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Costa Rica president sets date for OECD application

President Luis Guillermo Solís said that Costa Rica would present its application to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in June 2015, during remarks following a meeting with the organization’s president in Mexico on Sunday. The meeting with OECD President José Ángel Gurría took place during a business summit in Veracruz where Solís had been courting foreign investment over the weekend.

“It was an extremely positive meeting. The meeting allowed us to reaffirm the Costa Rican government’s intention to advance its OECD candidacy as quickly as possible. My administration is committed to achieving it and that’s why we’re focusing our efforts on completing the steps in the action plan and getting prepared to accept the invitation next year,” Solís said in a statement from Casa Presidencial.

Costa Rica has been eying membership in the elite club of developed nations for several years. The country has been working to bring its public institutions up to speed with OECD standards, including the passage of tax and financial transparency legislation in 2012 that elevated the country off the Paris-based organization’s tax haven list. During a visit to Paris in 2012, former President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) said that Costa Rica could contribute its experience with social investment, environmentalism and free-trade promotion.

The OECD is made up of 34 members states, mostly from Europe and North America. Chile and Mexico are currently the only Latin American OECD member states. Besides Costa Rica, Colombia has also set out a road map to accession. The OECD does not issue loans or grants but member states have historically seen GDP growth after joining the organization, which says it fosters prosperity and fights poverty through economic growth and financial stability, according to its website.

Besides meeting with world leaders at the summit in Veracruz, Solís also met with Mexican investors Sunday and on through Tuesday. Jorge Sequeira, general director of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, noted that Mexico represents an important source of foreign investment in Costa Rica, totaling $147 million in 2013.

The president also attended the Ibero-American Summit during the weekend. Solís returns to Costa Rica on Wednesday.

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