WQ85451 (e) Tabled on 10/06/2022

Will the Minister provide an update on the latest OECD advice in relation to the multi-level governance structures for national and regional economic development within Wales?

Answered by Minister for Economy | Answered on 22/06/2022

Following the publication of the OECD report on Regional Development and Public Investment in September 2020, the Welsh Government is working with the OECD on a two-year project to implement some of their recommendations.

Regional-level working is already taking place in Wales. We have introduced a more regionally focussed approach to economic development through the establishment of regional teams, headed by Chief Regional Officers. These teams are working closely with key stakeholders across the region to support our businesses to manage the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis and to support growth and prosperity.

We have also engaged with local authorities and wider stakeholders to establish and take forward Regional Economic Frameworks, published last year, defining a clear vision for the regions and a common set of priorities for economic development.

The two-year project with the OECD started at the end of September 2021 and we are working with Welsh partners to strengthen both the strategic and implementation dimensions of regional level working and regional development in Wales. This OECD work has included conducting desk research, a stakeholder survey and several vision setting events among Welsh Government, local government and other stakeholders. These events will continue throughout June and July.

Corporate Joint Committees have been established on a regional basis across Wales, based on the regional economic footprint. They will have the power to do anything they consider necessary to promote the economic well-being of their region.

The second phase of the OECD project is to help embed this new vehicle for regional governance. It will bring all partners together to develop a shared understanding of regional working, to look at their capacity as key players in supporting regional development, to identify any gaps and develop action plans to help make these new regional bodies a success.

We are expecting an interim report from the OECD in Autumn which will reflect the vision setting work they have been undertaking with stakeholders.