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There is no long-term, robust growth without gender equality, a critical ingredient of any strategy for resilient and more inclusive growth. Investment in women boosts economic development, competitiveness, job creation and GDP.
Six years into the crisis and a robust recovery is still distant. The global economy is continuing to expand at a moderate and uneven pace. International trade, global investment and credit are still hesitant. The threat of so-called ‘secular stagnation’ remains high, especially in Europe.
As the target year of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, work on their successor framework is now well underway. In addition, 2015 will be a crucial year for the environment, and for our common future: the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) will convene in Paris in December with the aim of reaching a universal agreement to tackle climate change.
As a result of continued policy support and favourable financial conditions, global growth is expected to be somewhat more vigorous in the latter part of 2014 and into 2015. Nonetheless, the OECD’s recent Interim Assessment has revised growth projections downwards for most major economies as the recovery is turning out to be weaker than expected.
The OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, congratulates Prime Minister Renzi on the passing by the Italian Senate of a bill enabling the government to elaborate a comprehensive reform of the labour market – the so-called Jobs Act.
Persistently weak demand in Europe is the root cause of slow job creation. It risks making unemployment becoming structural. It is now high time to focus on strategic policies to sustain the recovery and to create the decent jobs that our people so much need and deserve.
Barriers to youth employment, such as high non-wage labour costs and strict regulations – which discourage employers from hiring on open-ended contracts – should be eliminated. Greater opportunities to combine work and study, and to boost skills, are needed.
Six years into the crisis, many economies are still struggling to find a path to a confident recovery and stronger growth. And they are doing this in unchartered territory. Governments are now facing a very complex scenario, where they have to deal simultaneously with a series of short-term, medium-term and long-term challenges.
The OECD has worked closely with both the European Commission and the Committee of Regions for many years and continues to do so to promote effective regional development. In this respect, the OECD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Committee of the Regions, recognising prior and future work together.
This edition of the Forum is called “By Africa, For Africa”. The choice of title underscores the importance of African citizens, African companies and African governments as drivers of the development process. The OECD is here to listen, to engage, and to strengthen this unique partnership with Africa and its institutions.