I am delighted to be back in Brussels to present the OECD’s 2017 Economic Survey of Belgium. Let me begin by thanking Prime Minister Michel for hosting us today in his beautiful residence “Le Lambermont”, and the Belgian authorities for their support in the preparation of this Survey.
I am delighted to join you in Berlin for the launch of the 2017 African Economic Outlook: Entrepreneurship and Industrialisation. This is the 16th edition in our annual series, one of the many fruits of our partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB). Its release today is a good opportunity to reflect on strengthening our work with African countries ahead of the G20 Africa Summit.
Welcome to the launch of the OECD Economic Outlook. Before handing over to our Chief Economist Catherine Mann, who will elaborate on the report, I would like to highlight a few of the main messages. These messages dovetail with the key issues before us in this Ministerial Council Meeting.
Growth seems to be slowly picking up. This is good news. But we are still facing a vicious circle of low productivity growth, sluggish demand, stagnant wages and, in many G7 countries, rising or high levels of inequalities.
Latest indicators of rising business confidence and industrial production are welcome. However, we have been here before over the past five years and left “Waiting for Godot” – for the recovery that never comes. There are reasons to be more optimistic this time around. But we have not yet decisively escaped the low-growth trap. Growth in productivity and wages remains lackluster. Inequality and political tensions are high.
It is a great pleasure to be here today with the Friends of the OECD Parliamentary Group. We are honoured by the presence of my good friend, Nikai-san, who was the driving force in establishing this Group in 2014, when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Japan’s membership in the OECD.
It is a great pleasure to be back in Tokyo to present the OECD’s 2017 Economic Survey of Japan. Let me thank the Japanese Government, in particular the Cabinet Office, for their support in the preparation of this Survey.
Remarks by Alvaro S. Pereira, Director, Country Studies, Economics Dept
I am delighted to be back in Madrid to present the latest OECD Economic Survey of Spain. I would like to thank Minister Guindos for his kind invitation, and to pay tribute to the excellent collaboration between the OECD and his team during the preparation of this report.
What a pleasure it is to be in Madrid once again to participate as a speaker in the La Caixa forum on Economy and Society. I am grateful to Caixa Bank and its president, Jordi Gual, for this invitation. Tomorrow we shall be presenting the OECD’s 2017 Economic Survey of Spain, so I would like to prepare the ground a day in advance by sharing with you some of the OECD’s thoughts about the world economy.