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An aerial view of Bogota, the capital of Colombia. (File photo) (Photo: Forbes Magazine)

Colombia becomes 37th member of OECD

An aerial view of Bogota, the capital of Colombia. (File photo) (Photo: Forbes Magazine)

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development last week Tuesday welcomed Colombia as its 37th member, the third country in the Latin American country to do so.

Mexico and Chile are the other two members of the 60-year old association. Costa Rica, in the meantime, is completing its accession to the grouping.

(Photo: US Embassy and Consulate in Poland)

A five-year process

“Colombia has now completed its domestic procedures for ratification of the OECD Convention and deposited its instrument of accession. This brings to a successful conclusion an accession process that began in 2013,” a press release from the organisation said.

Though beginning the process of accession seven years ago, the country only got an invitation to join the organisation in 2018. However, during those five years Colombia implemented major reforms to align its legislation, policies, and practices to OECD standards.

“…the accession process has served as a catalyst for Colombia to proceed to important reforms to improve the well-being of its citizens…”

— Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

In addition, the OECD’s 23 committees also conducted “in-depth” reviews of the South America country’s policy framework, testing areas including labour issues, reform of the justice system, corporate governance of State-owned enterprises, anti-bribery, trade and the establishment of a national policy on industrial chemicals and waste management.

“Beyond the technical aspects, the accession process has served as a catalyst for Colombia to proceed to important reforms to improve the well-being of its citizens, such as the reduction of informality in the labour market, improving the quality and relevance of education and training as well as the long-term sustainability of the health system,” the OECD release explained.

Policy perspective

According to OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría, the accession of Colombia to the association “is tangible proof of our commitment to bring together countries who strive for the highest standards in global public policy” so that they ensure and enhance the well-being and quality of life of their citizens.

Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Photo: YouTube)

“The accession process has offered Colombia the opportunity to address major policy issues and challenges multilaterally and to learn from the experiences of fellow OECD countries. Engaging Colombia has also served to enrich the OECD’s knowledge and policy experience,” he added.

The Paris, France-based OECD provides a forum for governments to collaborate, share experiences and create solutions to the economic, social and governance challenges they face.