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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 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.
“I am pleased with what we have accomplished thus far and I reiterate our commitment as an Administration to finalise this process that began in the administration of Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, continued in that of Mr. Luis Guillermo Solís and that we want to conclude in 2020, as a vision of the State, so that the country can be part of this group [of OECD member countries] and can benefit from better policies to bring well-being to people. "(Press release - Presidency of Costa Rica)
Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica
Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica, and Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD - November 2018
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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