The following letter was sent as an open letter to G20 Employment Ministers from leaders of major global industry associations, including the travel and tourism sector, ahead of the Ministers’ 23 April ‘extraordinary’ virtual meeting:
We, the leadership of major global industry associations, call on G20 Employment Ministers, ahead of their extraordinary meeting on 23 April 2020, to urgently remove bottlenecks to economic relief and increase financial assistance to enterprises worldwide in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) joins with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Road Transport Union (IRU), International Apparel Federation (IAF) and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in making this declaration to the G20 ministers. IOE represents more than 50 million companies. IATA, IRU, IAF and WTTC collectively account for 700 million jobs across the aviation, road transport, apparel, travel and tourism industry, almost a quarter of the global workforce.
IOE plays a crucial role within the G20 employment process by bringing the voice of business and monitoring the implementation of their commitments at the national level.
The Covid-19 pandemic is above all a human tragedy, which is having disastrous consequences on the health of hundreds of thousands of people. Tackling the health emergency is our first priority. At the same time, as a result of Covid-19 containment measures, the industries we represent, as well as others, are severely impacted by the economic shockwave with unprecedented number of companies on the verge of collapse. A huge number of small and medium enterprises are affected by dire consequences threatening their sustainability. This puts millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk. This also hampers our collective capacity to drive any economic recovery. In today’s interconnected global economy, the spill-over effects created by the failure of one critical industry will result in the collapse of the others.
While we welcome the commitments made by the G20 during the Leaders’ Summit of 26 March, we regret that the economic stimulus packages that were pledged are insufficient or have not yet reached the real economy, especially SMEs. This is because processes to access financial support are too complex and difficult to activate, when what is needed is efficiency and simplicity. We therefore strongly urge G20 Employment Ministers to bolster their financial support and facilitate their swift implementation. Without immediate and stronger action taken by all governments, the impact of business closures will have deep-rooted economic and social effects that will shatter the foundations for any immediate economic recovery.
We urge the G20 to strengthen global coordination to overcome the global challenges related to the pandemic. Too many global supply chains, mobility and logistics networks are adversely impacted by unilateral decisions. Employers’ organisations can help the G20 to achieve its social and economic objectives relating to recovery if we are consulted and involved in the negotiation, implementation and follow-up of the crisis response.
In these difficult times, IOE, IATA, IRU, IAF and WTTC join forces and stand ready, through their global networks, to work with governments and all stakeholders to ensure recovery efforts are implemented effectively. We believe that by working together we can achieve a rapid global recovery that will benefit G20 States, their citizens and the wider world.
The letter was signed by:
Mr Roberto Suarez-Santos, Secretary General, International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
Mr Alexandre De Juniac, Director General, International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Mr Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General, International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Ms Gloria Guevera, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
Mr Matthijs Crietee, Director General, International Apparel Federation (IAF).