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B20 announces six policies to tackle Covid-19

B20 announces six policies to tackle Covid-19


​​​​​​​World leaders must adopt recommendations to accelerate economic, health recovery

  • Global business group lays out plan for addressing resurgence from pandemic and issues call to action for collaboration  

  • In addition to the task force meetings, WSBI-ESBG  made comments on the B20 draft policy recommendations for the G20 

  • WSBI called on its members to provide further input

>> See report | >> Visit: B20 website

July 6, 2020, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia –​ B20 Saudi Arabia, the official voice of business to the G20, today announced a six-point plan designed to combat the current global pandemic and lay a foundation to address future resurgences of the disease, including a potential “second wave” of the virus in the coming months. The warning comes in concert with the launch of a new special report by B20, which was developed in collaboration with business leaders and leading multilateral organizations around the world.  

B20 wanted to get consensus from the business world on how governments can better support the private sector during the crisis, protect the economy and prepare for future crises. More than 750 business leaders from the G20 countries and beyond, including from multinational corporations and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), provided input. The proposed areas of focus of the six-point plan, entitled Jump-starting the Global Economy Post-Covid-19 Phase​, are wide ranging and include: 1) Build health resilience; 2) Safeguard human capital; 3) Prevent financial instability; 4) Unclog global supply chain; 5) Revive productive sectors and 6) Digitalise responsibly and inclusively. 

On preventing financial instability, B20 strongly recommends that the G20 should strengthen global coordination among governments, public agencies, and the multilateral institutions of policy responses with a focus on identifying and minimising unintended negative economic and financial spill-overs. The G20 should task the Financial Stability Board to monitor the risks to financial stability among those lending institutions that bear the burden of rolling over temporarily the global economy's debts. As credit standards are relaxed in response to the crisis, the build-up of positions must be tracked and communicated to regulators. ​

“As the group representing the official voice of business to the G20, it was incumbent upon us to consider the role we, as business leaders, can and must play in addressing this global pandemic. Particularly as we see a resurgence of the virus in several economies around the world,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, Chair of B20 Saudi Arabia. “While a cure to the virus is the ultimate health goal, we must identify how the private and public sector can cooperate to create an environment that instils safety, integrity and confidence while advancing economic prosperity.”  

In response to Covid​-19, B20 Saudi Arabia formed a committee in March 2020 to look at how businesses were responding to and managing the pandemic by identifying best practices and lessons learned. The efforts resulted in the capture of a set of recommendations in alignment with the group’s policy recommendations that will be put forth to the G20 for inclusion in their official communiqué this November. 

“There is no alternative to global cooperation and consensus to overcome a multidimensional and systemic crisis. Multilateral institutions, governments and business must be more agile and adaptable in their operating models if we indeed are to return the global economy to a path of growth,” added Mr. Al-Benyan.   >> See the report 

​WSBI-ESBG members provide feedback to B20 policy recommendations

Representing savings and retail banks worldwide, WSBI and ESBG were invited to represent their members in meetings of the B20 under the Saudi presidency. In addition to the task force meetings, WSBI-ESBG  made comments on the B20 draft policy recommendations for the G20 and called on its members to provide further input. 

Invited to the Financing Growth and Infrastructure (FGI) Taskforce meetings, WSBI-ESBG argued for the proportionality principle to be weaved into better regulation efforts, taking into account the unique nature of locally focused banks that serve their communities and regional economies. Proportionality should be the mind-set​ held by policymakers when updating existing banking rules and any drafting any new laws. 

Fostering sustainable, inclusive growth, infrastructure finance requires locally focused banks

To foster sustainable and inclusive growth, infrastructure investment is indispensable and savings and retail banks play a role. In many countries, the policy framework is not sufficiently supportive for long-term investment. 

​On the role of savings, retail banks in local economies

WSBI-ESBG members have played an essential role in providing a model that forms part of a diverse banking system that remains crucial to maintaining the stability of the financial system. Financing the real economy is a core function of their members' business model. Savings and retail banks safeguard deposits and put them to work through effective and responsible lending.

​About B20 Saudi Arabia 

As the voice of the private sector to the G20, B20 Saudi Arabia aims to transform global economies through inclusive growth. Alongside the international business community, B20 addresses critical issues the world is facing today through engagement and collaboration, ultimately raising the standards that will effect real change in both developing and developed markets.  Led by global business leaders, B20 Saudi Arabia has appointed six taskforces to focus on current worldwide challenges: Digitalization; Energy, Sustainability & Climate; Finance & Infrastructure, Future of Work & Education; Integrity & Compliance; and Trade & Investment. In addition, B20 Saudi Arabia has created a signature initiative through the Women in Business Action Council. Aligned across all taskforces, the council is committed to making gender equality and increasing women’s participation in business, especially at leadership positions as the top of the agenda for policy recommendations made by the B20 to the G20 leaders in 2020. The B20 Saudi Arabia Summit will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 26-27 October, 2020. For more information, please visit on Twitter at @B20 or at the B20 website.