Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, delivered at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting 2014
Paris, France, 6 May 2014 – 10h20
Prime Minister Abe, Prime Minister Bratušek, Ministers, Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to launch the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Programme to elevate our long-standing engagement with the region to a higher level. Thank you for attending this key event during our OECD Week.
Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic regional economies on the planet. It has been experiencing sustained growth for 15 years and according to our “2014 Economic Outlook of Southeast Asia”, growth in the region will average 5.4% per year between 2014 and 2018.
However, the region is still facing important challenges, particularly for maintaining its impressive momentum, and transforming its economies to reach higher levels of development and inclusiveness.
The OECD stands ready to help the region address these challenges. We aim to bring the OECD - Southeast Asia relationship to a new, more strategic level, creating more permanent structures for the exchange of good policy practices.
The Programme also aims to support domestic reform processes and contribute to regional integration initiatives, while facilitating access to the expertise of OECD bodies and adherence to our instruments. We also want to learn from this economic success story that is South East Asia.
In building this Programme, we consulted broadly with experts and high level representatives from Southeast Asia and OECD countries, and with many regional institutions. So we have great expectations. Now we have to deliver.
Prime Minister Abe, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you to Japan for its invariable and invaluable support.
The launch of the Southeast Asia Programme marks a new chapter in our flourishing relationship with the region. I am confident that, with a lot of hard work, political will and some time, we will make the most of this partnership to face our common challenges and deliver, together, ‘better polices for better lives’.
Prime Minister Abe, you have the floor.