Remarks by Angel Gurría,
OECD, Paris, 16 January 2017
Dear President of the Council of Ministers, dear Ambassadors, Excellencies,
I am honoured and delighted to introduce the President of the Council of Ministers of Peru, Mr. Fernando Zavala, to the members of the OECD Council. This is the first time that the administration of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who took office in July of last year, addresses the OECD’s premier decision-making body. But it will not be the first time that you hear their interest in the OECD. Actually, let me say that this has been a very elegant political transition, and their interest in the OECD was confirmed. But independently of the OECD, the country had very interesting circumstances whereby the party that won the majority got the Parliament but not the Presidency. This only happens in countries like France, where “cohabitation” happens. In the case of Peru this seems to be working as they have already approved a myriad of laws and reforms that are putting the country in a very nice place to continue growing.
On the other hand, the speed and intensity with which the OECD’s collaboration with Peru has increased in just a few years has been remarkable. Peru has made the best use of our ambitious Country Programme, launched in 2015.
After only two years of implementation, the engagement of Peru in the work at the OECD, and with OECD standards has increased substantially. Actually, the presence of Peru in many of the OECD committees is quite remarkable. Peru now participates in eight committees, as an associate or participant; it has adhered to key OECD legal instruments including the Anti-Bribery Convention; and is in the process of adhering to the Codes of Liberalisation of Capital Movements and Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations. This is the first country to ask to join the Codes, regardless of whether or not they are in the formal process of accession.
Peru has also been taking good advantage of OECD expertise. The country commissioned over 10 reviews in areas such as health, economic growth, public governance, territorial development, and statistics, amongst others. And most importantly, the government has been implementing the recommendations that have emerged from these reviews to reform the Peruvian economy and the public administration. They are one of the most active reformers.
Examples include the restructuring of the Presidency of the Council of Ministries drawing from the Public Governance Review; advancing its decentralisation process in line with the recommendations of the Territorial Review; and reforming the Framework for Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) on the basis of the Recommendation of the OECD Council on Principles for Public Governance of Public-Private Partnerships. The second Multi-dimensional Review was launched last October, providing recommendations to diversify production, improve transport connectivity and promote formal employment. Finally, Peru is member of the Development Centre since 2009 and has contributed to the development policy debate ever since.
Peru has also built a solid reputation stemming from its sound economic management, buoyant economic growth and social progress. Between 2000 and 2015, it grew by an average of 5.2% per year, and projections for 2016 and 2017 remain encouraging at 3.9% and 4.2% respectively, while the world continues with a low growth trap and Latin America cannot distance themselves from this.
In addition, the poverty rate saw a sharp decline, from 55% in 2001 to 21% in 2015. However, like OECD countries and many other LAC countries, it needs to keep the pace of reforms, particularly under the current uncertain international environment. Since President Kuczynski took office, his priority has been to undertake a "social revolution" and fight income inequality, tackle corruption and reduce informality. The OECD is here to assist Peru in this ambitious programme.
Peru’s engagement with the OECD via its Country Programme has also coincided with a very active international agenda, reflecting the country’s commitment to multilateralism and global governance. Peru plays an important role in bringing the OECD closer to Latin America and the Caribbean, as Co-Chair (along with Chile) of the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme. Its Presidency of the COP20 in 2014-15, along with its hosting of the IMF-World Bank Meetings, ECLAC’s Social Development Conference, APEC Meetings and Pro-tempore Presidency of the Pacific Alliance in 2015-2016 also demonstrate the country’s commitment to global governance and cooperation.
Mr. President of the Council of Ministers, we look forward to continue strengthening our relationship with Peru as you continue to advance your ambitious reform agenda. You may rely on our expertise to translate better policies into better lives for the citizens of Peru.
It is with great pleasure that I give you the floor.