News Politics Australian Politics Then there were two: Cormann still in OECD leader race

Then there were two: Cormann still in OECD leader race

mathias cormann
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann will not know for weeks if he has scored the OECD's top job.
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Mathias Cormann is one of two final candidates in the international race to become the next secretary-general of the OECD.

The ex-federal finance minister’s chances of taking the top job improved overnight on Monday following the withdrawal of Greece’s candidate.

Mr Cormann will face off for the leadership of the 37-member intergovernmental Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development against Sweden’s candidate Cecilia Malmstrom.

The successful candidate will succeed secretary-general Angel Gurria for a five-year term beginning on June 1.

Mr Cormann, a former senator for Western Australia, was born in Belgium and migrated to Australia in 1996.

His written pitch states he would bring a distinctive perspective to the secretary-general role, having spent half of his life in Europe and half in the Asia-Pacific.

“His experience gives him rare insights into the cultures, economic strengths and political dynamics of both regions.”

Taxpayers have funded a RAAF jet for him to travel the world seeking support for his candidacy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also supporting him, setting up a task force consisting of 8.5 temporary dedicated staff and providing him with an adviser.

The OECD is an international organisation that shapes global policies that foster prosperity, equality and opportunity.

There is bipartisan support for the bid, with Labor saying there is a national interest in having Australians in international institutions.

However, the Greens have been lobbying OECD members to block Mr Cormann’s bid because of Australia’s inaction on climate change.

-with AAP