On 11 May, the Council of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) met and OECD member states decided to invite Latvia to become the 35th member of the organisation. The unanimous vote by the OECD Council is confirmation that Latvia meets all conditions for membership.
As pointed out by Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, membership in the OECD has been one of Latvia’s priorities for quite some time. Bringing all forces to bear, we have covered a distance that could be compared to a marathon and earned our right to belong to what has often been appropriately called a “club of best practices”, he said. As an OECD member state, Latvia will have an opportunity, working together with the most developed economies, to address major global challenges that, directly or indirectly, are increasingly affecting domestic political processes.
Latvia will gain access to the experience of OECD member states and their expertise, enabling the enhancement of its performance in virtually every aspect of the national economy and raising the living standards for all its residents. As such, membership in the organisation of the world’s most developed countries does not guarantee prosperity. It is our own responsibility to ensure that we use our OECD membership to maximize its advantages, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs said.
In the course of accession to the OECD, Latvia has already undertaken reforms and improvements which, on the basis of best practices and expertise, will facilitate Latvian economic growth in the longer term. For instance, recommendations from the OECD were a strong stimulus for much-needed internal reforms. As a member of the OECD, Latvia will have to report on what has been accomplished and on the implementation of recommendations received in the course of the accession process.
The next step after the OECD Council decision to invite Latvia to accede to the OECD is the signing of an agreement on the accession of the Republic of Latvia to the OECD and this will take place during the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris on the 2nd of June. Following the signing and ratification of the agreement at the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia (the Latvian Parliament), Latvia will become a full-fledged OECD member state.
On 18 April, Latvia completed the process of technical reviews, having received formal opinions from each of the 21 committees which evaluated Latvia’s compliance with OECD standards and best practices.
OECD press release "Accession: Latvia invited to join OECD": http://www.oecd.org/latvia/accession-latvia-invited-to-join-oecd.htm
OECD Q & A's about accession of Latvia to the OECD: http://www.oecd.org/latvia/qas-accession-of-latvia-to-the-oecd.htm
Event for the media
To congratulate Latvia on its invitation to join the OECD and exchange views on further cooperation, the Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, Douglas Frantz, is visiting Riga on the 12th of May.
From 10.00 to 10.30 on 12 May, a press conference with the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, and OECD Deputy Secretary General, Douglas Franz, will take place in the Foreign Ministry’s Press Conference Hall.
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