Countries are facing significant economic volatility.  The effectiveness of current economic strategies is being questioned and new visions of the economy are emerging.


This conference offered a timely opportunity to rethink the approach to regional growth and define new strategic directions for regional policy. Opportunities for growth exist in all regions - urban, intermediate, and rural. Policies to trigger growth should move beyond traditional ones - based exclusively on infrastructure provision or schooling - toward policies that encourage regions to capitalise on their specific competitive advantages and mobilise local assets and resources.


Lagging regions, important sources of growth



A framework for understanding regional growth

The conference focused on the policy implications of a more targeted approach to growth, setting out a framework for understanding regional growth and its impact on national growth.


Topics for discussion included:

  • Promoting growth in all types of regions: key considerations
  • Mechanisms for promoting growth: human capital and innovation
  • How to integrate local labour markets and infrastructure
  • Developing a good business environment for growth
  • Encouraging strong local coordination, engagement and leadership to better impact growth
  • How to ensure programmes and policies have continuity and coherence


The Road to Sustainable Growth

The conference gave an overview of the OECD publication Promoting Growth in all Types of Regions,  which analyses the growth capacity of different types of regions, including the main factors driving growth and the main bottlenecks faced by regions. This work is an important part of a longer-term programme that examines how sub-national economic performance contributes and relates to aggregate national performance, and how policy initiatives can maximise its impact.


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