On October 28, 2015, Ambassador Yohannes hosted the inaugural meeting of the Group of Friends of Inclusive Growth.
The event brought together representatives from close to thirty OECD members to discuss national approaches to promoting inclusive growth. Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, spoke about President Obama’s “middle class economics” policies. Slovenian State Secretary of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Peter Pogačar, briefed participants on Slovenian efforts to leverage employment policies to promote inclusive growth. Portuguese Minister of Health, Fernando Leal da Costa, discussed how Portugal is working to reduce inequalities related to health.
The meeting marked the launch of the Friends of Inclusive Growth Group, comprised of resident Ambassadors and members of the OECD Secretariat. Led by Ambassador Yohannes, the Group will support the OECD’s Inclusive Growth Initiative by fostering collaboration among OECD members and outside stakeholders.
Ambassador Yohannes stressed the importance of working with the private sector to advance inclusive growth. “It is vital for the success of this Initiative that we engage and empower businesses as key partners,” he said. “After all, without them, the growth half of “inclusive growth” cannot happen.” He also insisted on the need to engage mayors and local government officials, whom he called “the first responders in combating inequality.
The October 28 meeting was the first of a series of Friends of Inclusive Growth events.