Introductory Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, Paris, France, 5 November 2013
It is my great honour to introduce the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to return President Chinchilla’s warm hospitality after she so graciously welcomed us during our recent visit to Costa Rica nearly two weeks ago.
As you know, at our last MCM, our Ministers agreed to work closely with Costa Rica to review the situation in 2015 with a view to taking a decision regarding accession of her country to the OECD. President Chinchilla is here today to transmit her personal commitment to strengthening Costa Rica’s relationship with the Organization..
Her presentation is one of many efforts in her longstanding campaign to develop this link. Some of you may remember her visit to the OECD during the 2012 Forum to launch a new version of the Better Life Index and to speak at the 2012 International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean.
Her broad understanding of the value of the OECD is reflected in Costa Rica’s adherence to an increasing number of OECD instruments. Since last April, Costa Rica has acceded to the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises; the Declaration on the Future of the Internet Economy; the Declaration on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency in the Conduct of International Business and Finance; and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
Today, Costa Rica will endorse the OECD Action Plan for Youth and accede to the Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality. This is another important step as Costa Rica advances its relationship with the OECD by gradually completing the action plan defined in San José during my visit.
Ms.Chinchilla is a remarkable leader. As Costa Rica’s first female president, she has led her country through an significant transformation. She is working intensely to improve the country’s investment climate, which is paying off! In 2012, the country attracted about 26% of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which came into Central America.
She is also a strong advocate for ecotourism and green growth, which has helped Costa Rica reverse the rate of deforestation, protecting nearly 50% of its forests. She has also worked to improve care for the elderly and infants, and although she is reaching the last days of her administration, she remains committed to pursuing further reforms.
These are just a few examples of a much larger list of achievements, and I am pleased to give her the floor for her to share her reflections with us.