From March 14-15, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, attended the B20 Summit in Tokyo to deliver some very timely messages on Brexit. Alongside discussions on the latest Brexit developments, conversations centred on areas where the UK has leading edge ideas on the global stage. These included education, innovation, technological change and the changing shape of work, sustainability, diversity and inclusion.
During the visit, Carolyn met the CBI’s Japanese sister federation, Keidanren, who focused their B20 on delivering Society 5.0 for the Sustainable Development Goals. The CBI welcomed this message and reinforced the it during panel discussion highlighting that the UK is open for business and emphasised a number of the UK’s core strengths.
In addition to meeting sister federations from around the world to discuss bilateral economic relationships, Carolyn also had a met with the organising committee of Saudi Arabia’s B20 due to take place next year. This meeting was to underline the priorities the CBI want to see emphasised on the multilateral level.
Carolyn also met with the Deputy Director General of the WTO, Yonov Frederick Agah, where she offered support for strengthening and reforming the rules-based international trading system, and discussed the low-carbon transition, sustainable finance and the UK bid to host COP26 in 2020 with the Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, Masamichi Kono.
Alongside the summit, CBI representatives met with Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Chair of their Brexit Taskforce, Yasutoshi Nishimura, to underline the importance of the UK-Japan economic relationship and to assess how we can strengthen our existing trade links as soon as possible.
The CBI will continue to support the B20 as a key interlocutor to influence the G20 process with business expertise and look forwards to June’s G20 Summit in Osaka reflecting the interests of the global business community.