Argentina to Seek Full Membership in OECD

January 25, 2016Argentinaby EW News Desk Team

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Argentina has announced that it plans to formally launch its bid for full member in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) next month. The announcement came last week from Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay, following a meeting he had with OECD chief Angel Gurría at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Finance Minister Prat-Gay said of the move, "There's a large interest from the international community to add Argentina to the group of countries that pursue good practices ... We'll work at the G20 summit in Pekin on a schedule over the next steps that should be taken."

According to the Buenos Aires Herald, the importance of becoming a full member of the OECD rests on the international organization reviewing Argentina's rating. That review should allow Argentina to regain access to foreign funding from groups like the Paris Club. 

Argentina had been cut off from the Paris Club after it defaulted on about $9.6 billion (U.S.) in debt. With the reevaluation by the OECD and an agreement reached in May to pay off the remaining debt, Argentina hopes to obtain a fresh line of credit from the Paris Club and other organizations. These funds will help pave the way for much needed infrastructure and institutional reforms for the South American nation. 

Prat-Gay said of the reevaluation that, "This was the first formal contact in order to launch the process of making Argentina a full member of OECD ... It could take up to a year before it becomes a reality."

In order to become a true, full member of the OECD, Argentina will have to endure a rigorous approval process. The final decision about whether to approve or deny Argentina’s request will come from the current members of the OECD, all of which have to set the terms and conditions that Argentina must meet for admission. 

The OECD does not admit members readily. The most recent members to join include Chile, Estonia, Slovenia, and Israel in 2010. In their cases, the process took three years to complete. Argentina hopes to fast track their application, but it has prepared to endure the process regardless of how long it takes. For nations like Colombia and Latvia, the process has already taken three years, and they have still not been admitted. Costa Rica and Lithuania, on the other hand, started the process just last year. 

Unfortunately, for Argentina, making an exact prediction of how long the admissions process will take is quite difficult now. The terms and conditions of admission, and the process, through which a country must pass, vary from one nation to another.

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