I am delighted to open this joint OECD-European Commission conference on Strategic Public Procurement. We are honoured to welcome leaders and experts from so many different policy communities and nationalities here today.
We are here today because we think it’s time to put water at the top of our global agenda. It’s time to get our water act together. I want to thank the Council on Foreign Relations for hosting us as we launch this call. And I thank in particular PJ Simmons for introducing this discussion.
Welcome to the 5th edition of the OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum. Let me begin by thanking the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mr. Robert Fico, and the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for joining us for this opening.
Trust in government has declined to an average of only 43% in OECD countries. Open governments are fundamental to recover that trust and to build sustainable and inclusive economies. Count on the OECD to achieve this crucial endeavor.
It is a pleasure to be here with you today to present the fruits of close co-operation between 50 international organisations. The continuous enthusiasm and joint efforts that have gone into the three years that led to the preparation of this report show we all continuously strive for excellence, reflecting together on how to be ever more relevant, effective and transparent.
Public procurement is one of the nerve centres of our economies: it represents, on average, 12% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 29% of total government expenditures across OECD countries. Used strategically, it can help make our economies more productive, our public sectors more efficient, and our societies and economies more inclusive, our institutions more trusted.
The Sustainable Development Goals give us a unique opportunity. The road to 2030 might be a long one, but the OECD will be there every step of the way. It is in this spirit that the OECD and OSF invited you here tonight: together we will look to develop the measures, uncover the evidence, and identify the policies that will deliver better access to justice.
The commitment shown by the Mexican administration in opening up government data is reflected in the country’s position in the OECD’s OUR data index of open, useful and reusable public data. Mexico is among the top 10 OECD countries in this respect and ranks above the OECD average, trailing the leading countries such as the USA and Canada by only a narrow margin.
Integrity is not just a moral issue; it’s also about making our economies more productive, our public sectors more efficient, our societies and our economies more inclusive. It’s about restoring trust, not just trust in government, but trust in public institutions, regulators, banks, and corporations.
I am pleased to join you today at the Forum of Arab Regulators on Corporate Governance. The OECD is deeply engaged in strengthening global economic governance by supporting the G7 and the G20, but also through regional initiatives with countries that do not participate in those fora.