Queen Máxima to visit G20 Summit in Rome
Her Majesty Queen Máxima is to visit the G20 summit in Rome from Thursday 28 until Sunday 31 October. Italy holds the Presidency of the G20 until 30 November. Queen Máxima will be attending the summit in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) and as honorary patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). The three main pillars of the agenda of the Italian presidency are People, Planet and Prosperity.
On Saturday 30 October the Queen, together with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, will co-host the G20 side-event ‘Supporting SMEs and women-owned businesses to build back better’. She will give a short speech, attended by government leaders, on what is necessary to help SMEs recover, grow and improve their financial resilience. SMEs are important providers of employment all over the world and have a major role to play in driving economic recovery during and after the coronavirus crisis. Research by the World Bank Group shows that the crisis has had a negative impact on many small businesses, particularly women-owned businesses in developing countries.
In her speech Queen Máxima will consider the importance of innovative forms of finance for businesses whose growth and development opportunities are restricted by their inability to borrow money from banks. The Queen will also ask for a greater focus on coaching for business owners to help them improve how their operations are run and boost productivity. Other points that require attention are training workers to maintain their employability, labour market mobility and the importance of digitalisation. In the margins of the G20, Queen Máxima will have bilateral talks with government representatives of several countries actively working to improve access to financial services. She will also attend a number of meetings.
On 4 October 2021 Queen Máxima gave an online speech at the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) symposium ‘Coping with new (and old) vulnerabilities in the post-pandemic world’ (Government Information Service press release, no. 287). On 30 November 2020, in the run-up to Italy’s G20 Presidency, she discussed inclusive financing in an online meeting with the then Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and with Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy. She also participated in an online discussion with experts in this area (Government Information Service press release, no. 239, 2020). On 4 December 2020 she held a virtual meeting with Dr Roberto Gualtieri, Italy’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance.
Since 2009, Queen Máxima has been working worldwide in her capacity as the UNSGSA to make financial services available to all, including low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises, thus enhancing their opportunities for economic and social development. As honorary patron of the GPFI since 2011, she strives to advance the G20’s work on inclusive finance.