Dear Foreign Minister, Chilean friends:
It is a pleasure to be in the company of Foreign Minister Allamand to commemorate Chile's tenth anniversary of joining the OECD. For me this is a very significant moment, as I had the opportunity to promote Chile's accession to the OECD and accompany it throughout the process.
Chile: an exemplary country on reform
Chile was exemplary in its efforts to join the OECD, undertaking important reforms during the accession process. It eliminated banking secrecy, created the Ministry of Environment, and improved regulatory and governance laws.
And once it had become a Member, Chile flourished as one of the OECD's most active countries. Over the past ten years, Chile has worked with our experts to improve its policies, regulations and institutional frameworks in key areas, such as competition, education, skills and abilities, governance, and tax policy, among others.
It has also contributed greatly to our Organisation. Chile's membership has helped us to better understand Latin America, and the complexity and enormous potential of emerging economies.
In addition, Chile has been a genuine pillar in the region, supporting the dissemination of OECD best practices and standards, pioneering the LAC Regional Programme, and paving the way for the accession of neighbouring countries such as Colombia and very soon, Costa Rica.
Confronted with COVID-19, Chile has once again demonstrated leadership and exemplarity.
In the context of COVID-19, Chile has confirmed its leadership and engagement with the OECD. It was an excellent Vice Chair of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in October, which focussed on finding solutions for a "strong, resilient, green and inclusive" recovery. Its role was instrumental in securing the prospects of developing countries. Also, Chile chaired the Ministerial Council Meeting in 2016, which focussed on productivity and inclusive growth, which are still highly relevant issues in Chile today.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the Chilean Government for managing to successfully conduct the constitutional referendum during the pandemic, thereby demonstrating that differences can be addressed through dialogue and democratic process. It is an honour for the OECD to accompany Chile on its path to constitutional reform.
Dear Foreign Minister, Chilean friends,
The past ten years of co-operation are a testament to shared values and principles. A testament to the firm conviction that the only way to face our challenges is through multilateral cooperation.
We are proud to have Chile as a member of this organisation. And I am certain that the close and fruitful relationship of the past decade will continue in the years to come. Elsewhere, on some other front, I will always continue to support this collaboration. As the great Pablo Neruda said, "there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope".