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I would point the figures on the purpose of world trade depending on what sort of future we expect for the world trade: a world of peace and justice, based on the sustainable development goals and OECD responsible business conduct, and other similar “values”? Or a world of anger, prejudice, war, unfairness, based on the astonishing amount of the big business of military industry in the world. 

Thus, as society is becoming more and more networks of networks, Gross National Product Index are obsolete to measure quality of living. Better if OECD country members consider the need for several other indexes to measure happiness, wellbeing, quality of life.

For a new future, a transformative future, we need new, transformative measures to evaluate success of countries. For sure, the Netherlands is a benchmark for the world, as well as other leaders promoting policy coherence for sustainable development, at least nationally, both horizontal and vertical policy coherence. However, what about the Netherlands promoting a clear voice in the world towards sustainable development policies for investment and trade internationally, not only expecting the voice of multinationals, but clearly embracing in all international agreements?

G20 has opened the path towards coherence with the Agenda 2030, as well as the OECD. Now it is time for policy coherence among UN, G20 and OECD country members.

Patricia Almeida Ashley, Associate Professor, Instituto de Geociencias – Universidade Federal Fluminense, and Former Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity (ISS/EUR – 2009-2011)

Extract from letter on “What is key for the OECD in 2017? An open economy perspective”, see http://oecdinsights.org, January 2017 for full comment.   

©OECD Observer No 309 Q1 2017