Delivering prosperity

Prime Minister of Greece and Chair of the 2006 OECD Ministerial Council

Chair’s summary*, OECD Council at Ministerial Level, Paris, 23-24 May 2006:

“Against the backdrop of a broadening global expansion, ministers identified and discussed two sets of key policy challenges. First they underscored how crucial it is to ensure that momentum be sustained where the upswing is already strong, and that those economies that are lagging in the cycle catch up.

They also emphasised the importance of addressing underlying tensions and risks, notably in relation to international and domestic imbalances, which threaten the continuing global expansion.

International co-operation and policy co-ordination were considered to be necessary in order to achieve an orderly unwinding of imbalances. The OECD and other multilateral organisations could play a very important role in this.

Second, taking a longer-term view, ministers stressed that the pace of structural reform needed to be stepped up in those OECD countries that over the years have tended to fall behind the best performers, and discussed reform priorities and modalities. Learning from best practices and continuous exchange of information on how to broaden the ownership of the reform agenda and how to extend the discussion on short-term costs versus long-term benefits would be essential in implementing reforms.

Ministers stressed the importance of open markets and the compelling need for a swift conclusion of the Doha trade round. […]

Ministers from non-OECD economies participated in most of the discussions, and the dialogue was mutually enriching. Ministers also benefited from an exchange of views with the Business and Industry and the Trade Union Advisory Committees to the OECD, as well as with civil society more broadly in the context of the OECD Forum. […]

Economic outlook

Ministers expected the buoyant pace of world growth witnessed over the past few years to be sustained in the near future. Against the backdrop of continuing rapid growth in the emerging economies, notably in Asia, the expansion in the OECD area would proceed apace, with activity broadly at potential in the US and Japan and catching up gradually in Europe. Ministers considered that inflation was likely to remain under control, despite shrinking spare capacity and higher commodity prices, because heightened international competition would help contain prices. They saw unemployment staying low in North America and Japan, and declining in a number of European countries, albeit slowly.

Turning to risks, ministers welcomed the fact that rising energy prices had not thrown the global expansion off course, but expressed concern about the likely impact of any further increases. They recognised the importance of enhancing energy security through improvement of energy efficiency and further investment across the supply chain. Ministers noted that benign financial conditions had supported demand so far but that this might not last: interest rates were now rising, in a context where valuations in some asset markets seemed stretched. The third risk ministers highlighted related to widening current account gaps, partly reflecting domestic imbalances. Ministers underlined that timely policy action–both macroeconomic and structural–was required to reverse this trend and to facilitate a smooth unwinding of the imbalances.

Ministers further agreed on the paramount importance of prudent fiscal policies”. […]

* This is an extract. In the complete “Chair’s summary” (see reference below), Prime Minister Karamanlis goes on to outline a number of themes discussed at the ministerial council meeting: Ensuring economic stability and improving economic performance, particularly longer-term challenges such as the divergences in growth rates among member countries; Implementing economic reforms for growth and employment; the OECD Initiative on Investment for Development, in particular, the Policy Guidance for Donors for Using ODA to Promote Private Investment, and the Policy Framework for Investment (PFI); Intellectual assets and value Creation; and the growing impact that major emerging economies are having on the global economy, and implications for OECD work.

The chair’s summary then outlines remarks to the meeting by Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO, on the status of trade negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda. A successful conclusion of the round would provide a major boost for the world economy, including developing countries, the summary notes, but deadlines should not be postponed further.

Mr Karamanlis ended on the issue of OECD governance and enlargement, reporting that ministers at the meeting welcomed the Council resolution on a new governance structure for the organisation which entered into force on 1 June 2006. The OECD should expand its global reach and policy impact through an enlarged membership and enhanced engagement with important non-OECD economies, ministers agreed, and they welcomed the Council decision to establish by July 2006 a mechanism to identify countries for potential accession and countries for enhanced engagement with the OECD.

In conclusion, the summary notes that OECD ministers thanked the outgoing secretary-general, Donald J. Johnston, for his strong leadership and outstanding dedication over the past ten years, and they welcomed Angel Gurría as his successor. Mr Gurría took up his post on 1 June 2006.

The complete 2,000-word “Chair’s summary”, together with press statements and other reading, can be found at www.oecd.org/mcm2006.

©OECD Observer No 256, July 2006




Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q4 2017 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.6% May 2018 annual
Trade: +2.7% exp, +3.0% imp, Q4 2017
Unemployment: 5.4% Mar 2018
Last update: 06 Jul 2018

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive paper editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • Watch the webcast of the final press conference of the OECD annual ministerial meeting 2018.
  • International co-operation, inclusive growth and digitalisation lead the themes of the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris on 29-30 May, under the banner of What brings us together www.oecd.org/forum. It is held alongside the annual OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on 30-31 May, chaired this year by France with a focus on multilateralism www.oecd.org/mcm.
  • Listen to the "Robots are coming for our jobs" episode of The Guardian's "Chips with Everything podcast", in which The Guardian’s economics editor, Larry Elliott, and Jeremy Wyatt, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at the University of Birmingham, and Jordan Erica Webber, freelance journalist, discuss the findings of the new OECD report "Automation, skills use and training". Listen here.
  • Do we really know the difference between right and wrong? Alison Taylor of BSR and Susan Hawley of Corruption Watch tell us why it matters to play by the rules. Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview here.
  • Has public decision-making been hijacked by a privileged few? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Stav Shaffir, MK (Zionist Union) Chair of the Knesset Committee on Transparency here.
  • Can a nudge help us make more ethical decisions? Watch the recording of our Facebook live interview with Saugatto Datta, managing director at ideas42 here.
  • Ambassador Aleksander Surdej, Permanent Representative of Poland to the OECD, was a guest on France 24’s English-language show “The Debate”, where he discussed French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
  • The fight against tax evasion is gaining further momentum as Barbados, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama and Tunisia signed the BEPS Multilateral Convention on 24 January, bringing the total number of signatories to 78. The Convention strengthens existing tax treaties and reduces opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.
  • Rousseau
  • Do you trust your government? The OECD’s How's life 2017 report finds that only 38% of people in OECD countries trust their government. How can we improve our old "Social contract?" Read more.
  • Papers show “past coming back to haunt us”: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria tells Sky News that the so-called "Paradise Papers" show a past coming back to haunt us, but one which is now being dismantled. Please watch the video.
  • When someone asks me to describe an ideal girl, in my head, she is a person who is physically and mentally independent, brave to speak her mind, treated with respect just like she treats others, and inspiring to herself and others. But I know that the reality is still so much different. By Alda, 18, on International Day of the Girl. Read more.
  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .
  • Visit the OECD Gender Data Portal. Selected indicators shedding light on gender inequalities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

Most Popular Articles

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2018