Paris – Yesterday, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi attended the formal accession ceremony of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The ceremony during which Mr Ansip received Estonia’s official invitation to join the organisation took place at the headquarters of the OECD.
Invitations to join the OECD were also extended to Israel and Slovenia.
In his speech, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that receiving the invitation to join the OECD was a great honour and privilege for Estonia.
“This year is very important for Estonia,” Mr Ansip said, upon addressing the ministers of the OECD countries. “For a long time, Estonia has had two important policy goals: joining the OECD and becoming part of the euro area. Today, we can say that the first goal has been achieved, and the second one is within our reach.”
According to the Prime Minister, Estonia sees the OECD as a value based forum that unites ambitious and dynamic countries. He continued by saying that Estonia shares the views of OECD members who are not content with simply maintaining the status quo.
“We are always open to new ideas,” Ansip stated. “We have gained a lot of experience over the years and are prepared to contribute this experience to the OECD knowledge base.”
In his speech at the OECD, the Prime Minister also gave an overview of Estonia's economic and financial policy. He emphasised the importance of Estonia’s fixed exchange rate, strict budget policy, simple tax system, and favourable business environment.
Mr Ansip added that Estonia’s economy has grown tenfold since 1992, while old-age pensions have increased no less than twenty times during this period. The average life expectancy is approximately seven years longer now than it was in 1994.
“We are confident that OECD membership will contribute to the further development of Estonia,” the Prime Minister asserted.
After the ceremony, Mr Jürgen Ligi, Minister of Finance, stated that being invited to join the OECD is an important acknowledgement of Estonia’s economic and financial policy.
“I am glad that we are seen as a country that others would like to exchange experiences with and learn from,” said Ligi. “Membership in the organisation also allows us to play a more active role in shaping the OECD rules and recommendations on policies related to economic, budgetary, taxation and financial affairs.”
Today’s accession ceremony took place within the framework of OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting. Mr Jürgen Ligi is one of the ministers participating in the discussions that are scheduled to continue tomorrow.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip will sign the OECD accession treaty when OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría visits Estonia on 3 June 2010.
Estonia will become a full member of the OECD after the accession treaty is ratified by the Estonian Parliament.
OECD is a forum for democratic nations which is based in Paris. The organisation was established in 1961 on the basis of its predecessor, the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.
OECD currently has 31 member countries. The primary goal of the organisation is to contribute to the development of the global economy and to the expansion of global trade.
In order to achieve this goal, the organisation encourages close co-operation between its members. In the OECD, specialists analyse their areas of expertise and present recommendations for policy development in the field in question.
This process also involves the regular preparation of economic reports on the organisation’s member countries. As part of the accession process, an in-depth economic report was prepared on Estonia in 2009.
Prime Minister's speech: http://www.valitsus.ee/brf/index.phpid=297728&tpl=1007&external=&search=&aasta=
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