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OECD lays down Costa Rica’s ‘roadmap’ to membership

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development announced its roadmap for Costa Rica’s accession to the exclusive club of nations Wednesday. This is the latest step in Costa Rica’s quest to join the Paris-based clique that government officials argue will improve the country’s image, particularly among foreign investors, in terms of national public policy and sustainable development.

Costa Rica hopes to soon count itself among the only Latin American countries, along with Mexico and Chile, out of the 34 member states. OECD formally invited Costa Rica to apply for membership in April. Colombia, Latvia and Lithuania are also undergoing the accession process.

Nicola Bonucci, OECD director for legal affairs and accession coordinator, will visit Costa Rica on July 22 to formally present the roadmap to President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The next step requires Costa Rica to submit an Initial Memorandum establishing its position on 260 OECD legal instruments, which lay out best practices across a government’s purview. Afterwards, OECD committee members will assess the country’s adherence to OECD standards on issues like investment, bribery, corporate and public governance, taxes, the environment and labor.

After the assessment is complete and committee heads have agreed that Costa Rica meets the standards, the OECD governing council will vote on Costa Rica’s accession.

“We’re pushing this process because we’re sure that it will be a key tool for the development of this country and for the benefit of Costa Ricans,” President Solís said in a statement. “The accession process to the OECD is a commitment to the best standards in public administration and market efficiency under the greatest transparency, which will contribute to the business climate and investment to bring better living conditions to Costa Ricans.”

The Foreign Trade Ministry is tasked with overseeing Costa Rica’s implementation. Costa Rica began its application to join the OECD in 2010 under President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014).

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