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A mutually beneficial relationship
Costa Rica is currently in the accession process with the OECD. On 9 April 2015, OECD member countries agreed during a meeting of the OECD Council, the Organisation’s governing body, to open membership discussions with Costa Rica.
In this context, Costa Rica participates in the substantive work of many of the OECD’s specialised Committees. Costa Rica prepared an Action Plan which states its commitment to adhere to OECD instruments, participate in OECD Committees and conduct selected policy reviews.
To co-ordinate the relationship, the OECD’s Global Relations Secretariat develops and oversees the strategic orientation of this relationship and ensures that the dialogue remains focused and forward-looking.
This results in a mutually beneficial relationship. The review and evaluation procedure allows for the sharing of OECD standards and good practices with Costa Rican authorities, and the identification of areas for future reforms. Costa Rica values the opportunity to discuss major policy issues and challenges in a multilateral context and to learn from the experiences of OECD countries facing similar challenges in many areas. In turn, this dialogue enriches the OECD’s knowledge and policy advice, and benefits OECD members and non-OECD economies by enabling them to acquire a better understanding of Costa Rica.
Luis Guillermo Solís, ex-President of Costa Rica and Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD during the XXIV Ibero-American Summit in Veracruz, Mexico
"We are committed to ensuring the effective implementation of our Action Plan, which is indeed an ambitious instrument that entails a wide range of commitments in terms of participation in OECD bodies, adherence to an important array of legal instruments, and the commitment to carry out a series of policy reviews. Twenty seven ministries and public institutions are responsible for the implementation of this Plan, showing the strong commitment towards this objective. We are convinced that this will move us closer to the standards and best practices of the OECD. We also celebrate with deep enthusiasm the launch of the OECD Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme. We are convinced that this important initiative will contribute to closer ties between the OECD and the Latin American region and serve as a guide for the adoption and implementation of practices and policies that contribute to transform the region into a more transparent, prosperous and inclusive society. Costa Rica is committed to working closely with the Organisation and serving as a platform for the successful implementation of this Programme in Central America and the Caribbean.”
Luis Guillermo Solís, ex-President of Costa Rica
Latest OECD publications on Costa Rica
Costa Rica has achieved strong levels of well-being. However, many institutional obstacles are hampering more robust growth and the spreading of its gains more widely. Setting in motion a “virtuous cycle” of inclusive growth will require reforms across several policy areas that present win-win opportunities in terms of equity and productivity improvements. Rebalancing spending towards early childhood and secondary education would improve outcomes and equity and also help increasing the low level of participation of women in the labour market. Costa Rica should move from the current emphasis on education spending towards outcome policy targets, supported by performance indicators. Policies to reduce labour market informality should continue, including greater enforcement of obligations to pay social security contributions and a gradual move to a smaller number of minimum wages. Eliminating unjustified exemptions from competition would boost productivity growth. Fiscal imbalances remain the major threat to growth and living standards in the medium term. A comprehensive fiscal reform package is needed to bring to a halt the fast rising debt-to-GDP ratio, including measures to increase tax revenues and curb spending, strengthen the budgetary framework with a new, operational fiscal rule and restrict earmarking.
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