Latvia became a full-fledged member of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development on 1 July 2016 - on the day of the deposit of its instrument of ratification.
On 2 June 2016, in an official ceremony in Paris, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría signed the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the OECD Convention
On 16 June, the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament) approved in two readings a draft law “On the 14 December 1960 Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development”. Latvia becomes a full-fledged member of the OECD on the day of the deposit of its instrument of ratification with the depositary of the OECD Convention – the Government of France. This will be confirmed by a respective decision of the OECD Council.
The Prime Minister said that OECD membership has been a goal for Latvia for the past 20 years, but never an end in itself. “The accession process has already brought significant benefits and improvements for Latvia: it has been the driving force behind reforming the governance of state-owned capital enterprises and has also served as an additional incentive to enhance our capacity in countering bribery in international business transactions,” Prime Minister Kučinskis said.
The Prime Minister also emphasised that Latvia has to complete the implementation of OECD recommendations, and, instead of stopping at achievements, responsible decisions must be taken that will ensure economic development.
OECD Secretary-General Gurría noted that Latvia has successfully implemented a variety of reforms during the past three years, thus making great progress in a short period of time. “I am convinced that Latvia and its residents will benefit from OECD membership,” he said.
The Agreement on the accession of Latvia to the OECD is available here (in English and French).
The OECD is performing evidence-based analysis and research in any sector of importance for economy (economic, social, educational and health policies etc.). This enables the implementation of a national policy based on the experience of the world’s economically most advanced countries, mistakes made and lessons learned.
“OECD Reviews of National Policies for Education. Education in Latvia” prepared by the OECD was published on 19 May 2016. This report covers the whole education system and provides an assessment of Latvia’s policies and practices at each level (from early childhood education and care, primary and lower secondary education, upper secondary education and vocational education, and tertiary education). This international comparison brings to the fore the many strengths of Latvia’s education system, while also highlighting the challenges it faces and providing a number of recommendations in response.
Access the review in a digital format in the OECD iLibrary at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-in-latvia_9789264250628-en
“OECD Reviews of Labour Market and Social Policies: Latvia 2016” was published on 31 March 2016. The report presents an in-depth review of the situation in Latvia concerning the labour market policy and social policy, provides an analysis of reforms undertaken until now and offers OECD experts’ perspective on the main challenges lying ahead for Latvia. The review offers an unbiased view of reforms planned by the Latvian government and recommendations for carrying those out.
Access the review in a digital format in the OECD iLibrary at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/content/book/9789264250505-en
Membership in the OECD will bring Latvia significant benefits:
- Improvement of Latvia’s international credit rating which, in turn, has a positive influence on interest rates related to government and business financing. The costs of servicing the national debt shall therefore be reduced.
- Foreign direct investment shall increase considering that OECD membership means compliance with defined/high standards in business operations, the investment environment and investment protection. After joining the OECD, Latvia will be included in the OECD sectoral policy papers and studies, statistics and various databases. These OECD studies have high credibility among investors, international financial institutions and businesses and contribute to investor confidence.
- The fight against corruption shall be strengthened as the legal framework is improved and the new and adapted laws are put into practice.
- Direct economic contacts with OECD member states shall be promoted. Latvia will gain a higher profile in economic terms in countries with which the potential of business and trade cooperation has not yet been fully explored.
- Latvia is given an opportunity to evaluate and improve its educational system following best practices in other OECD member states including through the development of skills the labour market currently demands.
- The knowledge and competence of civil servants shall improve since Latvia’s public administration will have access to broad and diverse expertise enabling the selection of optimal solutions for enhancement of specific policies.