IOE participates in major event on business and sustainable development

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is being held on June 6-8 under the theme of Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda. The annual meeting is a unique event in the world of business and economics providing a global platform for members of the business community to meet and discuss the key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets, and the world as a whole.

Many private sector representatives, high-level government delegates, heads of corporations and international organisation leaders are gathered in St. Petersburg on 6-8 June to discuss the role of business and economic actors in the sustainable development agenda. IOE participated in the session Co-creating the future: Business solutions for realizing Sustainable Development Goals, in the framework of the B20 Regional Consultation Forum, focused on B20 proposals for G20 leaders, including the corporate priorities and measures for creating ‘Society 5.0’. Japan’s chairmanship of the B20 has prioritized creating Society 5.0, a concept developed with the active involvement of business based on the integrated introduction of digital technologies with all spheres of society, business, and government.

IOE Regional Vice-President for Europe and Central-Asia, Renate Hornung-Draus, spoke of the importance of a stable enabling environment for business and a clear consolidated approach to unleash the full potential of innovation and societal transformation the private sector can bring. Furthermore, she highlighted skills and employment as the key dimensions for the current dual priorities of economic and sustainable development. Informality, lack of appropriate skills and unemployment in general are persistent barriers and challenges in most of the world’s economies. In her own words, “the public sector and the UN need to become more agile and entrepreneurial, to develop better and more appealing approaches to deal with the private sector. If it takes ages with huge bureaucratic requirements before a PPP is approved, companies will not do it, but rather do it alone with peers or other initiatives”.

In order to efficiently adapt to the challenges ahead and effectively implement a coordinated approach the task of the B20 is to make an appeal to strengthen multilateralism and free trade based on multilateral agreements. In this regard social dialogue remains of paramount importance, said Renate Hornung-Draus in her closing statement, and the tripartite governance of the International Labour Organization needs to be protected and also extended to employment issues in other UN agencies.

For more information and the full programme visit the official website of the event:

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