30/10/2015- Uruguay’s entry into the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) marks a significant stride in support of the country’s inclusive growth. It also deepens the Centre’s global representativeness as it welcomes its 10th member country in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Uruguay’s structural characteristics, development experience and challenges offer rich opportunities for knowledge sharing among the Centre’s member countries.
Since its banking and financial crisis in 2002, Uruguay has made remarkable progress. Stable macroeconomic policies and a favourable external environment permitted brisk growth and the financing of social policies, yielding the longest period of economic growth in decades. Real GDP growth averaged 5.3% between 2003 and 2013, well above the estimated potential rate of 4%. Rapid economic growth has been accompanied by improvements in income distribution and poverty reduction, with the share of the population under the national poverty line decreasing from 40% to less than 15%. After the 2008 global financial crisis, the country managed to avoid a recession and keep positive growth rates, mainly through sustained public expenditure and investment. Growth projections are promising, with 2.4% growth expected in 2015 and 2.6% in 2016, above the region’s average and similar to OECD countries.
Uruguay is the latest country to join a group of 50 OECD and non-OECD countries that are already members of the OECD Development Centre. The Centre helps decision makers find policy solutions to stimulate growth and improve living conditions in developing and emerging economies.
Uruguay’s accession to the OECD Development Centre was celebrated today during a special session of the Centre’s Governing Board in the presence of Mr. Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, Mr. Danilo Astori, Minister of Finance of Uruguay and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, at the Organisation’s headquarters.
“I applaud Uruguay’s strong commitment to becoming a member of the Development Centre. The country has remarkable experience in balancing growth and social inclusion and in experimenting with policy innovations. We can only be enthusiastic about the rich opportunities for knowledge sharing and policy dialogue that accompany Uruguay’s accession to the OECD Development Centre,” stated Pierre Duquesne, the Chair of the OECD Development Centre’s Governing Board and Ambassador of France to the OECD.
Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre, underscored that “Uruguay stands out in Latin America. Its participation in the Centre’s activities builds on a rich history of cooperation and advances our strong engagement and partnership with countries and institutions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Uruguay’s engagement with the Centre is longstanding. The ongoing Multidimensional Country Review (MDCR) is just the latest example. The MDCR offers perspectives on well-being indicators and quality of life in Uruguay as well as structural and macroeconomic trends to support the design of policies for sustaining growth and social inclusion. The country is also an active participant in the Centre’s Policy Dialogue on Global Value Chains, Production Transformation and Development, in the Revenue Statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean and in key OECD Development Centre events, such as the International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean.
Uruguay also participates in several activities as part of its fruitful cooperation with the OECD. For instance, the country is a member of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. It has been participating in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluation and is currently undertaking a Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools.
For more information on the OECD Development Centre, visit www.oecd.org/dev.
Media enquiries should be directed to Bochra Kriout (Bochra.Kriout@oecd.org; +336 26 74 04 03) at the OECD Development Centre’s Press Office.