Organised by the OECD Development Centre, the OECD/Korea Policy Centre and the KDI School of Public Policy and Management, the Regional Seminar on “Narrowing development gaps in Southeast Asia: A policy dialogue on inclusive growth” took place on 15 & 16 February 2012 in Seoul, South Korea.
The economic development of the last two decades characterised by a major realignment of the global economy towards emerging and developing countries – a phenomenon called “shifting wealth” – offers new opportunities to improve not only economic but also social outcomes. However, rapid growth in Asia is also associated with persisting vulnerability and high inequalities putting social cohesion under threat and risking long-term development prospects. This situation calls for an examination of development paradigms and the policy options for more equally shared progress. New policy solutions are needed to promote and foster social cohesion in a changing Asia.
The seminar shared the findings of the OECD Development Centre’s latest annual publications: the Southeast Asian Economic Outlook (SAEO) 2011/12, including its in-depth study on green growth, to give a macroeconomic context of the region; and the Perspectives on Global Development (PGD) 2012, to present the issue of social cohesion. The event was an opportunity to take stock of how different societies are dealing with the development gaps and social consequences of past growth paths and the types of policies that have been put in place to help attain an inclusive growth and strengthen the level of cohesiveness in the society. A mini-workshop on the second day allowed for brainstorming on how best to measure and evaluate policies geared towards fostering social cohesion.
The seminar gathered policy makers and experts from the region for an informal dialogue on the policy challenges and best practices for an inclusive growth that promotes social cohesion.