On Thursday, 16 June, the Saeima adopted the Law on the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960 and on the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, thus ratifying the agreement whereby Latvia joins the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
"By joining the OECD, Latvia has fully returned to Western international organisations, sending a clear signal to investors that our country's business and legal environment meets high standards," said Inara Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima. She stressed that the Saeima made a significant contribution to Latvia’s accession to the OECD by amending many laws to ensure compliance with the high standards of the OECD.
At the same time, Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that accession to the OECD does not mean that Latvia has completed the reforms agreed upon in the negotiation process. The accession is rather a catalyst for continuing structural reforms in such areas as corporate governance, health and education, as well as the fight against corruption.
Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee, commented: "This is a historic decision of the Saeima, because by joining the OECD, which is one of the world's most prestigious institutions, Latvia enters the realm of the world's most developed nations". He also noted that the accession negotiations led Latvia to more quickly perform the tasks that our country would have had to do in any case.
The OECD is a unique forum and a globally recognised centre of expertise, which allows member states to deal effectively with issues in various sectors by drafting international guidelines and standards in order to promote sustainable development and find answers to global challenges. The annotation of the draft law states that the organisation's mission is to build and promote reforms that will improve living standards and socio-economic conditions, as well as economic competitiveness.
Furthermore, the annotation states that Latvia’s membership in the OECD will serve as an international quality stamp certifying Latvia’s compliance with the highest standards in business, finance and international transactions, corporate governance, fighting corruption and other areas. OECD assessments of sectoral policy and reforms, as well as evidence-based recommendations on issues that are important for the Latvian public will provide an opportunity to improve the efficiency of public administration, the country's competitiveness and citizens' welfare.
Latvia is the 35th member state of the OECD. Our country expressed its wish to join the organisation in 1996. Latvia’s accession to the OECD has long been one of the priorities of the Latvian government.
Saeima Press Service