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Nov 01, 2017 / 16:46

Oxfam Calls on APEC to Promote the model of Inclusive Growth that leaves no one behind

Today, Oxfam launched “Redefining inclusive growth in Asia” a report which outlines how Asia can achieve growth that leaves no one behind.

The launch comes ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam. In spite of significant economic growth, in Asia and other APEC member economies, the gap between the rich and poor continues to worsen. The report underlines  that leaders during APEC 2017 can seize the the moment to redefine an economic model that creates equal oppertunites for men and women, ensures  decent living wages, basic social services, and access to productive resources for all.

The report calls for the APEC leaders to support member countries in mobilizing tax revenues to fund sustainable development goals rather engage in wasteful and unfair tax competition and engage in practices that deny essential revenue to the developing countries. They must discourage corporate tax avoidance and evasion, should work together to improve tax administration capacity and productivity; Progressive taxation and efficient and transparent tax collection. These measures will benefit from increased tax revenues to invest in basic public services like health, education, and social welfare leading towards fair and better societies and communities.
The APEC leaders must work to ensure all workers have a fair income by ensuring a minimum wage that allows a decent living for their families. To ensure inclusion and sustainability, their rights must be respected and upheld. Countries must implement existing labor regulations and address policy gaps. They must stop corporations from maximizing profits at the expense of labor and improve workers’ bargaining power.
Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), especially those led by women, is critical to facilitating inclusive growth. APEC leaders must invest in providing MSMEs with financial services and capital and build their development and management capabilities. Public investments must be increased in services that reduce women’s household care burdens so that they can work to overcome poverty and promote economic growth as entrepreneurs.
This year’s host, the Vietnamese Government has underscored the importance of economic, financial, and social inclusion and called for the APEC to develop a holistic approach which incorporates all three pillars to promote inclusive growth.
Babeth Ngọc Hân Lefur, Oxfam Country Director in Vietnam, says that: “Inclusive growth must deliver real change for people and not treat citizens as passive recipients. APEC leaders must recognize people’s voices and allow them to participate in all three pillars of inclusion – economic, social and financial. APEC can only do this by ensuring that people can contribute to decision making, especially on matters that directly affect them. They must make sure that workers are represented in corporate structures, and develop financial services that respond to the needs of everyone including women, workers, farmers, and fishers.
Oxfam welcomes the Vietnamese government’s commitment to addressing inequality and promote inclusive growth. We hope the 2017 APEC summit is an opportunity to blaze a path to a new and exciting national goal – an economy where no one is left behind”.