Waiting game begins for OECD membership bid

Technical reviews related to Latvia's bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development came to an end Monday, Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, meaning there is now a nervous wait before more news in May.

"On 18 April, Latvia received the final formal opinion from committees of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Latvia’s readiness for accession to the organisation," the Ministry said in a news release.

"The OECD Corporate Governance Committee has taken stock of progress made by Latvia in the field of corporate governance and the governance of state-owned companies and determined that Latvia is able and willing to introduce OECD standards in this field.

"The OECD Corporate Governance Committee will follow up on the practical implementation of the government commitments to re-establish, by the end of the year, professional and independent boards of directors at the all larger and commercial state-owned companies," the statement added.

On 14 April, the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions also delivered a positive opinion.

Latvia has now received positive formal opinions from each one of the 21 committees which evaluated Latvia’s compliance with OECD standards and best practices. In accordance with the Roadmap for Latvia’s Accession to the OECD Convention, the technical review process for membership in the OECD has been concluded.

"A decision of the OECD Council to extend an invitation to Latvia to accede to the OECD Convention is needed for Latvia to become the 35th member state of the organisation. It is expected that discussions between OECD member states based on formal opinions by the OECD committees, a report drawn up by the Secretary-General, and the Final Statement presented by Latvia concerning the acceptance by Latvia of the terms and conditions of membership will take place in May. After this an agreement on the accession of the Republic of Latvia to the Organisation will be signed," the Ministry explained.

"We have received valuable recommendations which on certain occasions have been a strong impetus for domestic reforms," Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said, offering gratitude to all Latvian institutions involved and more than 110 experts and policy makers for their efforts to introduce OECD recommendations and make improvements.

 

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