OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2017

image of OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2017

The OECD Business and Finance Outlook is an annual publication that presents unique data and analysis that looks at what might affect and change, both favourably and unfavourably, tomorrow’s world of business, finance and investment. Using analysis from a wide range of perspectives, this year’s edition addresses some forces influencing economic developments that have contributed to recent surprises in elections and referendums. A common theme of these surprises has been voter discontent with globalisation and immigration that are perceived to be causes of unemployment and falling living standards for substantial segments of society in a number of OECD countries. This Outlook’s focus is on ways to enhance “fairness”, in the sense of strengthening global governance, to ensure a level playing field in trade, investment and corporate behaviour, through the setting and better enforcement of global standards. A brief review of important developments contributing to post-war globalisation is provided and a number of policy domains are covered. These include exchange rates and capital account management, financial regulation since the global financial crisis, the rising weight of state-owned enterprises in the world economy, competition policy to deal with international cartels, the cost of raising capital, responsible business conduct and bribery and corruption.



Overview: Globalisation and the roleof international governance

Globalisation has become associated with difficulties for less-skilled workers, inequality and a general sense that it is not benefitting large sections of society, in both advanced and emerging economies. While there is much to be done with domestic policy to improve outcomes, there is also a strong need for better alignment of domestic and international policies and a more level playing field in the cross-border activities of businesses. This requires a commitment by countries participating in globalised markets to a common set of transparent principles that are consistent with mutuallybeneficial competition, trade and international investment. This would reduce the problems left to be dealt with by domestic policy by improving resource allocation (promoting productivity growth) and reducing the extraction of rents (that harm consumers). Major factors that make for an uneven global playing field are examined in this Outlook. Empirical evidence is provided on their importance and rules that could help to improve outcomes for trade, innovation, investment and competition are discussed.


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