Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
4:55 AM 4th May 2021

CBI Hosts Global Business Summit Ahead Of G7

As part of the UK’s 2021 G7 Presidency, the CBI is – from 10-12 May - chairing the B7 group of leading business associations, in partnership with Deloitte. 
What is the B7?

The B7 is an annual summit hosted on rotation by business federations from each of the Group of 7 (G7) countries. This year, in alignment with the UK taking presidency of the G7, the CBI will be chairing the B7 Summit, bringing together business communities across the seven markets. The aim of the B7 is to:

1) Build consensus between the business communities on key global issues.

2) Put forward policy recommendations that will help shape the G7 agenda and future economic recovery.

3) Deliver key business objectives in net zero, trade liberalisation and new technology.

As a newly independent trading nation, and as the host of the G7, the UK is now in a unique position to drive global ambition to match its own on trade, digital and climate, setting bold targets ahead of COP26.

The B7 Summit itself will be taking place over two days on 11 and 12 May. This will be an opportunity to present policy papers to senior ministers responsible for the G7 policy areas and conduct an open discussion on the key issues.

The B7 acts as the voice of business for the G7 – which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States, along with the EU. Business Associations from South Africa, South Korea, Australia, and India will also participate.  

The CBI will use the summit to mobilise international business behind an ambitious G7 agenda ahead of the all-important COP26 in Glasgow later this year.  The B7 summit will demonstrate how business leadership - and consensus among political leaders -can help to:

Promote global trade after a year of international supply chain disruption and rising protectionism
Create a race to the top on net-zero
Increase the digitalisation of trade
And strengthen  resilience to global health emergencies.

Lord Bilimoria
Lord Bilimoria
Lord Bilimoria, CBI President said: “The G7 in 2021 hopes to lead the charge on a global recovery from the pandemic. That is only possible with the engine room of enterprise stoking the fire. Global leadership in this of all years is needed now more than ever. The situation in India for instance, is worse than ever.

“With the hit to the global economy three times more severe than the global financial crisis, the task of looking to the future can feel like a challenge for tomorrow.

“But action on the climate emergency, making the case for free trade and tapping into the true potential of the digital age, are issues that cannot wait for tomorrow.

“Now is the time to start creating opportunity and prosperity in all corners – to shape our global, post pandemic future. And it is business who stands ready to lead the way in building a better world.”

Deloitte Senior Partner and CEO Richard Houston said:“We in business have a responsibility and a role to play in helping to drive an inclusive recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“Trade, technology and sustainability will be critical enablers of that recovery.

“We’re working with the CBI and the B7, providing our insight and experience, so that as we rebuild our economy we develop the right trading relationships to boost global growth, make the most of the transformational advantage that technology brings and act now to change the way we work and live to tackle the climate emergency.”

Why does B7 matter to business?

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing global issues such as protectionism, as well as raising new challenges for our economies and societies. But it has also accelerated the need to do things differently and reprioritise. It has enhanced our dependence on the digital economy and opened the opportunity to reset our global agenda. It has exposed the need to look at global challenges through a multi-focal lens and bring business and society into the multilateral debate. Business has a significant role to play in this global transformation, both as an agent and as an advocate.

As we move forward from the pandemic and look towards recovery, the role of business becomes paramount. Business needs to show leadership: providing solutions to the threat of protectionism, supporting an inclusive and sustainable recovery, and modernising the WTO and the way in which business does trade. The B7 enables common efforts to address these issues and build back better, raising business ambition on global challenges.

The B7 helps establish a formal mechanism through which business can advocate for shared challenges with a unified voice. It will be important to help reset global leadership by facilitating a stronger partnership between business and the government. Underpinned by shared values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, the G7 has a significant role to play in setting a multilateral agenda and driving real change. Business can support this agenda to shape a global recovery which delivers a sustainable economy that is beneficial to both business and society.