Chile will become the first South American country to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), under an agreement signed this morning in Santiago between Finance Minister Andrés Velasco and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. Chile is the thirty first country and second Latin American nation (Mexico entered in 1994) to join the group, which includes a membership that represents 70 percent of global wealth.
In the past two decades, Chile’s economy has grown at an average annual rate of 5 percent, and the percentage of the population living below the poverty line has fallen from 39 percent to 14 percent. When the invitation was announced in December, Gurría praised Chile’s “prudent fiscal policies, including putting aside the copper bonanza ‘for a rainy day’,” and institutional reforms in the past 20 years.
Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation, and Slovenia are currently seeking OECD membership, and the organization is “working closely” with China, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Brazil.