Business’ concrete priorities illustrated in the B7 Joint Statement included:
- The need to preserve and reform the rules-based multilateral trading system and the vital role of the WTO’s Appellate Body.
- To develop a more effective and stricter WTO framework for industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises.
- For e-commerce negotiations at the WTO to deliver concrete and rapid results for business; to reduce forced data localisation; to make the moratorium on import duties for electronic transmission permanent; and to reject the trend of the transfer or access to source codes being a market access requirement for software.
- To provide ambitious solutions to delivering the ecological transition and protecting biodiversity.
- Strengthen cyber-security capabilities and international collaboration in this area, including common cyber-security standards that draw on industry expertise and experience.
- Deepen public policy focused on equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Emphasise the importance of reskilling and upskilling our citizens to harness and better manage the digital transition.
The CBI represents UK business in the B7, and we were pleased to be accompanied with a delegation of members from the aerospace, financial services, telecommunications, and spirits sectors. In our personal engagement with President Macron and the Economy and Finance Minister, Bruno le Maire, the British delegation took the opportunity to underline the vital and pressing need for a UK-EU trade partnership that delivers shared prosperity.
The G7 process is a vital trend-setter for international policy development and provides many of the initial ideas that eventually become more concrete multilaterally through the G20 process and domestically in the world’s major economies. Cross-border issues such as energy and the environment, trade and investment, digitalisation, and gender equality are vital issues for business and influencing the macro-level G7 is a good means of projecting the values and priorities of British businesses around the world.
The CBI will continue to provide the business perspective to influence the G7 process, which will culminate with the G7 Summit in Biarritz from 24-26 August. We will work with UK Sherpas to ensure that the priorities of British business are taken into account by heads of state and government in this year’s G7 summit and joint statement.
Next year’s cycle sees the G7/B7 process cross the Atlantic to the United States, and we greatly look forward to working with our colleagues in the US Chamber to ensure continuity of messaging and ambition into 2020.