2009

Contribution by BIAC Secretary General Tadahiro Asami to the OECD Global Standard Blog
18 August 2009

 

The business community welcomes the discussion to develop a Global Standard, now referred to as the “Lecce Framework”, initiated by Italian Finance Minister Tremonti and recently supported by the G8 and the OECD. In our view, the OECD has a leading role to play in this process.

The Lecce Framework initiative reflects serious concern over the magnitude and global nature of the current financial and economic crisis, and the need to address and resolve flaws in the international economic and financial system. Effective solutions are best found through constructive dialogue among all major stakeholders (international organisations, governments, business, labour and civil society). We must work together to achieve practical policy approaches across all issues necessary to support sustainable economic activity and enterprise growth.

Business understands that the strategic objective to create a comprehensive Lecce Framework is to build on existing initiatives, to identify and fill regulatory gaps and foster the broad international consensus needed for rapid implementation*. This guidance should be based on a common set of principles and standards for propriety, integrity and transparency in the conduct of international business and finance, respecting the legal nature of existing instruments.

The OECD is ideally placed to play an important role in the Lecce Framework initiative as several of its instruments could serve as the basis for a Global Standard, such as the OECD MNE Guidelines, the OECD Corporate Governance Principles, the OECD Tax Standard, and the OECD Bribery Convention.

The strength of the OECD’s consensus approach and competence in developing credible policy guidance cutting across several policy disciplines relevant to this initiative naturally equip the Organisation to lead the Lecce Framework process.

 

Going forward, a successful outcome of the Lecce Framework initiative will require a clearer understanding of its aims, its form, and its eventual implementation. This understanding can only be achieved through a transparent consultation process identifying all elements for consideration in the final framework.

In whatever form a Global Standard is implemented, we call on the OECD to construct and lead a thorough and practically focused process in coordination with the IMF, FSB, World Bank, WTO, ILO, Governments as well as major stakeholders, including business and trade unions.

Importantly, the process must also engage emerging and developing economies in order to create a level playing field among economies in different stages of development.

The current crisis makes clear that no one actor has all of the answers to ensuring a sustainable recovery, but each actor must be part of the solution.

 

In summary:

• BIAC welcomes discussion to develop the Global Standard “Lecce Framework”;
• Consultation among all major stakeholders (international organisations, governments, business, labour and civil society) is necessary to take this initiative forward;
• The OECD should play a lead role in these consultations.

Finally, it is critical that a Global Standard should not discourage innovation, nor threaten or put at risk the sound development of market-based open economies. BIAC looks forward to continued engagement in this process.

 

*8 July 2009, L’Aquila G8 Summit Leaders Declaration: Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future, para 27.

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