Africa has made significant progress in recent years but important challenges to African development remain that we can break down into three linked areas. Let’s call them the “three i’s”: interconnectedness, investment, and inclusiveness.
Too often today, whether in the political or corporate worlds, the focus is squarely on the short-term: on the next election or the next quarter. Likewise, investors are incentivised to focus on shorter-term financial returns. As a result, we are failing to reap the social, economic and environmental returns of long-term productive investment.
OECD-Eurasia cooperation started over a decade ago with the Eurasian Corporate Governance Roundtable, established in 2001 to share good practices on corporate governance and institution building.
The G20 needs to go structural, social, and green! With fiscal and monetary policy room nearly exhausted, structural reforms are the best choices, sometimes the only choice. The OECD battle cry in this regard has been unchanged since 2008: “go structural!”.
The downturn in fixed investment among advanced economies from the onset of the global crisis was unusually severe, widespread and long-lasting relative to comparable episodes in the past and investment gaps are set to remain large relative to projected future long-term trends.
Policy has generated plenty of financial risk taking on the part of institutional and other investors, but the greatest paradox today is the decoupling between this, on the one hand, and ‘the great hesitation’ of companies to invest in real projects, and most notably in the area of infrastructure, on the other.
Since the start of the crisis, a growing number of OECD countries have been reporting declining inward and outward FDI, a phenomenon that could be described as ‘investment de-globalisation’. Governments must take immediate and vigorous action to reverse such trends by removing unnecessary barriers and complexities that hinder investment, said OECD Secretary-General.
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the OECD, and to be here with you to discuss the challenge of financing infrastructure in Africa.
This Global Forum plays an important role as the tool for on-going dialogue on responsible business conduct. I am pleased to announce that today, Ministers from over 20 countries are coming together to discuss how to integrate responsibility considerations throughout government policies. Their work will contribute to protect internationally recognised fundamental rights and to ensure good governance, fair regulations, and transparency.
Solving the long-term investment ‘puzzle’ must, by its very nature, be a joint effort between public and private sectors. Policymakers need to partner with institutional investors to find workable solutions, said OECD Secretary-General in Montreal.