The OECDprovides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems. We work with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmentalchange. We measure productivity and global flows of trade and investment. We analyse and compare data to predict future trends. We set international standards on a wide range of things, from agricultureand tax to the safety of chemicals.
We look, too, at issues that directly affect the lives of ordinary people, like how much they pay in taxes and social security, and how much leisure time theycan take. We compare how different countries’ school systems are readying their young people for modern life, and how different countries’ pension systems will look after their citizens in old age.Drawing on facts and real-life experience, we recommend policies designed to make the lives of ordinary people better. We work with business, through the Business and Industry Advisory Committee tothe OECD, and with labour, through the Trade Union Advisory Committee. We have active contacts as well with other civil society organisations. The common thread of our work is a shared commitment tomarket economies backed by democratic institutions and focused on the wellbeing of all citizens. Along the way, we also set out to make life harder for the terrorists, tax dodgers, crooked businessmenand others whose actions undermine a fair and open society.
Now, as the OECD turns 50, we are focusing on helping governments in our member countries and elsewhere in four main areas:
* First andforemost, governments need to restore confidence in markets and the institutions and companies that make them function. That will require improved regulation and more effective governance at all...