Latvia, Colombia invited to join OECD
RIGA - Agence France-Presse
Latvia’s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis seen in this file photo. REUTERS photoThe OECD invited Latvia and Colombia to join the Paris-based club of leading industrialised nations, Latvia’s premier said.
“I am very proud of the positive decision taken today on OECD expansion,” Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters in the seaside resort of Jurmala. Joining the OECD immediately raises a country’s economic profile and opens the possibility for deeper international ties on economic, education and social matters.
Dombrovskis said the 34-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, dubbed the “rich countries’ club”, informed his foreign ministry of the decision after a meeting in Paris. The invite is for the Baltic nation of two million people to begin accession negotiations that should eventually lead to full membership status.
Dombrovskis has been relentlessly drumming up support for Latvia’s OECD bid for over a year, hoping to emulate neighbour Estonia, which joined in 2010 after receiving an invite in 2007. Latvia, which hopes to join the eurozone next year, suffered the worst economic collapse of all 27 EU members during the global economic crisis, with output contracting by nearly a quarter in 2008-2009. Latvia posted the best growth figures in the EU in both 2011 and 2012, with its GDP expanding by more than five percent each year.