Business leaders want to create economic growth to create jobs for everyone, the head of a world business forum gathered in Sydney says.
The head of the B20 forum of world business leaders says the gathering in Sydney is all about job creation.
B20 chairman and Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder says the 400-strong B20 summit, where business formulates policy recommendations for the G20 group of government leaders, wants to drive growth to create jobs.
“When people say to me, how does the everyday person in the street understand the importance of the G20 and the B20, then pretty simply it’s about jobs,” Mr Goyder told media at a briefing ahead of the forum’s opening on Wednesday night.
He said the B20 was “the most significant gathering of business leaders in Australia ever” and hoped its recommendations would contribute to global economic growth and job creation.
Mr Goyder said that, as a father of four children in an economically strong country such as Australia, he was confident of their job prospects and job security.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a parent of children, for example in Spain where there’s 50 per cent youth unemployment,” he said.
“That’s why this is important: economic growth solves a lot of issues.”
Business leaders have identified four priority areas – structural flexibility, free movement across borders, effective regulation and integrity in commerce – as key areas for reform.
Mr Goyder said structural flexibility did not mean sacrificing labour conditions for workforces.
“When we talk about structural flexibility we are talking about a whole bunch of things from the ease of exporting and importing product, the challenges sometimes of employing labour across different markets to the way we set up our education systems,” he said.
He defended not having climate change listed as a priority, saying individual businesses and nations would make their own responses.
The B20 comprises heads of business from across the countries that make up the G20 – including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and France.
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is among the business leaders attending the three-day Sydney gathering, while Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey will give speeches.
Business leaders will present their recommendations to the G20 leaders on Friday.
Australia has presidency of the G20 and will host the world’s leaders at the G20 summit in November.