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OECD praises Latvia’s achievements, but reforms are still necessary

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During their meeting with Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts, officials of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) praised all that Latvia managed to achieve in the last three years, still noting the necessity of carrying out reforms.

During his meeting with OECD Director General Angel Gurría, the minister confirmed Latvia’s readiness and desire to join OECD, Economy Ministry reports.

Gurría praised Latvia’s achievements and noted that the experience Latvia gained in overcoming the crisis will be valuable for other countries as well. At the same time he noted that Latvia should address the realization of its reforms in justice, corruption combating, education system, state and municipal management, e-management, improvement of business environment and other areas in order for them to comply to OECD standards and principles. He also invited Latvia to be involved more closely in the work of OECD, as well as participate more actively in OECD work groups and projects.

OECD Head Economist Pier Carlo Padoan also said during the meeting that Latvia managed to do much, recovering its economy, investor trust and the quality of business environment. He also praised Latvia’s work in the development of the National Industrial policy, which clearly marks the long-term economic policy and creates the necessary instruments for it.

OECD economist supported the principles of “Latvia’s long-term energy strategy for 2030 – competitive energy for society”. He noted that energy policy should be formed as close as possible with all questions of economic competitiveness.

During the working visit, the minister met with a number of OECD state ambassadors and several OECD Directorate managers. Pavluts called to support Latvia’s joining of OECD in the next admission stage, which is planned for spring 2013. The minister said that Latvia’s Joining of the organization would be a very significant step for the development of the country’s economy. OECD, as one of the most influential international cooperation organizations gives an opportunity not only to hold a dialogue based on principles of equality with the world’s economic giants, but also receive an OECD credit rating and adopt OECD standards in important areas (social, education and science, state and municipal management, tax and investment policy and others).

OECD is an intergovernmental organization which includes 34 most developed countries of the world, including 21 European countries. Estonia, Israel and Slovenia received an official invitation to join the organization on May 10, 2010. The decision regarding further expansion could be made in May 2013 during the conference of OECD Council of Ministers.

There are three criteria required for joining the organization: similarly thinking country, strong player, mutual interests and global considerations. However, compliance with these criteria does not automatically ensure joining of OECD. Decisions are made based on strategic interests, geopolitical balance, candidates’ separate economic achievements, as well as the organization’s capacity to welcome a new member. Latvia’s goal is to join the organization in the next expansion plan.

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