Tuesday, May 26, 2015

OECD reappoints Angel Gurría as chief

    Ferdinando Giugliano, Economics Correspondent
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Angel Gurría has been appointed as OECD secretary-general, for a third term, until 2021©AFP
Angel Gurría has been appointed as OECD secretary-general, for a third term, until 2021
Angel Gurría has been reappointed to the helm of the OECD, after the 34 member countries of thegroup that aims to promote sustainable growth renewed his mandate.
Mr Gurría, once Mexico’s foreign affairs and finance minister, will remain as secretary-general of the Paris based OECD until 2021. The selection, announced on Tuesday morning, was uncontested.
His appointment, for a third term, comes at a challenging time for the organisation, which is striving to retain its relevance amid competition from other international bodies.
“I look forward to continuing to transform the OECD into a cutting-edge international organisation to promote better policies,” Mr Gurría said.
The OECD conducts economic research on behalf of its member states and offers recommendations on how to improve their policy making.
It has a budget of €357m and a secretariat staff of about 2,500.
The OECD was established in 1961, taking over from the Organisation of European Economic Co-operation, which helped to administer the Marshall Plan, an American initiative to aid Europe after the second world war.
It remains a group of mainly rich countries, even though it has expanded to include more middle-income states.
During Mr Gurría’s previous two terms, countries such as Chile, Estonia, and Israel have joined the organisation.
Other states, including Colombia and Lithuania, are seeking to become members.
The OECD has sought to make its work more relevant to countries outside its membership: for example, by launching studies on global value chains, trade in services and trade facilitation.

FT View

Wanted: a new leader with purpose at OECD
OECD headquarters in Paris
The organisation needs to expand its membership and its mission.
It is also masterminding a rewrite of international tax rules at the request of the Group of 20 leading nations.
The project, named Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, is aimed at eliminating cases of double non-taxation, in which companies take advantage of differences between countries’ rules to avoid paying tax. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Mr Gurría has said he will seek to reaffirm the role of the OECD by consolidating its place as adviser to both the G20 and the Group of Seven leading economies while strengthening its links with other multinational bodies.
“The OECD will continue helping both to ‘cross-pollinate’ the work that different international organisations do; and to jointly respond better and faster to emerging global challenges,” he wrote in a document in support of his candidacy.
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