Small and medium-sized enterprises are crucial for tracing new paths to more sustainable and inclusive growth, thanks to their role in providing employment. In the OECD area, SMEs provide the main source of employment and value creation, accounting for about 60 to 70% of employment and more than 50% of value added.
It is a great pleasure to open this sixth Annual Conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), under the very provocative title of “Liberté, égalité, fragilité”.
Last time I addressed the Committee in November 2013, we were still in crisis mode. Two weeks ago, the OECD released its Interim Economic Outlook and it seems that the Spring of 2015 has brought encouraging signs for the global economy. Lower oil prices and widespread monetary easing have raised the potential for the acceleration of growth that is so needed in many countries, especially in Europe.
Where many countries are still struggling with the legacies of the global financial crisis, Sweden is proving to be one of the more resilient economies in Europe and the OECD. This is very encouraging. Let me share with you our perspective of the Swedish economy, of its resilience, but also of the key challenges ahead and possible ways to address them.
It’s a pleasure for me to be able to open an Economic Survey speech with a truly positive message. I’ve launched many surveys throughout the OECD in difficult times. There haven’t been many other occasions over the last years where I could stand up and say: things are looking good!
It has been a great honour to welcome President Cavaco Silva to the OECD – the first ever visit to the OECD by a Portuguese Head of State.
Sustainable supply chains can transform global trade and development by ensuring that businesses behave responsibly even in countries where social, environmental and human rights standards are weak or not adequately enforced. We have witnessed too often the disastrous consequences that can result if this is not done.
For over two years now, the New Approaches to Economic Challenges initiative has helped to transform the OECD’s economic thinking and acting, to adjust and renew our analyses, models and recommendations. We have come a long way.
Today we are here to talk about a new approach to growth. A type of growth that we aspire for future generations: more resilient, more inclusive and greener. We have intensified our efforts to revise our economic thinking and acting, our analyses, models and recommendations, and are now beginning to see concrete results which we are streamlining into our policy advice.
The United Kingdom has made tremendous progress in recovering from the largest economic crisis in 80 years. And this progress has laid the foundations for further reforms needed to boost productivity and inclusiveness.