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Meeting of Minister Humphreys and Minister Breen with Secretary General of the OECD, Mr José Ángel Gurría

Ministers Humphreys and Breen met today with Secretary General Gurría for the launch of the upcoming collaboration of the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and the wider Government with the OECD on the Review of SME and Entrepreneurship issues and policies in Ireland.

This will be a seminal 18-month project which will see a comprehensive review of the SME business ecosystem and policies, using OECD expertise in a structured and defined process. The resulting recommendations and issues identified by the report will then form the basis of a long-term Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation led SME Strategy for Ireland. Areas covered include taxation, the regulatory environment, productivity challenges and skills and human resource management. It also includes an assessment of the main SME-targeted programme areas, including SME workforce and management skills, internationalisation, financing and innovation. Specific attention will be focus on productivity- innovation and digitalisation in SMEs, the ability for Irish SMEs to scale and to internationalise and how SMEs can increase high quality labour retention.

Minister Humphreys stated “It is a great privilege to discuss this important body of work with Secretary General Gurría. He has a deep knowledge of economic development and is keen for Ireland to engage more deeply with the OECD. It is important that we understand where supports for businesses in Ireland are working well and where they need to improve. My Department is certainly up to this challenge and we, along with the small businesses of Ireland will benefit from the expertise of the OECD and the findings of this Review”.  

Minister Breen attended as Head of Delegation, the OECD Ministerial Conference on SMEs, in Mexico City on the theme of “Strengthening SMEs and Entrepreneurship for Productivity and Inclusive Growth” on the 22-23 February 2018.

Minister Breen was a lead speaker on two items: “How digitalisation is shaping the future of SMEs” and “Enabling SMEs to scale up”. Minister Breen stated “As Chair of the Advisory Group on Small Business, I have engaged with SMEs and their representatives regularly. There are numerous organisations calling for this type of review and I believe it will help the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation and other Government Departments focus on the right type of supports. I had the pleasure of meeting Secretary General Gurría at the excellent OECD Ministerial in Mexico. We discussed at length Ireland’s position within the OECD and more specifically the benefits of carrying out this important Review for Ireland”.


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