Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General.
Crédit Photos©Morgane BRAVO
The Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, and Deputy Prime Minister Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD, visited the OECD on 7 February 2014.
Secretary-General Gurría also hosted the Taoiseach and Tánaiste as they addressed over 300 invited guests on the theme of “Jobs and Recovery: Ireland after the bailout”. He paid tribute to the resilience of the Irish people in facing up to their recent economic challenges, noting that that the pace of GDP growth and job creation was picking up.
In an hour-long bilateral meeting, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría reaffirmed the OECD’s readiness to support Ireland as it implements its structural reform agenda. Their conversation covered Ireland’s economic outlook, efforts to tackle unemployment, and Ireland’s international development efforts. The afternoon Leaders’ Policy Forum covered policy areas in more depth, including public sector reform, innovation policy, youth employment, and the green economy as an engine of growth."
I want to thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to come to the OECD and share your invaluable insight with us today.
This is one of the largest top level delegations that have visited our premises under our Leaders Programme. It is a strong confirmation of the commitment of Ireland to the OECD and an honour for us. I want to thank Prime Minister Kenny for having chosen our Organisation to have an open conversation on Ireland’s challenges and its amazing renaissance story.
These are very tough challenges, but not tough enough to bend Irish perseverance. If you know your history well, or if you are good at rugby, you know that Ireland is one of “the world’s most resilient countries”, as reads the title of a 2010 book by David J. Lynch.
In the past four years, with steady leadership, rigorous policies and remarkable efforts by the Irish people, Ireland has turned the situation around.
Ireland is the first country to successfully exit its bailout programme. Growth is slowly but gradually returning. The credit outlook has been raised by rating agencies. Borrowing costs have been trending lower. And Ireland is becoming once again an attractive destination for international investors.
In our latest Economic Outlook, we forecast GDP to grow by 1.9% this year and 2.2% in 2015. The unemployment situation is also gradually improving: as Taoiseach Kenny reported in a speech on Monday, only last year, more than 58,000 new jobs were created.
It is now crucial that Ireland maintains direction and speed. It is paramount to focus on the continued implementation of structural reforms in order to tackle unemployment, boost market confidence, and continue driving forward this positive momentum.
At the OECD we trust that Ireland will continue on this path of improvement, guided by a responsible and committed Government. And we certainly stand ready to keep helping this country to design and implement ‘Better Policies for Better Lives’. Thank you."