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OECD, WTO, ILO, IMF and World Bank Heads Identify Fields for Action

28 April 2010: German Chancellor Angela Merkel organized a meeting with the OECD Secretary-General, WTO Director-General, ILO Director-General, IMF Managing Director and World Bank President. The joint press release from the event identifies several fields for action, including green growth and climate change.

The Heads note that, while "the G20 has established itself as the premier forum for international economic cooperation, it remains important to cooperate within diverse networks," and emphasize their increased cooperation with "joint work on labour (OECD, ILO), on trade and investment (WTO, OECD, UNCTAD) and on fossil fuels (WB, OECD, IEA, OPEC)." They highlight a need for: passing key joint measures for strengthening the international financial architecture; policy measures to strengthen employment and to address the social consequences of the crisis; ensuring the success of the Doha Round; promoting the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth; focusing on concepts such as green growth; and strengthening our shared commitment to ambitious global climate targets on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities. They welcome the international community's considerable financial efforts and political commitment to its goals of fighting poverty and promoting economic development in poorer countries.

At the event, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), discussed the need for new sources of economic growth to support recovery from the current economic crisis. Gurría focused on innovation-led and green growth, which are highly interrelated. He noted that most green innovation will come from small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), which have been the engine of job creation for the past 25 years, but that it is precisely SMEs that are facing challenges in accessing finance in the current economic downturn.

Gurría urged governments to “go beyond administrative simplification and produce a multidimensional stimulus to entrepreneurship” and noted that “a new strategic vision is necessary for policies that combine economic efficiency, environmental integrity and social equity.”  In this regard, Gurría stated that the OECD is working on two ministerial mandates aiming to facilitate innovation and green growth strategies to help nations realize the full potential of these nuanced mechanisms of economic growth. [Joint Press Release] [Angel Gurría's speech]