New Delhi: The global economy faces short term challenges but is poised for growth in the long-term. Businesses should wait and watch, while moving on, felt the global business leaders at the B20 meeting of business organizations held in conjunction with the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico on 17th and 18th of June 2012. A coordinated effort by developed and emerging economies is required, felt business organization leaders.
Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan, President-Designate, Confederation of Indian Industry, and Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman, Infosys Limited, and Mr Ramesh Datla, Chairman, CII National Committee on IPR and Managing Director, Elico Ltd represented CII at the B20 Summit. Mr Gopalakrishnan chaired the B20 Task Force on Employment, one of the seven Task Forces under the B20 process.
Discussions on the global economy centered on the challenges arising from the Eurozone crisis and its impact on businesses. “There was consensus that businesses with large exposures would be impacted negatively; however, they have had time to prepare and a measured response can be expected to unfavorable developments,” said Mr Gopalakrishnan.
In the Task Force on Employment chaired by Mr Gopalakrishnan, participants deliberated on the challenges of unemployment facing the world today. There are close to 200 million unemployed people in the world, of which 40 million are in the advanced economies. Youth unemployment is a key concern as 75 million of the unemployed people are young entrants to the workforce.
The two key recommendations of the Task Force were to scale internships and apprenticeships across the G20 countries, and to facilitate growth of SMEs and innovative business models. Participants suggested that a few G20 countries pilot these recommendations to build momentum.
The Task Force also suggested that nations should undertake a strong commitment to strategic infrastructure investments, implement structural labour market reforms and policies, and improve collaboration between business and educational institutions. Mr Gopalakrishnan highlighted the success of Infosys’ Global Internship Program called InStep; for undergraduate, graduate and PhD students from top academic institutions around the world. Mr. Gopalakrishnan also spoke about Infosys’ Campus Connect program, a first of its kind Industry-Academia interaction program that facilitates sharing of Infosys’ best practices with various colleges, helping them align the needs of their faculty and students with those of the IT industry.
The existence of a skills gap has raised the need for investment in re-skilling and re-training of the existing workforce. Emerging areas of demand for talent also need to be identified and investments made accordingly, according to the recommendations of the Task Force.