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Prime Minister: membership of the OECD – Lithuania’s long-term goal and strategic interest

Date

2015 06 04

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Today, on the 4th of June, the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) invited Lithuania to begin its membership negotiation process. “We are very happy with the decision of the Council, because it was our long-term goal and a strategic priority of economic policy,” said the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in the closing session of the Ministerial Council. “The Government together with diplomatic institutions have been working consistently and responsibly to transform the management model of different economic sectors of our country so that it meets the highest international standards. We are ready to move towards a full membership of the organisation,” emphasized the Prime Minister and thanked the OECD Secretariat for assistance and the member states for their support for Lithuania’s aspiration to accede the OECD.

Prime Minister A. Butkevičius discussed the upcoming negotiation process with the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. The Head of Government thanked Mr. Gurria for his personal assistance and congratulated him on the re-election as the head of the organisation for the third term. The Prime Minister emphasized that his Government will work diligently to have a timely and proper implementation of the Lithuania-OECD Action Plan. “We are preparing for the necessary revisions in the areas of state-owned enterprises, innovation policy, economic evaluation, youth employment and market openness,” assured the Prime Minister.

A. Butkevičius stated that by becoming a member of the prestigious club of economically mature and capable countries Lithuania will have its economy strengthened further, become more attract for investors, increase its competitiveness and ensure success of future governance reforms. “Membership of the OECD is in the interest of all the citizens of Lithuania,” emphasized the Prime Minister.

The OECD Ministerial Council decision will be followed by a period of accession negotiations of 2-3 years – Lithuania has to harmonized relevant legal acts with the OECD legislation and ratify the OECD Convention. Membership of the OECD provides the country with greater visibility in the world, strengthens the trust of investors and opens up new export markets.

Back in the year 2000, the aim of becoming an OECD member was included in the Government Programme, and in 2002 Lithuania submitted an official request to join the organisation. The sixteenth Government took a proactive approach to implement this priority of foreign and economic policy – it intensified the preparations for becoming a member, allocated more resources and made intensive diplomatic efforts.