Introductory remarks by Angel Gurría
Paris, 23 November 2017
(As prepared for delivery)
Dear Prime Minister, dear Minister, Ambassadors, Excellencies,
It is my great honour to welcome and introduce Beata Szydlo, Prime Minister of Poland. The Prime Minister will share with us today her views about fostering inclusive and dynamic growth in Poland through a whole-of-government approach – the Strategy for Responsible Development.
Prime Minister Szydlo has crafted a distinguished political career spanning two decades. She became the mayor of Brzeszcze in 1998 and has been a member of the Parliament for three consecutive terms, elected in 2005, 2007 and 2011, becoming the vice president of the party Law and Justice in 2010.
Since Prime Minister Szydlo took office in November 2015, following the landslide victory of her party, Poland has made remarkable strides in moving up global value chains and driving down unemployment to a record-low level (of 4.6% in September 2017). We project GDP growth to exceed 4% this year , supported by strong domestic demand, growing business confidence and recovery in investment. We, Prime Minister, stand ready to support you in designing and implementing the structural reforms that can sustain this momentum.
A year ago, I had the pleasure to visit Warsaw to celebrate 20 years of Poland’s membership within the OECD. As I expressed in my address to the Prime Minister and the Polish government then, the OECD members and partner countries have benefitted tremendously in learning from Poland’s economic development and its resilience to international shocks including the financial crisis.
Poland has been an active member in OECD’s engagement in the Eurasia region providing support in particular to our work with Ukraine, Mongolia and Tajikistan. Poland is co-chairing the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Initiative of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme, and will become vice-chair of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Roundtable in 2018.
Poland has also been actively involved in our work on BEPS, and will be among the first OECD members to deposit the ratification instrument of the Multilateral Convention.
Throughout our partnership, the OECD has been actively engaged in supporting Poland in key priority areas. For example, OECD studies informed the “National Strategy of Regional Development 2010-2020” and the “National Urban Policy 2023”. And today, we are presenting to you a Better Policies Series report, which suggests ways in which we can support Poland in achieving the SDGs, including through the implementation of the Strategy for Responsible Development.
Dear Prime Minister,
Please count on the OECD to advance the domestic reform agenda of your country and your leadership efforts in the international fora, not least as you prepare to host COP 24 next December. Together, let us deliver better policies for better lives in Poland and around the world.
I now look forward to hearing your own personal take on the challenges ahead and your plans for tackling them. Prime Minister Szydlo, the floor is yours.
OECD work on Global Value Chains