Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, to the OECD Council
OECD Headquarters, Paris
15 December, 2009
Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour and a great pleasure to present Minister Velasco, with this Council Decision to invite Chile as the thirty first member of the OECD.
OECD members invite Chile today to join forces in fulfilling our mandate to lay the foundations of a stronger, cleaner and fairer global economy. We are proud to invite Chile and the wealth of experience it will bring to the Organisation to overcome the worst economic crisis in decades.
We look forward to Chile taking its place among the OECD members. This is a place where Chile belongs, out of sheer merit. For nearly two decades Chile has developed a strong set of policies for democratic consolidation and sound economic growth. Chile is increasingly well connected to the global economy. Chilean GDP has been growing at an average of 5 and a half per cent per year for the last twenty years. During the last two decades, successive Chilean governments have combined a strong commitment to sustainable macroeconomic policies with market-oriented structural reforms and hard work to reduce poverty and inequality. Prudent fiscal policies, including putting aside the copper bonanza “for a rainy day”, enabled Chile today to introduce significant stimulus to address the effects of the economic crisis and support aggregate demand and employment. Chile is also engaged in a continuous effort to reform its institutions. Chilean expertise will enrich the OECD on key policy issues.
The determination to build a strong economy and to address domestic and international challenges served Chile well in its drive towards the high standards of OECD membership. Chile has made significant steps in a number of areas. These include major legislative changes in response to requests by OECD Committees. The new laws show the Chilean resolve to end bank secrecy and introduce effective exchange of information for tax purposes, establish liability of legal persons for bribery, and improve corporate governance of state-owned and private companies alike. Chile also made important commitments to advance on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Throughout the accession process, Chile undertook a host of other measures, which will ultimately ensure sustainable growth and better lives for its citizens. These were all important steps. They required dedication and strong political will. They point clearly towards the implementation of better policies. But the journey is just beginning and we will have the opportunity to celebrate in January with President Bachelet.
The accession of Chile to the OECD is, therefore, a milestone on the road for further development. President Bachelet, Minister Velasco, Co-ordinator Poniachik, Minister Fernandez, Minister Vieira Gallo, Maria Olivia Recart, Ambassador Armanet and the whole technical legal and negotiating teams demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout the accession process. The OECD was honoured to perform throughout as advisor to the government, and as a catalyst for reform and progress. We will continue to do so in our regular work and in the context of the Chilean contributions to major OECD initiatives, such as green growth or innovation.
The accession of Chile is a contribution in our drive to transform the Organisation into a more plural and inclusive institution. This new membership also confirms our global vocation “as the club of countries that promotes and fosters best practices”, as President Bachelet has mentioned earlier this year in her address to the Council.
Emerging, developing and advanced economies need to work together to address the global challenges of our time. With Chile and Mexico as full Members and our Enhanced Engagement work with Brazil, the OECD will be much better connected to the challenges of Latin America and strengthen our links with many regions in the world.
Minister Velasco, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Es para nosotros un gran orgullo invitar a Chile a incorporarse a la OCDE y a sumarse a nuestros esfuerzos por construir una economía mundial más fuerte, más limpia y más justa.