B20: The German business community passes the torch to Argentina

Trade, energy and climate, digitalization, infrastructure, education and training are important issues of the Business 20 (B20). The G20 must not allow itself to be divided, Jürgen Heraeus said. He is succeeded by Daniel Funes de Rioja as B20 chair.

German business passes on the presidency of the official G20 business dialogue, the Business20 (B20), to Argentina. The hand-over ceremony will be held in Buenos Argentina on Wednesday. “We can be proud of what we have accomplished as B20 Germany,” said B20 Chair Jürgen Heraeus on Sunday in Berlin. The handover will take place one month before Argentina will officially assume the chairmanship of the G20 and the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Buenos Aires.  

“The B20 is crucial for an effective G20 that shapes globalization,” emphasized B20 chair Jürgen Heraeus. Under the German Presidency, more than 700 leading business representatives from all economic sectors developed joint policy recommendations addressing the major challenges of our time. For the first time, the B20 focused on the topics of digitalization, climate change, and energy efficiency.  

“The G20 Summit in Hamburg was a partial success, given the difficult negotiating climate. We are nonetheless disappointed that the G20 did little more than secure the status quo in many areas such as international trade,” continued Heraeus. The G20 must now fulfill the obligations of Hamburg. “The G20 must not allow itself to be divided.” It must create a global environment that promotes sustainable growth and development around the world. This includes open markets and climate protection.  

Daniel Funes de Rioja, former President of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), is the designated Chair of the Argentinian B20. He will be assisted by six business chambers – ADEBA, BCBA, CACS, CAMARCO, SRA, and UIA.  

Regarding the handover, the presidents of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA), and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) stated:  

BDI President Dieter Kempf: “The German G20 Presidency succeeded in countering the rising protectionist trend. This is a success. Economic challenges cannot be solved by go-it-alone nationalist approaches.” The G20, however, missed the opportunity to agree on a future-oriented trade agenda. In the Hamburg Declaration, there is little to be found on the current questions of digital trade and investment. “The multitude of crises occurring at the same time is poison for the global economy. Uncertainty is paralyzing innovation.” Instead of protectionism, a global framework was needed that promoted growth and jobs. These are also the objectives of the Argentinean Presidency, for which the German industry wishes the B20 Argentina leadership all the best.  

BDA President Ingo Kramer: “Free trade and open markets are the source of global prosperity. We are very pleased that B20 has made it clear that protectionism and a national silo mentality lead to deadlock. We welcome the fact that the G20 have placed many of our demands regarding work and education on the political agenda. Now the G20 members have to deliver. Digitization and demographic change are transforming the world of work profoundly. It is good that the G20 thus agreed to invest more in education and training, and in particular in strengthen vocational training. More competitiveness, growth, and prosperity can only be secured if everyone had the chance to receive a good education and employment. We therefore welcome the G20’s plans to improve the chances of women and girls’ career opportunities through better access to education, especially in MINT subjects.”  

DIHK President Eric Schweitzer: “Many German SMEs have been very involved in the B20 process. The topics directly affect their business. An example for this are trade rules which have a great impact on German exports. The B20 therefore committed itself to providing SMEs with even better access to global trade as well as financial and digital infrastructure. The G20 Hamburg Declaration recognizes the important role of a dual education system for companies, but unfortunately falls behind our expectations and is not very concrete. The Argentine Presidency has the power to place SMEs and vocational training on the agenda for the G20. For the G20 members, the promised reforms are to be implemented quickly. “