Long-term investment and institutional investorsReports indicate that approximately 57 trillion USD of investment in infrastructure will be needed around the world by 2030. As governments face diminished public resources and banks are deleveraging in response to new regulatory requirements, policymakers are increasingly looking to institutional investors (e.g. insurance companies, pension funds) in order to bridge the financing gap.
The OECD is addressing this issue in close co-ordination with the G20, building upon the G20/OECD High-level Principles for Long-term Financing by Institutional Investors in 2013. A dedicated G20/OECD Task Force is working to examine approaches for implementation of the Principles. BIAC shall participate in a special dialogue session with the Task Force on 4 March 2014 to share private sector views and contribute to this ongoing work, emphasising the importance of regulatory co-ordination and predictable policy environments in order to strengthen investor confidence.
Structural reforms for growth
The recently-released OECD 2014 Going for Growth interim report warns countries about the risks of falling into a “low growth trap”. The report observes that some key drivers of productivity growth – credit, investment and international trade – have been weak since the global financial and economic crisis of 2008-09, and argues for countries to implement ambitious structural reform agendas in order to restore growth. The role of structural reforms in product and labour markets in generating growth is a key focus for the BIAC Economic Policy Committee, which met with OECD delegates on 26 February in Paris to contribute to related OECD reports in the pipeline. The Committee is also co-ordinating a survey of BIAC’s national member and observer organisations regarding their respective priorities for reform in their countries, which will contribute to the OECD Going for Growth publication in 2015.
OECD Forum on IntegrityBIAC will participate in the OECD Forum on Integrity on 19 March, which is being organized in the framework of the OECD's second annual Integrity Week (17-21 March), which includes a series of events relating to anti-corruption and integrity (click here). The 2014 Forum on Integrity will provide a platform for government officials as well as experts from international organizations, business, and civil society to discuss best practices as well as recent developments and projects relating to anti-corruption and integrity building. The Forum will address, among others, how to improve co-ordination and co-operation with regard to research and policies in order to more efficiently and effectively achieve progress in eliminating corruption and reinforcing public trust in all sectors of society. Dr Klaus Moosmayer, Chair of the BIAC Task Force on Anti-Corruption/Bribery will be part of the panel on new anti-corruption and integrity projects. On the same day, the BIAC Task Force will organize a luncheon discussion with the participation of the Chair of the OECD Working Group on Bribery to discuss BIAC’s strategic contribution to the OECD in this area.
OECD Reviews Recommendation on International Competition CooperationAt the February OECD Competition Committee meetings BIAC provided initial comments to the review of the 1995 OECD Recommendation on International Co-operation between Member Countries on Competition Investigations and Proceedings. The OECD Recommendation provides a framework for the fundamentals of co-operation between international antitrust authorities, covering both mergers and hard core cartels. Effective and efficient cross border antitrust co-operation is of major importance to international business, impacting certainty and compliance costs. The BIAC Competition Committee has expressed views to the OECD regarding 4 key areas including due process and procedural fairness; definition of and protection of confidential information; differentiation between hard core cartels, mergers and other anti-competitive practices; and the roles and responsibilities of competition authorities. BIAC members are encouraged to engage and contribute to this revision exercise. BIAC comments submitted are available on the BIAC website. The next session of the OECD Competition Committee will take place the week of 16 June in Paris.
9 April G20 OECD EU Conference on ApprenticeshipsOECD will host a G20 conference that aims to take stock of how apprenticeship schemes can improve school to work transition outcomes for youth. It is a major opportunity for companies to illustrate their apprenticeship and training programmes, and to engage governments on how policy frameworks and public private partnerships can be improved for better outcomes to apprenticeship and other vocational training initiatives. BIAC, together with IOE, will present the latest developments of the joint IOE/BIAC Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN), which is moving ahead as a proactive business response to the G20 call for action to address youth unemployment. BIAC encourages the nomination of company participants to this important conference on 9 April.
Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation: High-level meeting in MexicoThe Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, stemming from the aid effectiveness agenda, complements the UN-led processes for a post-2015 development framework by providing an inclusive multi-stakeholder platform to monitor the implementation of development effectiveness commitments and share good practices. The first High-level Meeting of the Global Partnership will take place on 15-16 April 2014 in Mexico City, attracting Ministers, senior business representatives and other guests to review progress in global development. BIAC has been engaged in contributing to the agenda-setting of this event to ensure a strong focus on the role of the private sector. This is an occasion to engage Ministers on issues of key importance to companies, such as improving business environments, increasing financing, and strengthening public-private dialogue.
OECD Global Forum on Responsible Business ConductLast year, the OECD launched the annual Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct to strengthen international dialogue on responsible business conduct and contribute to the effective implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). This year’s Global Forum, which will take place in Paris on 26-27 June, will take stock of the efforts in global responsible business conduct since the 2013 meeting, with a particular focus on developments in emerging economies and challenging investment environments. It will feature sessions on responsible investment in the textiles sector, stakeholder engagement in the extractive sector as well as responsible business conduct along agricultural supply chains and in the financial sector. The Forum will also include a session on the grievance mechanism of the OECD MNE Guidelines, as well as regional side-events. The Global Forum will take place back-to-back with the meeting of National Contact Points of the MNE Guidelines, which will include a consultation with stakeholders, as well as other high-level events.
BIAC to contribute to the review of the OECD Corporate Governance PrinciplesThe OECD Corporate Governance Principles are one of the 12 key standards for international financial stability of the Financial Stability Board and assist governments in their efforts to evaluate and improve the legal, regulatory and institutional framework for corporate governance. First released in May 1999 and last revised in 2004, the OECD has launched a further review of the Principles. The review process started in 2014 with the objective of conclusion within one year. The review is intended to ensure the continuing high quality, relevance and usefulness of the Principles taking into account recent developments in the corporate sector and capital markets. The outcome should provide policy makers, regulators and other rule-making bodies with a sound benchmark for establishing an effective corporate governance framework. BIAC has been closely following preliminary discussions on the update and related analysis. On 17 March, BIAC will participate in a consultation to provide first-hand business input as the discussions on the update are being launched.
Update on BEPSOECD has published an updated timetable for stakeholder input to the G20-OECD project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Discussion draft release dates have been confirmed for BEPS Actions addressing the tax challenges of the digital economy (24 March), hybrid arrangements (4 April), and preventing treaty abuse (17 March). Public consultation dates are now confirmed for these issues, as well as for country-by-country reporting and transfer pricing. On February 23 BIAC submitted comments on the OECD draft template for country-by-country reporting. We are supportive of the concept of this high-level risk assessment tool, but not of a detailed new reporting regime. This is a critical issue for business and BIAC Members care urged to communicate views on this issue to national governments. BIAC will continue to co-ordinate the consensus business views on BEPS issues as well as to meet with OECD and non-OECD governments on BEPS related issues. Most recently the BIAC Tax Committee Bureau met with the Indian and Chinese tax authorities, and forthcoming meetings related to BEPS are scheduled for Tokyo, Australia and Washington, D.C. The BIAC Tax Committee will hold its next meeting in Paris on 26 March. Additional information on BEPS related events and BIAC Tax Committee activities can be found on the BIAC website.
2nd OECD International Business Dialogue in partnership with BIACLast year’s OECD International Business Dialogue gave our members a prime opportunity to identify and discuss barriers on 21st century commerce with senior government officials and OECD leaders. For its second edition, OECD is inviting BIAC to this year’s IBD focusing on Better Regulation to Enhance Trade. The event will take place on 14 April at the OECD in Paris. Four sessions throughout the day will explore challenges from tariffs to non-tariff barriers to trade, followed by solutions, ways to involve the private sector, and suggestions from the business perspective. Please let us know if you would like to register to the event as an attendee or whether you would like to participate as a panellist by March 7.