June 1, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

International cooperation is essential to addressing the health, economic and social crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring a strong, inclusive, and sustainable global economy as the world builds back better from the pandemic. 

Over the last two days, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and the Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, took part in a virtual Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which was chaired by the United States and vice-chaired by Luxembourg and South Korea.

The meeting marked the transition in leadership from Angel Gurría of Mexico, the OECD’s outgoing secretary-general, to Mathias Cormann of Australia, the OECD’s new secretary-general. During the meeting, OECD members welcomed Costa Rica as the 38th member of the OECD and endorsed a joint statement reiterating their commitment to supporting businesses, workers, and people as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Fortier reaffirmed the importance of finishing the fight against COVID-19 and ensuring a strong and inclusive recovery. She highlighted Canada’s approach of putting people first and ensuring that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous. Minister Fortier also noted some of the key investments announced in Budget 2021, including the generational investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.

In addition, Minister Fortier discussed Canada’s new Quality of Life Framework, which will help Canada take a well-rounded, inclusive, and sustainable perspective to policy-making in order to advance our shared prosperity, health, social connections, environment, and governance.

Minister Ng reiterated the importance of supporting under-represented groups, which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, including small and medium-sized enterprises, women, and Indigenous businesses, so that they can benefit from global trade and continue to contribute to Canada’s economic competitiveness. 

Minister Ng also emphasized the need for collective action to ensure a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that ambitious action is required by all countries to tackle climate change.

Both ministers reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to working with Mr. Cormann, the incoming OECD secretary-general, and with other OECD members to ensure that the OECD remains a leading forum for discussing global challenges and finding common solutions that support better lives for all its members’ citizens. 

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