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Globalisation focus

“A beacon for globalisation” is how Secretary-General Angel Gurría described the role of the OECD in his address to the Foreign Relations Commission in Rome on 22 February. In this, his first official visit to Italy since becoming secretary-general in 2006, Mr Gurría met with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Romano Prodi (on the right in photo), as well as other officials in Rome and Milan. He addressed the Foreign Relations Commission and spoke at a dinner hosted by the Italian minister of foreign affairs. With globalisation and the necessity for reforms as the focus of his talks, Mr Gurría emphasised that “globalisation has not been an inclusive process. We have to produce the instruments to make it so”.

However, this meant challenges. “The vast majority of the world’s population lacks quality education and faces daily employment and income anxieties that diminish their capacity to profit from globalisation”. The OECD secretary-general went on to underline Italy’s current weak economic situation and stressed that Italy will need to implement major reforms in order to achieve strong, sustained growth, adding that “the need to adapt to a fast changing world has increased the importance of structural reforms”. Mr Gurría commented on the OECD’s commitment to supporting Italy in its efforts and highlighted the OECD’s forthcoming Economic Survey of Italy. ��

The full speeches are available online at www.oecd.org/secretarygeneral

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©OECD Observer No. 260, March 2007