Recently the London Chamber of Commerce had the privilege of hosting the Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) who was in London to talk to our Board and several invited guests about the focus that the Canadian Chamber has for 2013. Beatty, once the youngest Cabinet Minister in Canadian history has also been at the helm of some of Canada’s most revered and challenging organizations – the CBC for one, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) for another, and in my view, his most visible and powerful role as the CEO of the National Chamber.
We talked a lot about the Skills Crisis which is still at the top of the CCC’s priority list. Canada’s skills (and human resources) shortage is the major socio-economic challenge confronting this country, and it will be so for the rest of our working lives. We also told him that our Chamber had launched a Task Force that will be digging deeper into this issue with the express intent of finding local solutions that can be applied right across Canada. Watch for more on that as our Task Force delivers its report.
Beatty also touched on the importance of business having a unified voice globally especially within the G20 countries. To that end Beatty explained that the largest national business organizations from all of the G20 countries recently launched the B20 Coalition in order to ensure the voice of business is heard. “The objective of the B20 Coalition is to advocate policies, at national, regional and international levels, that contribute to global growth and job creation,” said Beatty. The CCC is the only Canadian business organization accredited to the B20. “The B20 can use its vast membership base – representing more than 6.5 million businesses – to act as a global sounding board and an initiator of new ideas and proposals for G20 economic policy coordination.”
Headquartered in Paris, the B20 Coalition will meet in Moscow, Russia, on December 12, 2012, under the chairmanship of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, (the Russian version of the Chamber of Commerce) to prepare for the St-Petersburg G20 Summit to be held on September 5-6, 2013.
Like the G20, the B20 shares the ambition of ensuring a balance between growth and stability. Private sector growth and global prosperity require a coordination of national economic policies to support growth, stable capital and commodity markets, compatible financial regulation, an effective International Monetary System, open trade, freedom and protection of investments.
With all of the uncertainty in the global marketplace it’s reassuring to know that those representing the B20 coalition will have a voice and a significant impact in attempting to restore business confidence and economic stability which results in new investments and jobs.
Honestly, all biases aside, if I had to pick one business organization to best represent Canada at the B20 you could not do better that Beatty’s Canadian Chamber of Commerce.