“India, with a 7 per cent growth rate, is flowing against the tide despite the difficult economic environment prevailing across the world,” said Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The CII had hosted Gurria for an interactive session and the official signing of an MoU between the two organisations. The MoU reinforces their common commitment to promote best practices and collaboration to create a robust competitive environment for global trade, the Secretary - General observed.
The OECD, in its economic survey for India, hailed India as a top reformer, specifically noting the significance of demonetisation and the imminent rollout of the GST Act. Gurria commended India on maintaining high economic growth rates despite the global economic environment not being suitable to this. “India has maintained a 7 per cent growth rate, which is four times the average for any OECD country and twice the world average,” he noted.
The major challenge now is to ensure inclusive growth. He particularly stressed this as the biggest failure of globalisation and the need to address this to turn back the new protectionist tide we see in the world. Gurria identified some key areas of India-OECD collaboration, including energy, water conservation, electrification, pollution, urban-rural inequality, and especially gender inclusion. He noted how female participation in the labour market had fallen by 10 percentage points and stated that this was a luxury India could not afford. “Dealing with only productivity and growth creates disaffection. There is a need for a nexus with inclusive growth,” he added.
CII is an active member of the Business and Industry Advisory Council (BIAC) of the OECD and the B20.
Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, noted the possibilities for exchange of best practices in various fields. He congratulated CII and OECD for signing the MoU for greater collaborative work.