Four things the G20 did for your business

| December 2, 2014

The G20 Leaders’ Summit was held on 15 and 16 November 2014 in Brisbane. Roxane Horton examines the outcomes from the event. 

Now the G20 leaders have all jumped in their jets and headed home it’s worth asking – what did the G20 do for you this year?

Anyone looking for an immediate takeaway might be disappointed, but the leaders did commit to a set of policy directions that will provide greater opportunities for mid-size companies over the coming years. These are four of the key outcomes:

1. Setting up an infrastructure hub to tackle the ‘infrastructure deficit’. The OECD estimates that over 50 trillion dollars in infrastructure investment is needed by 2030. More details are to come, but it has been announced that the infrastructure hub, with a four year mandate, will be established in Sydney. Its mission is to facilitate information sharing and collaboration between private sector, governments, development banks and international organisations on infrastructure investment. The leaders will specifically work ‘to facilitate long-term financing…particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.’

2.  Making global tax systems fairer. The G20 are on track to deliver the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Action Plan. This will address tax avoidance by large multinationals such as Apple and Google. By 2017 or 2018 more than 90 countries will use a common tax reporting standard that will make it harder for tax cheats to hide. These initiatives will make the tax playing field fairer for mid size companies.

3. Making trade easier and cheaper. The leaders committed to trade reforms to streamline customs procedures, cut trade related red tape and strengthen trade enabling services. These will especially benefit mid size companies who have less capacity to overcome trade costs. While specific reforms were not spelled out, we might see more initiatives like the European Commission Access Database, a free online ‘one stop shop’that provides European Union SMEs with all the information and forms they need to access foreign markets.

4. Addressing the skills shortage by bringing more women into the workplace and reducing the workplace gender gap by 25 per cent by 2025. The OECD estimate that boosting women’s employment by this magnitude would add more than $1 trillion to the global economy. At an individual level, companies with greater gender diversity are at a significant competitive advantage over those without. Mid size businesses, with their nimbleness and capacity for innovation, will be well placed to take advantage of policies to broaden the talent pool.

Roxane Horton is a principal at Buxton Horton, a Human Rights and International Relations consultancy. Roxane writes Australian/US/Asia focussed foreign policy content for publication or client and stakeholder communications. Buxton and Horton also advise on human rights compliance and indigenous and multi-cultural engagement.



  1. Les Pickett

    Les Pickett

    December 10, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Victor … Having
    Victor … Having participated in some G20 activities I know just his much your contribution helped make the final summit so successful …. Thought this posting provides an opportunity to recognise the efforts of the people behind the success…well done and thank you…owe you a drink of your choice when you are in Melbourne….. les.

  2. Avatar

    Joanne Yates

    December 10, 2014 at 12:44 am

    Thanks Victor. It’s been a
    Thanks Victor. It’s been a busy time for engagement groups too. Here’s my reflection as C20 sherpa:

  3. Avatar

    Victor Perton

    December 10, 2014 at 12:42 am

    I also wrote a short
    I also wrote a short reflective piece this week at

  4. Avatar

    Victor Perton

    December 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Excellent summary, Roxane! I
    Excellent summary, Roxane! I would add the Brisbane action plan with its measures to increase global growth by an extra 2% creating tens of millions of new jobs.