Country being reviewed next week for its international aspirations

Costa Rican authorities are hopeful that the country will be included into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as organization leaders are visiting Wednesday and Thursday. President Luis Guillermo Solís is scheduled to meet with Deputy Secretary-General William Danvers, who is in charge of new country inclusions and oversees the Latin American region.

The organization offers a mutual forum to member governments that allows them to share ideas and solve universal issues in economic, social, or environmental areas. Its primary goal is to promote the best practices within public policies to better serve the populations of member states.

This is the same organization that put Costa Rica on a blacklist as an international tax haven. The country subsequently was removed.

“This visit is very important in allowing the organization a close-up of Costa Rica,” said Alexander Mora, the foreign trade minister. “To be a member of this organization is a project with great strategic value to the country because it offers us a solid base of improved politics in all areas of government.”

Representatives of the global organization has visited the country on various occasions, and most recently Mora invited organization heads for a May tour through Costa Rica with Solís.

Secretary-General Ángel Gurría visited last October with Laura Chinchilla’s administration to meet with local business and government leaders.

In 2012, the country formally sent out a membership request. Representatives said that they will work on a narrow path with Costa Rica to possibly adopt the country into its program by 2015.

The organization requires that Costa Rica submit a plan of action to show how it will advance towards meeting key development objectives.

Twenty-six different public institutions, headed by the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, are involved in executing and mapping out this plan. Each one of them, from the ministry of Salud to Banco de Costa Rica, must follow the protocols outlined in this plan.

The plan mandates the applicant country follows three main principles. First it needs to review policies in areas of interest, such as education. Next it must begin using different tools, like becoming more transparent in international finance, for example. Lastly the organization says governments must participate in or support certain committees or work groups, like those for anti-corruption.

A team of experts is also visiting Costa Rica next week to check on their governing policies. In September, a similar visit has already been planned that could decide if the country becomes included or not into the organization.

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