When people ask how’s life in Israel, we can tell them that life satisfaction, health status and educational attainment of Israelis is well above the OECD average. We also know that challenges remain, particularly as regards income poverty, housing and air quality.
In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea in search of international protection. 1.5 million claimed asylum in OECD countries. This is almost twice the number recorded in 2014. At the same time, they represent only about 0.1% of the total OECD population, and, even in Europe, they represent less than 0.3% of the total EU population. Europe has the capacity and the experience to deal with this inflow.
Without effective implementation, we risk consigning the BEPS reports to books gathering dust on shelves. That is why your efforts to transform the BEPS agreement into reality – evidenced by your signature of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for the automatic exchange of country‑by-country reports – are so important.
I want to congratulate Deputy Secretary-General Stefan Kapferer on his move to become the head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).
Technology and innovation are crucial to solving Latin America’s twin challenges – low productivity and high inequality. The OECD is working intensively to bridge the two.
We in the OECD share a conviction with many of you: “Policies to foster innovation, raise productivity in an inclusive way and reduce inequality at the same time are critical for the future well-being and the future of our societies.”
We gather here as labour market conditions are improving. Job creation is strengthening in many countries, in no small part thanks to policy efforts made by many of you during these difficult years. But there are still over 40 million people looking for work in OECD countries, 8 million more than in December 2007.
Globalisation, demographic trends and technological change are transforming jobs in our economy. The overall organisation of work and the skills needed in the workplace are undergoing profound and rapid changes. It is imperative for us to remain ahead of the curve and to be able to provide the necessary tools for workers, companies and labour markets to adapt to these changes efficiently.
This group has become a key forum for discussing emerging challenges and promoting novel ways of addressing them. It offers opportunities for cross-committee, inter-disciplinary and horizontal discussion not only to think about policy linkages, trade-offs and complementarities, but also to do some soul-searching, learn from the past, and update our analytical frameworks in order to address the present and, above all, the future.
Allow me to share some thoughts with you about how we at the OECD view the international economic context and the situation and trends in Mexico.