G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Global Governance Session, Matera, 29 June 2021


Remarks Mathias Cormann,

Secretary-General, OECD

Matera, 29 June 2021

Dear Ministers,

It is my great pleasure to attend this G20 Foreign Affairs Ministerial.

The COVID crisis has shown again how critical effective international cooperation is.

The global economic outlook is improving, with global GDP expected to increase by 5.8% in 2021 and 4.4% in 2022.

But the recovery remains uneven.

We must step up multilateral cooperation:

  • to ensure the recovery is more even and can be sustained across and within countries the world needs to solve how to vaccinate people as fast as possible all around the world;
  • to ensure we effectively address long-standing and more recent global challenges - from climate change to pandemic preparedness;
  • to re-instil trust in an open international economic system.

We need multilateral cooperation with a common purpose:

  • with robust standards that contribute to a global level the playing field;
  • with strong evidence base


  • based on a sense of collective responsibility, a spirit of cooperation and mechanisms to ensure accountability.

Let me point to four priority policy areas where those approaches should be leveraged by the G20 with the support of the OECD:

First, on international taxation.

The OECD has been highly successful in the past in helping to secure a multilaterally agreed approach to the fight against tax avoidance.

Our eyes are now turned to the G20 Finance ministers meeting in 2 weeks time where we hope to deliver, through the G20/OECD Inclusive Framework on BEPS, a global solution on fair taxation of the digital economy, making sure digital and large businesses pay their fair share. More than ever, we need your political leadership in this area.

Second, consolidating the rules-based international trading system.

The OECD, in collaboration with the WTO, is providing evidence based analysis to support policies promoting an open competitive environment, avoiding inefficient market concentration and distortions and reducing barriers to new market entrants.

Third, fostering the net-zero transition.

Our recently launched International Programme for Action on Climate will ensure transparent reporting of climate outcomes and policies, and share best practices based on objectively comparable data in different jurisdictions, including on implicit carbon pricing.

This is critical to help drive improved performance, because of the scrutiny it will generate and the platform for evidence-based cooperation it provides.

Finally, accelerating and facilitating the digital transformation of our economies.

The OECD is delivering comparative data and policy analysis regarding effective values-based digital regulatory frameworks and state of the art global standards such as on Artificial Intelligence. Colleagues,

We must use the COVID-19 crisis to make the case for effective multilateralism that provides real answers to global challenges for our people.

And, as we will discuss later today, low-income countries need our co-operation more than ever – to ensure access to vaccinations, to trade, to financing to help them deal with the climate challenge.

Count on the OECD to continue working closely with the G20 to make it happen.


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