Remarks by Angel Gurría,
3 June 2015
Excellencies, Ministers and Ambassadors,
Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome Ministers Mauro Vieira and Joaquim Levy to the OECD. Their participation in our Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) underscores the growing strength of the relationship between Brazil and the OECD, illustrated by today’s signature of a Cooperation Agreement.
Our collaboration with Brazil began more than 20 years ago. Brazil’s participation in OECD committees, such as the Steel Committee, dates back to the early 1990s.
Since then, Brazil’s participation has grown to involve 18 OECD Committees. Brazil’s Vice-Chairmanship in the Governing Board of PISA, and the Steel Committee, highlights the importance that Brazil attaches to helping lead – and shape – the Organisation’s work. Brazil has also shown leadership in global governance, adhering to no fewer than 16 OECD legal instruments, including the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, and the Anti-bribery Convention.
Brazil constantly brings fresh perspectives to pressing policy debates, enriching the work of the OECD in many ways. This has been the case, for example, in our work on inclusive growth, on new approaches to economic challenges, and on taxes.
Our engagement with Brazil was further strengthened when it was designated by our Members, in 2007 – together with China, India, Indonesia and South Africa – as an OECD Key Partner. A central feature of this status is the direct and active participation of these countries in the work of substantive bodies of the Organisation. And Brazil has helped to sharpen the OECD’s contributions to the G20 by sharing its own experiences in areas such as youth employment and agricultural productivity.
The most exciting part of the Brazil-OECD partnership is the impact that it has had on the lives of Brazilian people. Today, Brazilians benefit from one of the best competition frameworks in Latin America. This is the result of important reform efforts, and can play an important role in tackling inequality. The prices of basic foodstuffs and medicines, for example, are often hardest hit by the lack of competition. I am pleased to see that the OECD’s recommendations have made a contribution.
The work we did on the issue of integrity in the public administration of Brazil, both for the government and for the Congress, is becoming increasingly relevant and may result in further co-operation on this subject.
The ongoing environmental performance review of Brazil will support efforts to protect biodiversity, and the seventh economic survey of Brazil will put forward recommendations to improve industrial performance and the efficiency of health policies.
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s agreement lays the foundations for a more detailed, systematic, and this more productive and more predictable co-operation programme. This will see the OECD putting its full range of expertise at the disposal of Brazil as it implements its ambitious reform agenda. Together, we are – in a very concrete way – “Investing in Brazil’s and the OECD’s Future”, to paraphrase the title of our MCM. Both will benefit.
We live in challenging times, and have a collective responsibility to deliver results for our people, for our planet, and to advance prosperity worldwide. We are proud and honoured to partner with Brazil to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives. Thank you.