Latin America and the Caribbean

Spain strengthens its support for the Development Centre's work on Latin America and Africa




Spanish Ambassador to the OECD, Cristina Narbona, visited the OECD Development Centre on 15 September, 2008. She was received by the Centre’s Director, Javier Santiso, and also met with members of the Centre’s staff. Ambassador Narbona and Mr. Santiso signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation pledges the sum of 450,000€ to support the OECD Development Centre’s activities.

This voluntary contribution, which complements Spain’s standard fee as a member of the Development Centre, will support the activities of the Centre’s newly created Latin American and African desks. The two departments publish, respectively, the Latin American Economic Outlook and the African Economic Outlook, two annual flagship publications analysing the main development challenges in the Latin American and African continents.

This new Memorandum of Understanding builds on the continual support that the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has been providing to the Development Centre over the last two years – 390,000€ in 2007 and 250,000€ in 2006. In 2006, the Development Centre also received a voluntary contribution from the Spanish Ministry of Finance to fund a Young Economist program during 2007 and 2008.

Ambassador Narbona reiterated the Spanish Government’s will to strengthen OECD work on Latin America: “We are proud of our continued support of the Development Centre’s work on Latin America and were very impressed by the great impact the Latin American Economic Outlook has achieved in its first year of existence”, Narbona said. During 2008, the Ministry will provide 350,000€ towards the Centre’s work on the region. The second Latin American Economic Outlook, which focuses on the analysis of fiscal policy as a development tool for Latin America, will be presented next 28 October in San Salvador, at the XVIII Iberoamerican Summit.

Javier Santiso, the Centre’s Director, also welcomed the 100,000€ Spanish voluntary contribution to the African Economic Outlook, the most recent edition of which will be presented in the new Casa África in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, before the end of the year. The African Economic Outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of the economic, social and political trends on the continent; its 2008 edition focuses on technical skills development.

During her visit to the Development Centre, Ambassador Narbona and Mr. Santiso also agreed on another Memorandum of Understanding that will establish a program of secondments for Spanish professionals in the OECD.