OECD secretary general Angel Gurria answers five key questions

OECD secretary general Angel Gurria answers five key questions

OECD secretary general Angel Gurria answers five key questions

Updated 4 June 2015, 7:00 AEST

Business reporter Emily Stewart sat down with Angel Gurria, the OECD's secretary-general, to ask him some key economic questions.

Business reporter Emily Stewart sat down with Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.

Greece has until this Friday to make a repayment of $334 million to the International Monetary Fund. Will the Government reach a settlement in time?

I think so, I certainly hope so. My impression is that everybody involved is doing everything they can to make it happen.

What can the Greek Government do to improve the situation?

In the case of Greece, we're working closely with the Government as you know.

We have created a special taskforce.

We're trying to create a common language, that both the Greek people but also the foreigners can understand.

It's based on tax collection, fighting against corruption, more competition, fighting the monopolies and duopolies and the oligarch, and the question of making the government itself more functional.

How optimistic are you about the global economy?

It's patchy. It's better than a year ago.

Europe is picking up - 2015 may be the first year in which all the European countries - we'll have to see what happens with Greece, but it's a bit of a special case - will be positive in their growth.

Some more modest than others, but they will all have escaped recession.

The United States has created in the last four-five years 10-11 million new jobs, so it's doing well.

There is a big discussion whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates at the end of this year, the beginning of next year - it's good news it means normality is a little closer and normality is good.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is in the final stages of negotiation - but do you think Australian consumers and business will be worse off, with higher pharmaceutical prices or insufficient food labelling for example?

I think the TPP is a sum positive. It's a net positive.

There may be some quirks in the behaviour of some of the indicators, but basically what you're talking about is creating a giant network where you will bring down the costs of trading, open investment regimes and basically make for a more open, more efficient, better oiled wheels of trade investment and economy exports, jobs, etc.

With less interference, or undue interference, by governments, with less protectionism and therefore a situation in the end which is better for all involved.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey handed down his budget last month - what did you make of it?

I think Joe Hockey has done a very good job in sending out the message and maintaining the integrity of the public finances in Australia.

Now you also have to take into account the context ... Commodity prices have come down and demand has come down and therefore you have a set of circumstances which are not consistent with the original plan, so what you do is you adjust the speed.

I think what is being done by Australia is also what is being done by countries in Europe and also what is being done in the United States - in the face of changing circumstances you adapt but you don't lose the main direction, the main aim, which is to make public finances sustainable over time.

You can watch Emily Stewart's interview with Angel Gurria on The Business at 4:30pm and 8:30pm (AEST) on ABC News 24 and at 11:00pm (your local time) on ABC.