World leaders at the 2019 G20 summit. Credit: Alan Santos / PR
London, UK. 2 February 2021: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has announced that it has been selected as a network partner for the 2021 ‘Business Twenty’ (B20). This represents the first time that an international shipping body has been invited to join the official business community engagement forum for the G20.
With shipping vital to combatting COVID-19 around the world, this move has been guided by Confitarma, the Italian Shipowners’ Association, which is a member of Confindustria, the Italian industry association leading the B20. This move signals a renewed commitment to relieving the global ‘crew change crisis’, which continues to trap hundreds of thousands of seafarers on their vessels around the world, and impedes the global distribution of vaccines and PPE.
ICS will join three of the B20’s high level taskforces, covering trade, energy, and finance & infrastructure.
This announcement comes as senior figures from across the international shipping community met at today’s (virtual) annual ICS board meeting. Key issues facing global shipping, which carries 90% of world trade, were discussed. The board was briefed on the findings of a major research report looking at the impact of trade protectionism in maritime economies, conducted by leading academics from Harvard University.
The report, which will be made public later this month, will be the most comprehensive assessment of restrictive trade policies currently being implemented worldwide, and is anticipated to be showcased to the G20 itself.
Confindustria, the Confederation of Italian Industry, the unique B20 host organization, nominated ICS to be a ‘Network Partner.’ Network Partners support the B20 by providing insights and partnerships with international business organisations and associations. The taskforces which ICS will partner on are:
ICS will also highlight the issues surrounding the decarbonisation of the shipping sector, something the ICS terms the ‘fourth propulsion revolution’.
Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the ICS, commented:
“We are delighted to be able to support the work of the B20, at what will be a critical time for the G20 as the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The need for shipping to have a seat at the highest table of international businesses has never been clearer. Shipping is the vital link in the delivery of food, medicines and other vital goods around the world. We look forward to seeking a solution for the industry in terms of trade regulations and the equitable transition to a zero emissions industry.”
Mario Mattioli, Chairman of Confitarma (the Italian Confederation of Shipowners) commented:
“Renewed commitment and a regenerated coordination between the public and private sector are vital across all sectors this year. The presence of ICS with Confitarma in the B20 taskforces is a welcome step in the right direction.”