Ms. Carolyn Ervin, Director, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD; H.E. Ms. Christina Narbona Ruiz, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Spain to the OECD; H.E. Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in Charge of Economic and General Affairs, Morocco; H.E. Mr. Mohammed Saâd El Alami, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in Charge of Public Sector Modernisation, Morocco; H.E. Mr. Chris Hoornaert, Ambassador, Delegation of Belgium to the OECD, and Co-Chair of the MENA-OECD Governance Programme; and Mr. Rolf Alter, Director, Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD
For a slideshow of meeting highlights, click here
The Steering Group of the two pillars of the MENA-OECD Initiative for Governance and Investment met on 3 May, including in two joint sessions in the morning. This meeting of the Steering Group was the first high level event since the highly productive Ministerial Meeting held in Marrakech in November 2009. The Initiative has kept its momentum since the Ministerial, with many policy and capacity development events moving the work forward.
Participants from 15 MENA countries, 15 OECD countries, international and regional organisations, the private sector and non-governmental organisations discussed policies and actions to rebuild trust in government and business leadership as a precondition for sustained economic growth over the long term. They acknowledged that the global financial and economic crisis has demonstrated that multilaterally coordinated responses and exit strategies are needed to restore economic recovery and long term growth.
A highlight of the joint session were the presentations by representatives of each of the eight regional centres supported by the MENA-OECD Initiative who demonstrated the high level of interesting activity, as well as regional ownership of the Initiative. The other major issue was the renewal of the mandate of the Initiative which is due to expire at the end of the year. Steering Group members recommended a renewal for a five-year period in view of the large and dense programme of work underway.
In the afternoon, the Governance and Investment pillars organised two parallel sessions. In the Governance Panel, the OECD Secretariat presented key findings of the first Progress Report on Governance Reform in the MENA region and showcased how the planned MENA Governance Indicators publication can provide information describing key elements underlying government performance in the MENA region. Representatives from MENA and OECD countries outlined how the OECD Joint Learning Studies, Peer Reviews and Country Projects support reform on the national level, strengthen country capacity for designing, implementing, and monitoring public governance reforms.
In the Investment Panel, the OECD Secretariat presented recent macroeconomic developments in the MENA region and outlined remaining key challenges for MENA countries to create a more favourable business and investment climate. The future plan of work of the Investment Programme was presented and discussed with representatives from MENA and OECD countries. It was decided to focus work in the next phase of the Programme on effective implementation of reforms and capacity-building. Moreover, representatives from MENA countries presented country-specific projects implemented in co-operation with the Investment Programme, such as the Business Climate Development Strategy and the Iraq Project, and their contribution to recent reforms for a more favourable business climate.
To read the full meeting conclusions click here (PDF 286kb)
Session 1: Towards Long-Term Economic Growth: Rebuilding Trust in Government and Business Leadership
Session 2: Strengthening the regional frameworks: regional projects supported by the MENA-OECD Initiative
Governance Panel 3A: Roadmap for Implementing the Marrakech Declaration: The MENA-OECD Governance Programme 2011-15
Investment Panel 3B: Roadmap for Implementing the Marrakech Declaration: The MENA-OECD Governance Programme 2011-15