One of the key international business organizations we participate in is
the B7, which is the business advisory group to G7 governments. In contrast to
some of the larger and more diverse international groups that we are involved
with, the B7 provides a higher degree of commonality in the members’
This year’s B7 meeting occurred in Washington, D.C., which provided an
opportunity for the top business associations in the G7 countries to hear
directly from the White House and U.S. State Department officials about their
G7 agenda and global economic issues.
Over the last few years, the scope of the G7 has substantially
proliferated to become a far-reaching agenda beyond core economic issues, which
was why a theme of discussion was the “back to basics” approach this year by
the American hosts to ensure that industrialized economies are focusing on the
core issues needed to support economic growth.
The discussions at the B7 focused on:
- What solutions should we pursue to
respond the powers of state-owned or state-back companies that place our
businesses at a disadvantage when they compete domestically and
- What measures can be taken to ensure
our global economic institutions maintain relevance?
- How do we respond to the rapidly
changing economic landscape through ensuring people have the skills they need
to be active participants in the workforce, as well as react to growing
pressures from capital markets and others to be responsive to environmental,
social and governance (so-called “ESG”) considerations?
A theme cutting through the discussions was also maintaining the
relevance of the G7, and by extension B7, as an international group. The G7 is
critical for Canada since it allows us to play a key role in the consensus
building process that goes into setting the international policy agenda. Our
role as the B7 is to ensure that the G7 consensus building process enhances the
competitiveness of our members. What we deliver in the B7 also helps to inform
the positions we take in forums such as the B20 and Business at OECD.
It may have been a back to basics year, but the outcomes are still very critical for companies. To learn more about our international policy work, click here.