The Long-Term Investment Challenge

PARIS – As the deepest economic crisis of our lifetimes stretches into its seventh year, most OECD countries are continuing to underperform. This year, GDP growth in the world’s advanced economies is expected to average 2%, compared to 3.2% worldwide. And 2016 is shaping up to be no better, with output in the OECD growing by 2.5%, while the rest of the world’s GDP expands at a 3.8% rate – close to the pre-crisis average.

But the long-term economic prospects of the global economy as a whole look gloomy. As societies in many OECD countries age, and catch-up growth in large emerging economies begins to wind down, global GDP growth is expected to fall from its annual average of 3.6% in the 2010-2020 period to an estimated 2.4% in 2050-2060.

This slump may be inevitable, but it can be mitigated. Implementing policies to facilitate and reward long-term investments will be key to exiting the current crisis and boosting the world’s growth potential.

Investments, both public and private, are needed to foster green growth, support innovation and entrepreneurship, contribute to closing the inequality gaps that have widened during the crisis, and help build the skills that are essential for more resilient economies and more inclusive societies. And, though meeting these needs will require transformational changes in the behavior of governments and investors, the payoff will be significant. In short, as we argued during the OECD Forum and annual Ministerial Council Meeting last week, this time we need to promote investments that focus on people and the planet.