The process of the country’s accession to membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development began in 2015. On May 15, 2020, however, the OECD announced that Costa Rica had formally been invited to become the organization’s fourth Latin American member. This development occurred after the country enacted several reforms to align legislation, policies, and practices to meet the organization’s standards. Other Latin American countries that have become members of the group include Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is an international body with 37 member countries. The nations of the group share many similar economic and social development goals and policies. Countries that aspire to achieve OECD membership seek to join its ranks in order to participate in an international forum for cooperation that aims to seek solutions to common problems and to share public policies. Costa Rica is the sole Central American nation to be invited to join the OECD.
Advantages of membership in the OECD
Countries currently in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development account for about 70% of the global market. They are beneficiaries of several fundamental advantages of membership. Among them are:
- Constant assessment: The OECD monitors the economic data of its members and provides them with reliable and comparable statistics to set targets and measure progress.
- Development reports: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development serves as a forum for discussion and analysis of different topics while generating specific reports at the request of member companies.
- Fair advice: The OECD bases its suggestions and counsel on statistical and empirical evidence. It is politically non-aligned.
This most recent successful move towards membership marks the second of two Costa Rican attempts to join. The first effort was made on May 30, 2013, and was led by the then Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora. Dyala Jimenez Figueres, who resigned from the Foreign Trade Minister post in August of 2020 played a key role in providing leadership that resulted in the Central American nation to be invited to join the OECD this past May.
According to a press release that was published and circulated by the Presidential Office, the decision to invite Costa Rica to begin the OECD accession process has allowed the country to begin to work more closely with the 37 economies that make up the group. The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, celebrated the great news, “because it marked a milestone in the Central American country’s national development.”
“It is a decision that supports our aspiration to make the leap forward towards greater economic growth on a solid basis of good practices, transparency, and high standards in management that the current administration has proposed,” he observed.
Carlos Alvarado Quesada also recognized the efforts made by officials such as former President Laura Chinchilla to bring about this result for Costa Rica. Upon receiving the news, Chinchilla reacted in an interview with local media by pointing out the fact that there would be approximately two additional years to go before the conclusion of the accession process and that the country must continue to demonstrate coherence in public policies, especially in terms of those related to education and infrastructure during this period.
The OECD currently addresses more than 15 thematic areas. These include public administration, environmental policy, energy, education, employment, finance policy, transport, and investment, among others.
To secure admission, Costa Rica and the OECD must sign a Protocol of Accession, which must be ratified by the nation’s Legislative Assembly.
The country is the fourth in the region to initiate a process of incorporation into this organization; Mexico, Chile, and Colombia are existing members.
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