Bali. The annual gathering of business leaders from the world's largest economies of the Group of 20, or G20, delivered a key message on Sunday that the real driving force behind the economy doesn’t merely involve big multinational companies but also small and medium enterprises.
The forum, known as the B20, calls for inclusive development benefiting vulnerable groups of the global community and for equal access to technological advantages as the world is embracing the digital economy era.
“Despite great progress in recent years, there is still a tendency to view the global economy from the perspective of enormous multinational companies. Yet, the driving force of human progress towards history has been the small businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs at the local level,” B20 Indonesia Chair Shinta Kamdani said in her opening speech at the investment forum in Bali.
“This why a chief priority of Indonesia’s B20 is to champion development which is inclusive of all stakeholders including the medium-small enterprises, women, and other vulnerable groups,” she added.
The Covid-19 pandemic helped accelerate the adoption of digital technology, “and yet the benefit and opportunity it offers have not been enjoyed equitably, with some of us lagging behind”, Shinta said.
The B20 urges business communities to build the foundation for equal and robust access to technological innovations that will unlock the potential of the underserved parts of the population.
As the global economy is being faced with the destructive economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and looming food and energy crises due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, global collaboration is more important than ever.
“The pandemic caught us decisively that a threat to one is a threat to all. Thus, addressing the challenges demands well-orchestrated multi-stakeholders cooperation across industries, sectors, and countries,” she said.
“… the world is facing many multifaceted big issues and challenges from the scary effects of Covid to rising inflation, to food and energy scarcity and the looming forecast of economic slowdown. Yes, the perfect storm is coming.”
Shinta said it would require “the spirit of teamwork” to solve these complex issues.
“No one country, no one company, and no one institution can fix these problems alone,” she said.
“And this is the spirit of the forums of the B20 and the G20: building and nurturing multi-stakeholder collaboration to address the challenges the world is facing today.”