Colombia formally applies to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Spanish news agency EFE reported Monday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos applied for admission Monday to the so-called “club of developed countries” and his interest was received warmly by the OECD although no commitments have been made, the news agency reports.
Colombia’s application for admission is “a very important event for the OECD,” said its secretary general, Angel Gurria. At an event at the OECD’s headquarters in Paris Gurria said on behalf of the 34 member countries, that they are “honored by this interest.”
Gurria said that Colombia could become a member of the economic organization “in the not-too-distant future.”
The OECD seeks to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It is comprised many of the worlds most advanced countries but also developing nations such as Mexico, Chile and Turkey.
“We want to enter in the OECD because it is a club with good practices,” and to be a part of it could “mean a very qualitative change,” Santos said at a news conference.
“We still have many problems, we are not a paradise,” Santos said “but we now have a unique situation in political and economic terms.”
Santos attributed Colombia’s improved economy to the “democratic security” policy, started under the administration of his predecessor Alvaro Uribe, which has contributed to the dismantling of drug cartels and demobilizing 55,000 members of armed groups, he said.
Gurria stated that the current situation in Colombia is “picking up” as the “result of good policies,” but noted that there is “much to do” for productivity, employment, the quality of education and the eradication of extreme poverty.