As part of the OECD Initiative on Inclusive Growth, the KSA supports consultations at a regional level to foster knowledge sharing and policy dialogue on Inclusive Growth (IG) with key partners and partner countries, and to integrate lessons from these countries into the OECD Framework on Inclusive Growth.
A joint OECD and UNECLAC regional consultation on Inclusive Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was held in Santiago de Chile in November 2013 as an input to the OECD Framework for Inclusive Growth. This region was selected as a first pilot given the brisk economic growth experienced in the region over the last decade, which was accompanied by poverty reduction, job creation and a reduction of inequalities. The meeting provided excellent insights into the types of policies and actions LAC countries put in place (e.g. pro-growth structure reforms, social policies targeting underserved populations) that contributed to making growth in the region more inclusive. Background documents and editorial notes were prepared by experts in advance of the meeting and a summary note and short paper on inclusive growth in LAC were prepared. The outcomes of the meeting provided valuable insights that informed OECD work on the Inclusive Growth Policy Framework, and were reflected in the analysis put forth in the OECD report All on Board: Making Inclusive Growth Happen launched at the 2014 OECD Meeting of the Council at the Ministerial level.
The OECD organised a second regional consultation in Southeast Asia in collaboration with UNESCAP and the ADB on 9 June 2015 at the ESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. This region was selected as a follow-up to LAC because it has been one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing regions in the world, with GDP growth rates projected to average 5.4% per annum between 2014 and 2018. Yet, despite high growth rates, there are still significant barriers to growth that need to be addressed, and enormous challenges to be overcome in the shape of tackling poverty and developing human capital. The consultation revealed that inequalities and inclusive growth figure prominently in the policy agenda of governments in the region. The workshop also confirmed the merit of working with regional organisations (ESCAP and ADB) to help boost the OECD’s capacity and influence to bring together key regional stakeholders to share ideas and debate policies. Background documents and editorial notes were prepared by experts in advance of the meeting and a summary note and short paper on inclusive growth in SEA were prepared. A summary report on Inclusive Growth in Southeast Asia was produced and has been published on the OECD website.
Discussions are on-going with relevant Directorates and regional partners on the idea of creating a Network for Policy Dialogue on Inclusive Growth, involving countries in the two regions (LAC and SEA), which could support the discussions and implementation of the SDGs around inclusivity. The new Network could be designed following the successful models of the Policy Dialogue on Natural Resource-based Development and the OECD Initiative on Global Value Chains, Production Transformation and Development. From a substance perspective, the underlying work could develop an Inclusive Growth Framework to better match the needs of developing countries and exchange on the key underlying policy issues, including social protection, youth employment, and labour market policies, focusing on policy dialogues with the OECD countries.
As a follow-on to the regional consultation on inclusive growth in Southeast Asia, the KSA supported a policy dialogue with Viet Nam as part of the “OECD Day in Hanoi: New Perspectives for Viet Nam–OECD co-operation” on 18 November 2015. Some 60 government officials from all Ministries attended the event with strong level of engagement and constructive and well-focused suggestions, leading to some concrete ideas for possible co-operation with Viet Nam during the 2016-2020 period of the government’s new Development Plan. The strong political buy-in on the side of the Vietnamese helped facilitate the discussion, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs operating under a clear mandate received from the Prime Minister to work with the OECD. The OECD Framework for Inclusive Growth served as the unifying theme of the discussion which was timely and very much in synch with the priorities of the forthcoming National Development Plan that the Vietnamese government was finalising. There was an interest towards building a joint collaboration around Inclusive Growth; for example, the Development Centre is now exploring the possibility of a multidimensional review for Viet Nam.