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2013 Highlights


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UA EQ “A leader must lead and stand as an example. The issue of dignity should be fundamental, not just the icing on the cake.” His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway


“Our societies are facing some of the greatest challenges in history. They need help... Let’s share our knowledge, stretch our imagination to its limits to come out with new strategies.” Angel Gurría Secretary-General, OECD

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TR T “To steer our economies out of these troubled waters we need to co-operate, we need to exchange views and experiences, and we need sound analysis…in short, we need a strong OECD.” Jens Stoltenberg Prime Minister, Norway


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JO “Access to cash is the lifeblood of SMEs. Far more important than tax rates.” Heather McGregor Financial Times Weekend


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JO “In some countries companies can get credit easily at low spreads, whereas others get credit very sparely and at very high rates…To give investment a chance, we need to have financing for SMEs. ” Álvaro Santos Pereira Minister of Economy and Employment, Portugal


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JO “Unemployment of youth and elderly people is a waste of talent; it’s a waste of resources and also an erosion of possibilities going forward.” Sigbjørn Johnsen Minister of Finance Norway


“I am slightly worried about the assumption that we are witnessing the retreat of the welfare state. What we are actually seeing if we look globally is the advance of the welfare state.�

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Guy Ryder Director-General International Labour Organization


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JO “You have to be ready for a long journey; entrepreneurship isn’t easy.” San Ko CEO, TIDE Institute, Korea


“Education justice is thrown into even sharper perspective by global value chains.�

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Tim Groser Minister of Trade, Minister for Climate Change Issues, Associate Minister for Foreign Affairs, New Zealand


U EQ Y IT AL “In 2008, governments cooperated within the G20 to face the crisis. We should build on that moment. Without cooperation, governments will not be able to move forward and address inequalities.� Ngaire Woods-Dean Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford


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US TR “In the midst of the economic crisis, people have forgotten how important sustainability is going to be. Businesses have this responsibility.� Peder Holk Nielsen President & CEO Novozymes


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US TR “Social media is just the evolution of word of mouth, the evolution of conversation that bypasses conventional institutional channels of conversation.� Justin Wedes Activist & Member Occupy Wall Street


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JO “The global tax issue is about corporate social responsibility. Companies are in the process of reviewing how they want their footprint to be perceived by consumers. It is in their business interests to behave more cooperatively.� Fleur Pellerin Minister delegate, SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, France


“In Chile, trust in the parliamentary system stands at only 19%, and for political parties it’s even worse - only 9%.” Cristián Larroulet Minister of the Presidency Chile

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US TR “If you do not have scrutiny mechanisms, pockets of arbitrary power emerge, such as financial institutions… We have to rethink democracy, develop cross-border mechanisms to restrain arbitrary power.” John Keane The University of Sydney


“I think we are creating a sub-labour market for young persons…we accept very precarious working conditions for young people which are not at all sustainable.”

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Emilie Turunen Member European Parliament


“With 57% of youth unemployment, we also need to invest in the transition from education to employment. We have apprenticeship programmes in Spain, but there are reports that 60% are a fraud.� Ricardo Ibarra President Spanish Youth Council

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LIT “We cannot continue having a system that really doesn’t make it possible to have work-life balance both for men and women and for children to be taken care of by both their parents in a reasonably balanced way.” Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland Former Norwegian Prime Minister Member, The Elders


“Quality of life is not incompatible with performance; it is driving performance.� Michel Landel CEO, Sodexo

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US TR “Improvements have been made in banking reform, but the risk is still there. After five years we are still not out of the woods yet.� Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF


“Too big to fail institutions are sleeping with governments and there is no will to change.� Philippe Lamberts Member, European Parliament

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B JO “The most profound failure of economic policy has been that so many young people don’t have jobs and don’t have hope… People of our generation have caused that failure.” Diane Coyle Vice Chairman, BBC Trust Oxford University


“Banking’s DNA hasn’t changed… As soon as trust is regained, the animal will be back to its old tricks.” Joris Luyendijk The Guardian

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“We have too many gentlemen in Japan. They have created so many women-friendly policies that we are now working three times as much men. We can work hard, also care for children and care for elders. It’s about time that the men change.” Kaori Sasaki, Founder & CEO, Unicul International, Inc., and ewomen, Inc.

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US TR “I have encountered bank staff who are enraged by what has happened. They accuse us of being far too moderate in our criticisms.� Robin Simpson Consumers International


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JO “Too much regulation … could halt banks’ ability and willingness to lend, which is the most critical factor in the sustainability of the economic recovery.” Adnan Bali, CEO, Isbank, Turkey


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US TR “There are two problems for civic engagement: how to get governments to listen to you, and how to get people to speak.� Nele Leosk Programme Director, ICT in Education, e-Governance Academy, Estonia


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EQ “Uneven de facto responsibility for full-time work and full-time family life creates greater obstacles for women.� Ulf Kristersson, Minister for Social Security, Sweden


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UA EQ “There’s a need to redefine gender roles in 2013, as men still dedicate themselves to the public and professional sphere, and women to the private and family sphere.” Najat Vallaud-Belkacem Minister of Women’s Rights and Government Spokesperson, France


“Asia as a whole is short 150 million women. That’s the entire female population of the United States. That has huge social repercussions.” Anne-Marie Slaughter Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

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UA EQ “Economic liberalisation was meant...to homogenise and remove the cleavages of caste, religion and geography. That has not happened, either in India or in China. The cleavages have become sharper.� Samir Saran, Vice-President, Observer Research Foundation, India


“Countries that are interested in integrating economically in Asia will need to think more about their strengths in meeting the demands of Asia’s emerging middle class.� Craig Emerson, Minister, Trade and Competitiveness, Australia

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JO “Engineers and technicians of the past are very different from what we’re looking for today. We’re now fighting with other industries for the type of people we require to keep our industry progressing and developing.”

Michael Cole, Chief Operations Officer, Kia Motors Europe


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EQ “Equality is not a women’s problem, it’s a business problem.” Ronnie Goldberg, Executive Vice-President and Senior Chief Policy Officer, USCIB


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JO “You can no longer look at trade policy in isolation.” Arancha Gonzalez Chief of Staff, World Trade Organization (WTO)


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UA EQ “Austerity serves an agenda, of destroying social identity, of concentrating power in financial elites, of taking power away from democratic institutions.� Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO


“The whole economics discussion is being framed incorrectly. Austerity serves no purpose, it’s based on a fundamental intellectual mistake.” Adam S. Posen, President Peterson Institute for International Economics

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US TR “Tough austerity is no longer an option. People have realised it’s a gradual programme where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel .” Felipe Larraín Minister of Finance, Chile


“The markets are moving so fast and the technology is changing things so much that, often, employers don’t quite know what they want.” Phil O’Reilly, Chair, BIAC; CEO, BusinessNZ

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US TR “Financial education needs to start young in order to instil awareness and good habits … but the crisis showed that consumer education is not enough. Governments have to take more measures to protect consumers.” Carolyn Ervin, Director, Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD


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US TR “China is not retreating from its challenges. It’s making progress, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. But in the next decade, it should be faster.” Lu Mai, Secretary-General, China Development Research Foundation (CDRF)


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JO “It takes years to implement those policies which the OECD has recommended, meanwhile the supply chains are moving hither and yon.� Bruce Stokes Director, Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center


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LIT “Women in Korea are paid about 40% less than men. I hope to reduce this to around 25%.� Yoonsun Cho Minister of Gender Equality and Family, Korea


“There needs to be some new global deal which takes the question of income distribution more seriously.” John Evans General Secretary, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC)

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“In order to support growth, we need the same rules in all the major financial centres around the world. I believe in a healthy transparency, to be applied in all countries in the same manner.�

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Luc Frieden Minister of Finance Luxembourg


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TR T “Vulnerable – this is the key word. What the crisis has taught us is that we are much more vulnerable than we thought.” Enrico Giovannini Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Italy


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TR T “Research and innovation are core public goods. One reason the US is so competitive is that we invest so much in R&D, and that’s something sequester is cutting back unfortunately.” Alan Krueger, Chair, Council of Economic Advisers, USA


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B JO “Austerity hasn’t worked. Japan’s growth is up because they are investing in their economy. Europe is down, because they are cutting from their economies.” Sharan Burrow General Secretary, ITUC


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“In its first two years, the OECD Better Life Index has received nearly two million visits from over 180 countries… And the more indexes we receive, the better able we are to contribute to drivers of individual and collective well-being”. Anthony Gooch Director of Public Affairs and Communications, OECD


Launch of BLI, 24-25 May 2011: 158,838 visits Launch of BLI 3.0, 28-29 May 2013: 215,000 visits and counting! Create and share your index at: www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org


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2014 5-6 May, 2014 OECD Conference Centre Paris


OECD Forum 2013 Highlights