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May 2022 Volume II

Next week on 1 June, we are pleased to bring the leadership and lead coordinators of our national business organizations as well as members of our Executive Board together for our Annual General Assembly. This meeting will allow us to provide an overview of recent key activities and an outlook of upcoming strategic engagement opportunities for the year ahead. We are also delighted that OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann will address our core members on this occasion.
 
We will also release our 2022 Economic Policy Survey next week measuring the business climate from our national members. In early June, we will participate fully in the OECD Labor Ministerial, immediately followed by our active involvement in the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, where our Chair Rick Johnston will lead a business delegation in Paris to convey strategic messages to OECD Ministers as they shape the orientations of the Organization going forward.

Planning our future engagement with Polish business
 
Earlier this week, our Senior Director Ali Karami Ruiz met with Kinga Grafa, Head of Brussels Office of Lewiatan, a major Polish business organization bringing together over 100 companies employing over a million employees. Together with our Investment and Responsible Business Conduct Committee Chair Winand Quaedvlieg, who also acts as our lead coordinator from our Dutch member VNO-NCW, they discussed ways in which Polish business representatives can shape OECD strategic and policy efforts through Business at OECD.

Participants to this meeting also addressed priorities that rank highly in our agenda, including on health, environment, investment and responsible conduct, and taxation, among others. We will deepen our dialogue with the Polish business community through Lewiatan in the coming months as we explore formal ways to formalize our potential collaboration.
 
Contact: Ali Karami Ruiz
Next week: high-level roundtable on leveraging  private investment in health and life sciences
 
Join us for our exclusive virtual high-level roundtable on leveraging private investment in health and life sciences on 1 June, organized in partnership with Johnson & Johnson. The event will mark the launch of a new report on European life science investment attractiveness and will feature a range of high-level speakers, including our Health Committee Vice-Chair Olga Mironenko Stampfer, Olivier Grumel from Johnson & Johnson, the Executive Director of EU LIFE, the Director General of EuropaBio and the President of the BioMed Alliance.

Members will have the opportunity to explore the interlinkages between investment and health and engage in an inclusive discussion with leading industry experts and government and OECD representatives.
 
Contact: Ina Sandler
Business representatives contribute to important work on biotechnology
 
Last week, a delegation of business representatives, led by our Biotechnology Chair Lisa Zannoni and Vice-Chair Alessandra Salamini participated in the OECD Meetings of the Working Party on Harmonization of Regulatory Oversight in Biotechnology as well as the Working Party for the Safety of Novel Foods and Feeds.

The two Working Parties also featured a joint session to discuss the update of the OECD Council Recommendation on the Safety of Recombinant DNA organisms, and two revised proposals for future joint projects: one about information exchange on New Breeding Techniques and another one on safe-by design in biotechnology.
The power of digital for the fight against corruption – opportunity to contribute
 
In March, our Anti-Corruption and Digital Economy Policy Committees launched a new project on anti-corruption and digital to which we are calling for contributions. We had previously actively called on the OECD to consider the role digital technologies can play in the fight against corruption, including in the context of last year’s review of the OECD Anti-Bribery Recommendation.

The project aims to explore the interlinkages between anti-corruption efforts and digital technology and identify best practices and policy recommendations for how governments can support the uptake of digital for the fight against corruption.

In a proactive business-led effort to provide novel insights into practical experiences with the implementation of digital tech solutions, we are currently collecting use cases of companies leveraging different digital tools in their risk management and compliance programs. To contribute to the project, please contact:
 
Contact: Ina Sandler and Maylis Berviller
OECD to launch a set of new policy tools for sustainable development
 
Over the last year, our Investment and Responsible Business Conduct Committee has contributed actively with business experiences and advice to the development of a new package of OECD work on the qualities of foreign direct investment (FDI Qualities) that includes a set of indicators and a dedicated toolkit supporting policy makers in attracting investment that contributes to low carbon, gender equality, skills development and productivity objectives.

This work will be further accompanied by a new OECD Council Recommendation on Foreign Direct Investment Qualities to be endorsed at the 2022 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. In this context, our Business at OECD Chair Rick Johnston will participate alongside OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann at the high-level event on “Strengthening Sustainable Investment”, which will focus on the implementation of these deliverables. We have  underlined the potential of the Foreign Direct Investment Qualities project, while stressing the need to ensure balanced application of the toolkit, taking into account broader sustainable development goals and ensuring necessary investment safeguards.
 
Contact: Ina Sandler
OECD/G20 project on addressing the Tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy: pillar one consultation on regulated financial services
 
Last week on 20 May, our Tax Committee submitted comments to the Pillar One Regulated Financial Services Exclusion Public Consultation.  Our comments emphasize that the profitability for in-scope activities should be calculated as if undertaken as a standalone business, that asset managers and reinsurers should be explicitly excluded from Amount A (taxing right re-allocation) given that they are regulated in similar manners as other Regulated Financial Services institutions. As emphasized in earlier Pillar One related comments, simplification and early certainty will be key to the successful implementation of this set of rules and we continue to actively engage with OECD addressing proposed Pillar One/Pillar Two guidance.
 
Contact: Nicole Primmer
SOEs and the global competitive playing field
 
Next week, we will participate in an OECD virtual workshop on “Maintaining competitive neutrality: SOEs in global value chains”. The event will serve to launch the review process of the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises, which will be updated over the course of the next biennium.

Led by our Trade Committee Chair Pat Ivory and our Corporate Governance Committee Vice-Chair Pascal Durand-Barthez, our business delegation will convey private sector priorities during a tour de table with the participation of the OECD’s advisory bodies. We will underline that SOEs need to embrace the same principles as their private-sector peers if they are to be regarded as honest and fair competitors. We will further underline the importance of the principles of transparency and market neutrality, as well as OECD engagement with developing economies to help expand the competitive level playing field globally.
Economic damage is being felt worldwide - risks becoming increasingly severe
 
Earlier this month, the Chair of our Economic Policy Committee Dr. Klaus Deutsch participated in the OECD’s Economic Policy Committee meeting. Our Chair condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and emphasized that the economic damage is already being felt worldwide and risks becoming increasingly severe.

In his intervention, Dr. Deutsch also emphasized - from the business point of view - that the impact of sanctions on energy prices, and on prices in general, is a major concern. Where policymakers consider and apply economic sanctions, close dialogue with the private sector is indispensable to ensure that such measures are effective, well-targeted, transparent, and minimize unintended consequences.
 
Additionally, our Chair highlighted that the war has led to difficulties in securing supplies of products that cannot be easily substituted elsewhere. Examples include critical raw materials such as neon or ‘rare earths’, a substantial amount of which is imported from Ukraine to the European market. Our Chair emphasized that diversifying the source of imported products is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for the global economy, and many businesses of different sizes. OECD and governments should work closely with the private sector to explore options for diversification through market opening and avoiding domino effects on downstream industries.
 
Contact: Jacobo Ramos Folch
News from our members
RePowerEU: Finally getting going with the expansion of renewables

Against the background of the current geopolitical situation and the current energy crisis, the calls for rapid independence from Russian oil and gas supplies are getting louder – but the marathon is now becoming a triathlon, because in order to reduce our dependencies we have to make the triple efforts.

(Article in German)

Read More
Seniors have good job opportunities

Seniors' job opportunities in the Danish labour market are at least as good as they are for younger age groups. Seniors are highly valued employees in the Danish labour market. Employment among seniors is higher than ever before. Unemployment for the elderly is low and in line with the rest of the labour market.

(Article in Danish)

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OECD event attempts to help governments develop agile governance
The OECD, Business at OECD (BIAC) and the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center co-hosted an event on April 26 on the need for agile and adaptable regulatory practices. The event, titled “Agile Governance for our Future: Reimagining Regulation to Support Innovation” was held in person in Washington, DC, at the REACH at the Kennedy Center and received programming support from both USCIB and USCIB member Google.
 
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EU-US Technology and Trade Council take place in Europe for the first time
Following the first Ministerial Meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in September in Pittsburgh, Secretary of State Blinken, Trade Minister Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Tai European Commissioners and Vice-Presidents Vestager and Dombrovskis now met in Saclay, France. The Technology and Trade Council has greatly advanced transatlantic relations this year.
(Article in Dutch)
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