Ambassador’s Remarks at the Launch of the OECD Initiative on Business and Inclusive Growth

15 November 2016 – Launch of the OECD Initiative on Business and Inclusive GrowthOECD, Paris, France.Photo: Hervé Cortinat/OECD

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome.

We don’t have a lot of time today, so I’m going to be very brief.

In my role as Chair of the Group of Friends of Inclusive Growth, I have spoken about the need to mobilize local governments and businesses to address rising inequality.

The OECD has been doing fantastic work on the local government side. It created a network of fifty champion mayors for inclusive growth, which will meet for the second time on November 21st, here in Paris.

I hope they will bring the same focus and energy to engaging with the private sector.  In order to do this, we are launching the OECD Initiative on Business and Inclusive Growth.  Today’s conversation is an informal gathering to begin giving shape to the ideas coming from the private sector.

The OECD will build on these ideas to create a network of business leaders for inclusive growth.  The network can then work with the OECD to develop a tool kit of options for companies looking to engage in inclusive practices.

I want to congratulate the OECD once again for its leadership in this area.  I also want to thank our partner for this event, the Tocqueville Foundation.  We are delighted to be working with you.  Let me thank our distinguished panelists, as well as the Slovenian and Canadian delegations for helping us secure them.

And, finally, I want to thank the Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman.  Jason, this is your last visit to Paris in your current role, so I want to tell you how grateful we are for all of your service.  Thank you for everything you have done to advance inclusive growth in the United States, and at the OECD.  I think I speak for everyone here when I say that you will be sorely missed.

Before I turn the floor over to the moderator, I’d just like to ask everyone to respect the limited time we have today and keep your remarks and answers brief.

Now let me introduce our moderator, Jim Bittermann.  Jim has been a Senior European correspondent at CNN since 1996.

We are honored to have him here with us today.