Ploumen calls for new form of globalisation at OECD meeting

Globalisation only works if everyone benefits. International trade and investment are essential to our prosperity, but no one should be excluded. It was with this message that foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen launched a new network for open economies and inclusive societies at the OECD meeting in Paris. The network comprises 19 countries that are joining forces to develop a fair form of globalisation.

Ms Ploumen’s initiative builds on her previous call to reset free trade: ‘Trade and investment must ultimately benefit everyone, not just a small group of people. The first steps have now been taken by making negotiations on agreements more transparent and including arrangements on sustainability. But more needs to be done if we’re to get results. At the presentation of the new OECD Economic Outlook it became apparent that inequality has risen sharply again. And that is matter of great concern. So I’m pleased that these countries have now come together.’

‘Too many people are seeing their jobs disappear,’ said Ms Ploumen in Paris. ‘Protectionism is an easy answer, but not a solution. We want a different kind of globalisation that treats people fairly.’ The network has four priorities: advancing fair and sustainable trade and investment in OECD and non-OECD countries; fighting protectionism; working on a fair, sustainable and inclusive trade system; and reducing inequalities in income, wealth, jobs, health and education.

The Network for Open Economies and Inclusive Societies will convene annually at the OECD meeting. It will also engage with businesses, trade unions, civil society organisations and member states. Alongside the Netherlands, the current members are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Peru, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

The launch took place at the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris. The OECD is a group of 35 developed countries that coordinate economic and social policy. The organisation is a key source of economic policy advice and also sets standards for corporate social responsibility and combating tax evasion and avoidance.