On September 19th, the B20 Germany workshop "Toward the Buenos Aires Summit" took place in Berlin. Numerous German company representatives, involved in the Argentinian B20 Taskforces, gathered for an internal exchange on this year's B20 Process and evaluated the policy papers of the Argentine B20 Presidency. Afterwards, the exchange continued with German government representatives on the status quo of the G20 negotiations. Dr. Gesa Miehe-Nordmeyer, head of the G7 / G20 Sherpa Staff at the Federal Chancellery, opened the exchange with a report on this year's G20 Process. Further ministries’ officials informed about the individual G20 work streams: Miguel Berger, head of the Foreign Office's Department of Economic Affairs, offered insights into the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting; Ingo Behnel, head of the Central Department, Europe and International Affairs at the Federal Ministry of Health, spoke about recent developments in the G20 work stream "Health". Other panels featured the G20 work streams "Trade and Investment", "Digital Economy" and "Employment". The workshop was closed by S.E. Edgardo Mario Malaroda, Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina in Germany, who shared the Argentine perspective on the G20 Process and on challenges surrounding the G20 Summit in late November.
The various reports by the government representatives offered a mixed picture of this year's G20 Summit: While some government officials look optimistically towards the G20 Summit, other government representatives repeatedly stressed the difficult global political situation, which complicates the G20 negotiations. With regard to the U.S. implementation of new punitive tariffs against China, this is particularly true in the area of trade and investment as well as climate policy issues. Dr. Gesa Miehe-Nordmeyer emphasized three priorities of the German G20 delegation for the trade work stream: Agreement on a positive trade agenda, on a rule-based international trade system, and on a reduction of access capacity. However, participants of the event agreed that achieving a common solution in this area will be difficult in times of rising protectionism and national go-alones. The same impression was shared for the work stream “Climate Sustainability”; it is a priority of the German G20 delegation to counteract a relapse in these core areas.
The Argentine G20 and B20 Processes also received much praise during the workshop. Government officials emphasized the indispensable willingness of the Argentine Presidency to further a compromise-based process in each work stream. Company representatives, as well, shared strong positive feedback about the B20 Process.
Following this preparatory exchange, we are now looking forward to the B20 Summit on 4th and 5th of October!
We thank the numerous company and government participants and S.E. Ambassador Malaroda for a stimulating and interesting exchange. We would also like to thank The Boston Consulting Group, our Knowledge Partner in the German B20 Process 2017, for their kind support in organizing this event.