendations to G20 leaders relates to the necessity of defining policies that remove distortions and avoid preferential treatment to State Owned Enterprises. A plurilateral agreement on state-related competitive distortions, ensuring no business entity has an advantage solely because of its ownership is at the top of B20 priorities.
Digital trade is a fundamental aspect of the world economics dynamics but multilateral rules have not kept up with this reality. Consequently, several categories of barriers have developed over time such as data localization requirements, specific technology requirements or disclosure requirements to grant market access, barriers to internet services, as well as many other discriminatory practices.
B20 encourages a more extensive plurilateral initiative on digital trade comprising issues such as cross border data flows, data localization, cybersecurity and data privacy rules. A timely achievement of e-commerce disciplines related to trade in digital goods and services is also amongst our priorities.
SMEs are an essential component of inclusive trade, and G20 leaders should consider all policies that facilitate SMEs insertion in global value chains. In this respect, the strong correlation between “deep” preferential agreements (including WTO-plus and WTO-extra policies) and global value chain developments is clear. Trade restrictive measures rollback commitments by G20 leaders have not delivered the expected results; B20 would welcome further concrete joint public-private work in the arena of technical barriers to trade, and phytosanitary measures to ensure transparency and adherence to international standards.
B20 applauds the G20 guiding principles for global investment and encourages further consensus on policies that would address intellectual property concerns improving transparency and predictability of investment measures, while at the same time streamlining administrative procedures.
Other topics under discussion include how to strengthen the WTO multilateral system with recommendations on issues such as enforcing timely and accurate member notifications.