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Meeting with G20 business and trade union representatives

September 6, 2013

On the second day of the G20 summit, the G20 leaders met with business and trade union representatives from the G20 countries.

Participants in the Business 20 and Labour 20 groups presented their recommendations to the G20 leaders at the meeting.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you all here to St Petersburg, to this meeting between the G20 leaders and G20 business and trade union representatives. 

Our meetings are becoming a fine tradition. We have met regularly over the course of the year. The Russian presidency made this the norm. We met on a number of occasions with business and trade union representatives.

I must say that this initiative came from the business and trade union representatives themselves. We have held regular consultations and studied carefully the recommendations the Business 20 and Labour 20 have presented. Friends and colleagues, I stress the point that the proposals we have drafted take into account a lot of what you said during our discussions.

I want to say a few words separately on two issues that we are set to discuss in just an hour’s time with the G20 leaders. By the way, two of our colleagues are still on their way – the German Chancellor and the British Prime Minister. We finished very late yesterday, around 2.30am, and so this is all understandable. Please excuse us for not all being here yet.

Turning to the actual substance of our meeting, we agree with your view that a lot still needs to be done to increase direct investment and trans-border investment in infrastructure. There is still not enough investment in this area. 

We need to take a comprehensive approach to resolving issues related to free movement of capital and also the problem of insufficient projects with attractive returns. Unfortunately, we still come up against the problem of getting sufficient bank loans. Demand for long-term investment is growing all around the world, and one of the biggest priorities now is to stimulate private investment, especially in infrastructure. This was something that many of my colleagues discussed yesterday evening.

During our earlier meetings, we discussed guarantees, effective management, spreading the latest experience, and developing public-private partnerships. We also share your views regarding the employment situation and job creation.

Measures to develop the job market and invest in human capital must include free access to compulsory, high-quality education tailored to the job market’s needs, establishing a favourable environment for business development, including among young people, and a more effective migration policy that is better adjusted to the market’s real labour demands.

Effective labour market policy is always the product of compromises reached through discussion between employers and trade unions with the state authorities’ direct mediation. Success depends on ensuring balance between labour supply and demand, labour market flexibility and social protection of workers, wages based on labour productivity and labour productivity’s relation to working conditions, and coordination of employers’ and employees’ respective interests. If we manage to reach a balance, we can be sure of achieving a high degree of effective management.

Colleagues, I will not tire you with long speeches. I want to give all my colleagues the chance to speak. But to start with, I propose that we hear first from the business and trade union representatives themselves.


September 6, 2013