We therefore need a “copernician” change in our approach to the growth – inequality nexus: let’s not think growth first, and inequality thereafter but let’s consider both of them, together, in their circularity. In other words, let’s think “Inclusive Growth”, right from the start, and let’s make it another touchstone of our efforts and complement the Pittsburgh tryptic of strong, sustainable and balanced growth!
Going for Growth is the OECD’s flagship report on structural policies. The purpose of Going for Growth is to help governments setting a reform agenda to improve citizens’ well-being. It has been instrumental in helping G20 countries to develop growth strategies to raise their combined gross domestic product (GDP) by 2% over baseline projections by 2018 – as agreed by G20 Leaders in Brisbane last year.
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.