B20 Indonesia, the summit that channels the business voice to G20 leaders

The G20 business forum has called for action for a stronger and more sustainable world economic growth. Christian Gebara, CEO of Telefónica Brazil has participated in a panel and co-chaired the digitalisation taskforce. The latter has urged to accelerate the buildout of high-capacity networks by making private sector network investment a priority.

Andrea Fabra Fernández

Andrea Fabra Fernández Follow

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B20 Summit Indonesia 2022: addressing pressing economic issues from a business’ view

The business arm of the G20 held its summit on 13th-14th November. It was organised by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the behest of the Government of Indonesia. The B20 Summit Indonesia 2022 has embraced the theme of “Advancing Innovative, Inclusive and Collaborative Growth” supporting the G20 leitmotif “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”. All in a year where economies have been impacted by geopolitical tensions, supply-chain disruptions, pandemic recovery, or the climate crisis.

The meeting brought together over 3,000 business and government leaders from 69 countries. Over 100 top speakers shared their thoughts, including Christian Gebara, CEO of Telefónica Brazil.

The work done in Indonesia during 2022 was focused on three pillars: boosting an innovative global economy, forging an inclusive and sustainable future and embracing a collaborative recovery and growth. A year-long effort concluded in policy recommendations for the G20 gathered in the B20 Communiqué, on 7 policy areas: trade & investment; energy, sustainability & climate; digitalization; finance & infrastructure; future of work & education; integrity & compliance and women in business.

A major success has also been the business community’s interest in supporting strong collaboration between developed and developing countries. Collaboration is key in a world where preparedness is crucial to mitigate future global crises. 

Telefónica at the B20 and its relevant role in the B20 digitalisation working group

Christian Gebara, CEO of Telefónica Brazil participated in the B20 panel “Harnessing the power of innovation for future economic growth“. Telefónica has been actively involved since the beginning of this edition, especially in the digitalisation working group. Our CEO of Telefónica Brazil, Christian Gebara, as co-chair of this taskforce, made relevant contributions to the crucial debates held.

“Sustainable connectivity is the linchpin that allows today’s most significant digital transformation initiatives. B20 leaders and policy makers must ensure everyone is able to benefit from the opportunities it brings. This shared responsibility requires an international dialogue and concrete measures to break down existing barriers for connecting all”

Christian Gebara, CEO Telefónica Brazil

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies revealing an untapped economic potential. And to unlock the balanced post-crisis growth, it is necessary to create the economic environment that promotes innovation. But, to leave no one behind, it is essential to recognize the different and complex socio-economic contexts worldwide. COVID 19 has reaffirmed the importance of strong digital connections, but it has also exposed “digital divide” which could hinder those who fall outside of the digital realm.

The biggest divide in the future may well be between those who enjoy connectivity and those who do not.  That has been the reason why the Digitalisation Taskforce has urged the G20 to accelerate the buildout of high-speed, high-capacity networks. To that end, it is key to make private sector network investment a priority. It is crucial to lower the barriers for the development of infrastructures especially in rural areas. Current investment models for broadband connectivity are not commercially viable due to the high cost of deployment and low demand.

A call to action for Governments to encourage the deployment of connectivity networks

Public sector should define adequate spectrum policies: from transparent processes, to longer if not permanent spectrum awards. Governments should consider that a dollar spent in a spectrum auction cannot be spent on network rollout and upgrades.

Furthermore, to sustain investment efforts in deployment, frameworks need to allow a fair and reasonable return of these massive investments. Private sector should more actively engage as part of the solution: agents benefiting from connectivity should contribute to the economic sustainability of network deployments. The base of contributors needs to be broadened in a fair and reasonable way.

Fostering efficient and transparent administrative processes for licenses granting and lower telecom specific taxation are also essential to overcome roadblocks as well as leveraging stronger public-private cooperation, based on mutual interest for the connectivity goals.

Despite growth of internet users, just under half of the world’s population (2.9 billion) is still not connected to internet.

One of most important policy outcomes is that digital exclusion is not simply about being beyond the reach of infrastructure. But, there is no “silver bullet” to solve the universal connectivity challenge. Countries need a mix of solutions to stimulate investment building connectivity infrastructure and increase affordability (including devices), and develop digital skills and local contents. The best way to close the widening digital gap, and achieve meaningful and inclusive connectivity for all, is working together. This means promoting a continuous multistakeholder dialogue, bringing forth the best contributions from all parties involved.

The B20 is an unbeatable framework for companies to demand effective actions from governments to allow businesses to participate in the construction of the societies of the future.  

Telefónica is convinced that the next edition in India will build on the recommendations delivered to the G20 in the hope of making progress in building a world where no one is left behind.


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