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2020 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting Takes Place

  • Date : 2020-10-30 16:28:26
  • Hit : 7620

1. The annual Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM),  the premier decision-making meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that brings together ministers of the 37 Member countries, was held in a virtual format on October 28-29, 2020, under the theme of “The Path to Recovery: Strong, Resilient, Green and Inclusive.”

 

°  The MCM consisted of two group discussions (on macroeconomy, trade and investment) and a plenary session. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki led the delegation from the Republic of Korea, which included Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lee Seong-ho.

 

2. At the plenary session of the MCM held at 20:00, October 29, Korea Standard Time, Deputy Prime Minister Hong suggested four directions to recover from the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19: Powerful stimulus package, Assistance to the vulnerable, Transformation of economic and social systems, and policy coordination and Harmony for synergy.

 

a. First, Deputy Prime Minister Hong mentioned that the public sector’s active role and Powerful stimulus package are of paramount importance for a swift recovery from the crisis; that the ROK has been providing comprehensive support worth 310 trillion won in 2020, including four supplementary budgets; and that, as a result, it achieved 1.9% growth rate, quarter on quarter, in the third quarter of this year.

 

b. Second, the Deputy Prime Minister brought renewed attention to the need to render Assistance to the vulnerable and developing countries that have suffered the most from COVID-19, and stressed that it is necessary to remain vigilant against asymmetric “K-shaped recovery” and to support jobs for the vulnerable.

 

c. Third, the Deputy Prime Minister stated that the COVID-19 is expected to accelerate Transformation of economic and social systems to an unprecedented level, underscored the importance of preemptive responses to the non-face-to-face lifestyle, digitalization and climate change, and introduced the Korean New Deal policy, which will inject 160 trillion won in 2021-2025.

 

d. Lastly, Deputy Prime Minister Hong underlined policy coordination and Harmony for synergy, suggesting that countries overcome the current crisis together by elevating the spirit of multilateralism on the basis of solidarity and cooperation and facilitating cross-border trade and movement of people.

 

3. At the MCM held amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Member countries adopted by consensus a Ministerial Council Statement in four years since 2016 that addresses key issues, such as trade and investment as well as climate change, reaffirming their commitment to policy coordination and cooperation for the restoration of multilateralism and economic recovery. The ROK, as a result of active negotiation, included in the Statement the importance of cross-border movement of people necessary for business and other key economic activities.

 

° The Ministerial Council Statement suggested ways to recover from COVID-19 as follows: continuing sustainable stimulus package; harnessing the transformative potential of the digital economy and addressing its challenges; promoting a jobs-rich recovery; taking a holistic approach to economic, social and environmental dimensions while considering the environmental aspect; continuing free, fair and predictable trade and investment; and strengthening international cooperation on tax matters, including the tax challenges of the digitalization of the economy. The Member countries welcomed the accession of Colombia to the OECD this year and the invitation to Costa Rica to join the Organisation.