10/12/2001 - Globalisation provides new opportunities for devolved government. By tailoring economic policies to exploit local capabilities, regional and city authorities can often be more effective than central governments in meeting the challenges of tougher international competition, according to a new OECD report.
Devolution and Globalisation: Implications for Local Decision-Makers argues for the promotion of economic growth through local networks and partnerships among the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. By making their institutions and strategies more flexible, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship, human capital and social cohesion, cities and regions will be better able than national government to ensure that development policy is adapted to local needs.
Devolution also provides opportunities for innovation. The report assesses the lessons to be drawn from "clusters" of firms, particularly in Italy, that have established webs of complementary activities in the same geographical area. Although the success of such clusters in the global marketplace has often depended on their specifically local economic, cultural and social assets, certain aspects could provide the basis for effective local policy in other countries, says the report. These include local professional training, the ability to match demand for new industrial buildings quickly, the provision of small credits and guarantees and the development of common service centres for businesses.
The report is the first major publication of the OECD Forum of Cities and Regions, created at the Glasgow conference on Devolution and Globalisation in February 2000.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Jonathan Potter of the OECD's Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED) , tel :  1 45 24 89 77.
"Devolution and Globalisation: Implications for Local Decision-Makers"
274 pages, OECD, Paris 2001
Electronic version available (pdf)
€40; FF262.38; US$36; DM78.23
ISBN 92-64-19656-0 (04 01 18 1)