Looking back on the previous year, it is clear that the G20 lived up to its expectations in response to the short-term and long-term demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, while still holding true to the year’s pre-pandemic priorities.
The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), member of the Trade and Investment Taskforce of B20 Saudi Arabia, has centered its contribution on raising awareness of Saudi Arabia’s role as the host of G20 in 2020 and the B20’s role as the engagement group that represented the official voice of the G20 business community to the G20. We also used our media platforms to amplify the work, events, and policy recommendations of the six B20 taskforces and the Women in Business Action Council within the broader U.S. and Saudi business communities, especially micro and small and medium size enterprises. An estimated 92 percent of the B20’s 25 policy recommendations presented to the G20 and 75 percent of the 69 specific policy actions were either fully or partially covered by the G20.
The USSBC fully embraced the mission of the B20 Saudi Arabia and supported its initiatives throughout the year. In April 2020, the USSBC and B20 held a joint virtual town hall covering the B20’s new COVID-19 initiative. The town hall, involving over 325 participants, collected input from the USSBC’s members and the greater business communities of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses of all sizes and recommendations for further consideration by the B20. Following the virtual town hall, the Council facilitated invitations for its members to four more virtual B20 events: “Preparing for the Second Wave” of COVID-19 (July 16, 2020); B20 Integrity & Compliance Taskforce event “Enhancing Integrity for Responsible and Inclusive Growth” (August 24, 2020); B20 & Accenture-led “Designing the Future of Work and Education” (October 5, 2020); and the B20 Summit (October 26-27, 2020). Over 10 percent of the Council’s content published on its website during this time was dedicated to covering the B20’s activities, including 30 articles related to the B20 and G20. The Council concluded its coverage with a three-part summary of the B20’s final 25 policy recommendations submitted during the virtual B20 summit (October 26-27) and a 3500-word op-ed by our President and CEO, H. Delano Roosevelt, published in the 2020 edition of the Group of Nations Global Briefing Report. In addition, the USSBC kept its members and followers informed with news and updates on the B20’s activities. For more details, click here.
The USSBC thanks Mr. Yousef Al-Benyan, chair of B20 Saudi Arabia and CEO of SABIC, for his stewardship of the engagement group during a challenging year. B20 Saudi Arabia, under the direction of Mr. Al-Benyan and its members, quickly shifted its priorities to serve the world’s most pressing needs in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. We also congratulate our U.S. and Saudi members who contributed their time to the activities of B20. It is our sincere hope and belief that Saudi Arabia’s role as the host of the G20 in 2020 helped set a strong foundation for more inclusive, responsive, and sustainable future G20 sessions.
Moving forward, we believe that some Saudi initiatives discussed by various B20 taskforces translate into business opportunities for our U.S. and Saudi members in 2021 and beyond. These include the Saudi initiatives on carbon circular economy, advancement of digital connectivity infrastructure, smart cities, energy efficiency, and capacity building. The USSBC aims to contribute to fostering U.S.-Saudi relationships in support of these initiatives by facilitating collaborations in related innovative projects that showcase our members’ advanced technologies and solutions.