Business Twenty (B20)

What is Business Twenty (B20)?

On 1 December 2019, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia assumed the G20 Presidency.

The Business Twenty (B20) is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It is the voice of the private sector to the G20 and represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.

The group works to develop and present its policy recommendations to the G20 presidency, in this case to His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Transforming for inclusive growth is the motto and promise of B20 Saudi Arabia. To deliver on its promise, B20 Saudi Arabia has identified key priorities and formed six taskforces:

1. Digitalization
2. Energy, Sustainability and Climate
3. Finance and Infrastructure
4. Future of Work and Education
5. Integrity and Compliance
6. Trade and Investment

The B20 also has a ‘Women in Business’ Action Council that sits across all six taskforces. The Council, the first of its kind for the B20, will ensure that issues surrounding gender diversity in business and economic empowerment of women are addressed and given due importance.

stc is proud to have leaders who have not only contributed but chaired two of the B20 taskforces. The Digitalization taskforce, chaired by G-CEO, Eng. Nasser Alnasser, and the Integrity & Compliance taskforces, chaired by, VP and General Council of Legal Affairs, Mathad Alajmi.

How did the taskforces operate?

The Digitalization Taskforce comprised 105 members from more than 15 countries with representation from companies such as Microsoft, Siemens, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, DhGate, GSMA and other local, medium, and small enterprises. The Integrity and Compliance Taskforce included 107 members from more than 20 countries with representation from companies such as SABIC, Mastercard, Novartis and other local and international companies.

The taskforce teams met several times starting from December 2019 and worked on preparing preliminary recommendations, refining them, addressing Covid-19 challenges, listing deliverables and finalizing recommendations

The teams also worked closely with various international consulting organizations, business organizations, and networks that supported in the research, analysis and development of the policy recommendations.

On 26-27 October, the taskforce teams will present and hand over their final recommendations to the G20 Leaders.

What are the objectives of Digitalization, and Integrity & Compliance Taskforces?

Digitalization offers endless opportunities and potential efficiency gains. However, these opportunities come with significant challenges, including the questions of how to handle individual privacy and sensitive data, how to protect businesses and communities from cyber-attacks, and where to draw the line for artificial intelligence.

The Digitalization Taskforce, addresses the most pressing issues related to the digital economy. It develops recommendations to successfully drive the digital transformation for businesses and society as a whole.

The Integrity and Compliance Taskforce recognizes the importance companies across the globe place on Integrity and responsible business conduct. This helps in building a healthy company culture and business environment, and also lays the foundation for an open investment environment and thus, for economic growth and international trade.

The Integrity and Compliance Taskforce, aims to advance the global anti-corruption agenda, touching upon key topics such as transparency and high standards of ethics and integrity.

What are the most important recommendations?

Recommendations made by the taskforces were limited to ensure they were meaningful and actionable by the G20.

The Digitalization taskforce has made four recommendations and outlined eleven specific policy actions for the G20’s consideration. The four recommendations include:

Firstly, enable and support resilient digital infrastructure by encouraging investment in human capital in the field of cybersecurity, and by fostering the cybersecurity readiness of individuals, and of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Secondly, healthy development of Artificial Intelligence and adoption wherever possible by creating a favorable and trust-inducing regulatory environment to enhance trust in this technology, educating businesses, government and society on this technology, and advancing Artificial Intelligence for all.

Thirdly, lay the foundation of smart cities to thrive, by supporting the building blocks for fostering greater social acceptance of smart cities globally.

Lastly, drive digital inclusion and grow digital skills in overcoming the digital skills divide, supporting and advancing innovative methods for digital education, and providing more digital job opportunities to women.

The Integrity and Compliance Taskforce has made three recommendations and outlined nine specific policy actions for the G20’s consideration. The first recommendation focuses on the G20 pursuing and delivering a culture of high integrity in both the public and private sectors, encouraging governments and businesses to align their efforts to combat illicit payments and create appropriate support systems that will benefit all stakeholders. The second recommendation focuses on the G20 leveraging emerging technologies to manage risks related to corruption and fraud. The third recommendation focuses on the G20 enhancing integrity and transparency in public procurement, emphasizing policy actions to ensure transparency across the entire public procurement lifecycle and establishing of incentives to reward high standards of ethical business conduct in public procurement

Are the recommendations of the taskforces aligned with 2030 Saudi Vision?

Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman, aims at being an exemplary and leading nation, internationally in all aspects.

The Digitalization Taskforce and the Integrity and Compliance Taskforce, took the Saudi 2030 vision into consideration, while developing recommendations and policy actions.

The B20 and the 2030 Vision are aligned when it comes to enhancing digital skills so that the society and the workforce are up to date with the latest digital trends. The outcomes of B20 are also aligned with the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, which focuses on the application of 5G technologies for industries. The B20 recommendations and policy actions have also proposed implementation of digitization procedures, more research, innovation, training as well as enhancing of the level of infrastructure and intelligent transportation systems and utilizing the benefits of Artificial Intelligence in all possible areas of industry and health services.

When it comes to Integrity and Compliance, Vision 2030 and its pillars stipulate the removal of corruption in all its forms and requires that all individuals involved in financial and administrative corruption cases be held accountable.

The Kingdom set the development and implementation of national anti-corruption strategies as a priority for their G20 Presidency with the aim to share experiences on good practices in methodology and approach on these issues, and how the successful implementation of anti-corruption actions can foster sustainable development and the achievement of its 2030 Agenda. So the Integrity and Compliance taskforce recommendations are completely aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030.