The B7 has published its paper outlining key priorities for G7 Trade Ministers to consider as part of the UK Presidency this year. The CBI hosted the B7 Summit and formally submitted the trade paper to Liz Truss, UK Secretary of State for Trade. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, also joined the summit to hear from business leaders.
The pandemic has created an unprecedented economic shock and has severely hampered global trade. It has also accelerated the pace of innovation, shown the capacity of business to adapt and deliver for citizens, and has pointed to new opportunities to create jobs and prosperity.
The B7 has therefore stressed that cross-border trade will be central to an inclusive recovery. G7 leadership will be crucial in an increasingly fractured trading environment. Business will also need to take responsibility, creating growth and jobs and advocating for change.
The four priorities outlined by the B7 trade track are:
- Revitalising and refocusing the WTO through clear priorities for the Ministerial Conference scheduled for 30th November 2021 and a medium-term plan of collaboration by the G7 which spans G7 Presidencies.
- Combatting protectionism, including in health, with commitments to roll back protectionist measures over the next 12 months.
- Accelerating the race to net-zero by using trade policy to support trade in low carbon goods and services.
- Building resilience and opportunities for SMEs by digitising trade, driving greater transparency in services, and boosting the participation of MSMEs.
The B7 brings together business associations from each of the G7 nations. International trade was one of three tracks (climate and digital being the others).
The CBI will continue to work with Italian counterparts, Confindustria, as they host the B20 this year, to amplify business priorities. Work to strengthen the multilateral trading system and provide new opportunities for UK business will be a CBI priority beyond the B7 Summit and as part of the handover to the Germans for the 2022 B7 process.