The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently completed a project with the Welsh Government aimed at integrating international best practices into post-Brexit regional development in Wales.

The project titled 'Strengthening strategic and administrative capacity for delivering regional development policy' builds upon previous collaborations and recommendations made by the OECD.

This strategic initiative followed the publication of a report in 2020 by the OECD, titled 'The Future of Regional Development and Public Investment in Wales, United Kingdom.' The report, which was produced after two years of research and strategic planning with the Welsh Government, provided vital insights into public investment tactics effective for regional development.

This venture by the OECD further informed the development of the 'Framework for Regional Investment in Wales', by the Welsh Government.

The model within this framework was initially set to replace EU funds in Wales.

However, according to Jeremy Miles MS, the UK Government instead decided to route the funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, sidelining the Welsh Government.

The latest project with the OECD focused on implementing previous recommendations and honing multi-level governance and public investment practices.

The endeavour aimed to assist the Welsh Government, Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs), and local authorities in defining a vision for regional development.

Additionally, it had its sights set on bolstering partnerships with subnational bodies and improving policy implementation and service delivery.

With the post-Brexit investment scene posing difficulties and financial pressure building in Wales, the project's importance has grown.

Jeremy Miles MS, minister for economy, energy and Welsh language, clarifies this matter and expresses concern over the centralisation of funding and decision-making done at the UK Government level since 2019.

He said this shift from the Welsh Government's scrutiny to the UK Government's control is causing issues, including duplicity of provision, unwarranted complexities, and a fragmented investment landscape.

The consequences of this approach ultimately decrease value for money and hinder the execution of impactful regional policies.

The Welsh Government addresses the OECD's synthesis report with positivity and gratitude for the participation of CJCs, local authorities, and Welsh delivery partners.

It reiterates its commitment to intelligent regional development, drawing from the OECD findings for future projects.

The government believes that tighter collaboration with CJCs, local authorities, and Welsh delivery partners will facilitate shared goals achievement, and funds will be channelled more effectively for Wales's betterment, benefiting regions and communities across the country.