Remarks by Ángel Gurría
8 June 2019 - Fukuoka, Japan
(as prepared for delivery)
Dear Deputy Prime Minister, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am happy to announce that OECD Ministers adopted last month the revised OECD Code of Liberalisation of Capital Movements, concluding thus the first revision in over 20 years. The Code is the only multilateral agreement and tool providing for the management of the full range of cross-border capital flows between its 36 members.
This is a major achievement. 10 years after the global financial crisis, all Code adherents have agreed that an enhanced and modern multilateral framework for managing capital flows is needed and have taken action to make the Code stronger, giving it better governance, transparency, and decision-making capacity.
The Review has made the Code better adapted to current requirements of capital flow management for both advanced and emerging economies. The revised Code provides countries with the flexibility needed to respond to financial stability concerns, linked to large capital inflows and outflows, without diluting the Code’s high standards of openness which are themselves encapsulated in the “transparency - accountability – proportionality” trilogy promoted by the Code’s rules and its implementation mechanisms. In a financially ever more integrated world with increased capital flow spillovers, it provides a solid platform for multilateral debate, cooperation and consensus-making, discouraging countries from pursuing “beggar-thy-neighbour policies”.
The Code’s governance has improved with a move to a consensus-minus one voting rule for assessment of country-specific measures. This reform will ensure an enhanced effectiveness of the Codes going forward and is an illustration of a more effective multilateralism at work
The Code is now even more relevant globally, at a time when major emerging economies are opening up their capital accounts. In Latin America, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and Peru are following the path of their OECD neighbours Chile, Mexico and Colombia in making credible commitments to progressive liberalisation as part of the process of adherence to the Code. South Africa is the first African country to have applied to the Code and is making important progress in modernizing its framework for exchange controls. India and China are also gradually moving towards allowing greater capital mobility. Going forward, I hope and trust that a broader set of countries will be able to rely on the revised Code as they continue opening their economies. I’m equally confident that the Code will support G20 countries in their efforts to carefully calibrate and clearly communicate their policy actions to mitigate uncertainty, minimise negative spillovers and promote transparency. Thank you.