President Dalia Grybauskaitė

OECD membership finalizes Lithuania‘s establishment in global organizations

2018-05-30

Wednesday, May 30, Paris – President Dalia Grybauskaitė signed an agreement on Lithuania’s accession to the Convention on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Following its ratification by the Seimas, Lithuania will officially become the 36th member of the OECD.  President of France Emmanuel Macron and Secretary-General of the OECD Ángel Gurría who attended the ceremony congratulated Lithuania on the accession to the OECD.

Lithuania is among the fastest to finalize the OECD membership process in the entire history of this organization. According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, this demonstrates concerted effort of the entire state and a strong political will.  The President presented the request for membership to the OECD Council five years ago. Today, when Lithuania celebrates the centennial of its restored independence, it is highly symbolic that it finalizes its establishment in the international arena, as the OECD is the last of important international organizations that Lithuania has joined.

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the OECD is highly influential organization as it is de facto secretariat for the Group of Seven powerful states and an idea forum for the G20. Therefore, the membership will provide us with more possibilities to contribute to shaping global economic agenda and geopolitical processes.

The President underscores, that the OECD provides a huge potential for Lithuania. The accession process alone pushed forward the long-awaited reforms, and the full membership will be even more advantageous. The biggest opportunities for Lithuania open up in five areas: economics and public administration, finance, education, social protection and fight against corruption.

The OECD shapes the best practices for the management of national economies; therefore, in the area of economics, Lithuania will further concentrate on raising efficiency and transparency of the public enterprises.  As early as during the period of accession, Lithuania undertook important reforms of forestry and road maintenance enterprises and de facto began depoliticizing state owned enterprises. Guided by the OECD expertise, Lithuania will continue the reforms that are important to the state.

Building up national industry and development of innovation will be in the focus, as OECD expertise will help Lithuania to ensure the best conditions for creating new jobs, enhancing competitiveness and promoting progressive business. During the accession process, the President initiated changes in science and innovation policy - now public funding for science is given for progress and inventions rather than for maintenance of the buildings; and innovative businesses enjoy tax benefits.

Financial and fiscal policy matters are among key priorities of the OECD. To this end, OECD expertise will be important in shaping and implementing Lithuania’s fiscal policy, ensuring national financial stability, improving economic outlook and analysis. OECD member countries co-operate in fighting against tax avoidance via tax evasion schemes and in avoiding double taxation.

For Lithuania, OECD membership benefit in the area of education is key as OECD member countries’ experience is regarded as the best in the world.  By making use of this experience, Lithuania will be able to address specific challenges in its education system. As early as during the phase of talks, the OECD performed the analysis of Lithuania’s education system. It allowed Lithuania to react rapidly and take actions to fill in the gaps in education. Under OECD recommendations, the President initiated changes in vocational education for the studies to become competitive and match the needs of the labor market.

Transparency is one of the key standards of the OECD. Therefore, Lithuania intends to continue strengthening anti-corruption measures. Already during the period of accession, the President initiated amendments to the Penal Code, which introduced a tenfold increase of fines for corruption related crimes. This initiative was regarded as highly important in assessing Lithuania‘s progress in fighting corruption.

The OECD also focusses on strengthening social protection and reducing income inequality in its member countries. OECD experts help countries to improve their tax systems to ensure not only sufficient income for the state but also for them to be socially fair and to reduce poverty.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.05.30 20:08

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