24/01/02 - The clustering of firms to provide complementary webs of activity in the same sector can improve a region's competitiveness and boost jobs, according to OECD studies. Policies aimed at sustaining such clusters, promoting local co-operation and safeguarding the environment will be at the heart of the International Conference of Territorial Development, 28-30 January, in Paris.
Organised by the OECD, the French government's Territorial Development Delegation (DATAR) and the French public financial institution, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, the three days of workshops, debates and exhibitions will take place at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, La Villette, Paris 19ème. More than 1000 international experts are expected. The following broad themes will be addressed:
A breakfast briefing for the press will be held at 9.00 a.m. on Monday 28 January, at the Press Room of the conference. The speakers will be Yves Cochet, France's Minister for Territorial Planning and the Environment, Donald Johnston, Secretary-General of the OECD, Daniel Lebègue, Chief Executive Officer of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Jean-Louis Guigou, Delegate for Territorial Planning and Regional Action, DATAR.
Other key speakers at the conference include Elisabeth Guigou, France's Employment Minister; Tea Petrin, Slovenia's Minister of Economy; Sandra Nori, Minister for Small and Medium-sized Entreprises, New South Wales, Australia; Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Ghana's Minister of Rural and Local Development; Mohamed Enabli, Minister for Environment, Tunisia; Elisa Ferreira, Minister for Territorial Planning, Portugal; Jan Gronlund, Secretary of State for Territorial Development, Sweden; and Michel Foret, Minister for Territorial Development, Wallonia, Belgium.
For further information, journalists are invited to contact Andrea Bises, OECD's Territorial Development Directorate (tel:  1 45 24 16 39 or Andrea Bises), Nicolas Sokolowski at DATAR
(tel:  1 40 65 10 84) or Stephen Di Biasio, OECD's Media Relations Division (tel:  1 45 24 81 03 or Stephen Di Biasio).