OECD Secretarty-General Angel Gurría and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala at the OECD Headquarters
The President of Peru, Mr. Ollanta Humala, visited the OECD on Thursday, 15 November, to participate in an informal meeting of the OECD Council and to hold a bilateral meeting with Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD.
Remarks by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría
Paris, 15th November 2012
(As prepared for delivery)
It is an honour to welcome Mr. Ollanta Humala, the President of the Republic of Peru, here at the OECD. We thank you for being with us and for addressing this special session of the OECD Council. Let me also welcome Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rafael Roncagliolo Orbegos, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Luis Miguel Castilla Rubio. I also want to thank the Peruvian Ambassador to France, Ms. Cristina Velita Laboureix and her Embassy for their most valuable support in organising this event, including the fantastic display of Peruvian art, costumes and music that you saw on your way down to this room.
President Humala does not need a specific introduction, but let me nevertheless provide you with some brief facts. As well as a distinguished military career which actually included serving here in France as Military Attaché, President Humala has been an active force in Peruvian politics. In 2005, he founded the Peruvian Nationalist Party and took office as President in July 2011. Among other studies, he holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.
For his political term, Mr Humala defined a key policy priority with which I could not agree more – to promote social inclusion and reduce poverty by half from nearly 30% in 2011 when he took office to 15% by 2016. In this context, Peru’s government established the new Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion. The country is now implementing a multi-billion-dollar social development programme with a focus on pre-natal care, nutrition programs and primary education. Indeed, all this is impressive, and we commend the Government for its efforts to give Peru’s citizens the chance to fulfil their full potential.
In pursuing this goal, Peru can build on a decade of political stability and strong economic growth. From 2001-2008, real GDP growth averaged at 9%. In 2011, the economy grew by almost 7% and is expected to grow by nearly 6% in 2012. Foreign Direct Investment has also been on the rise for the first half of 2012, with a 31% increase compared to last year. Free trade agreements have been signed with Canada, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and the United States, and a new agreement is being finalised with the European Union. Peru is also part of the new Pacific Economic Alliance, along with Colombia and Mexico.
We congratulate Peru on these achievements, but as the President has repeatedly underlined, we need to translate this economic progress into social progress and the improvement in the living conditions of the population by fighting poverty, reducing inequalities and bringing opportunities to all.
Mr. President, the OECD is here to help you.
Let me point out my satisfaction for our growing co-operation:
We look forward to strengthening this collaboration. I just shared with the President the Latin American Economic Outlook 2013, which I will launch tomorrow at the Ibero-American Summit in Cadiz, as well as our most recent work on revenue statistics in the region. Most importantly, we just discussed the possibility of carrying out a multi-dimensional country review of Peru on the economic and social development in the country and the policies needed to foster it. This will help us define priority areas for future work between Peru and the OECD.
Mr. President, let me stress that the OECD attaches great importance to this co-operation. We look forward to hearing from you and learn how we can continue promoting “better policies for better lives” in Peru.
For a press release of President Humala's visit to the OECD, click here.