Wednesday, August 3, 2016

OCDE: Colombia’s Overview- Better policies for a better life

Opinion article by: Juliana Maya 
Analist at the Observatory in Trade, Investment and Development
Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

The OECD, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development is an international economic organization created in 1961, through which governments work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems with the goal of promoting policies that improve people’s economic and social well being. As the organization states in its website “Its vocation has been to build strong economies in its member countries, improve efficiency, home market systems, expand free trade and contribute to development in industrialized as well as developing countries.” (OECD , 2015) 

The OECD is a group of 34 countries, which have in common the fact that they have democratic systems of government and market economies. Formerly known as the Club of Rich, Industrialized Nations, because its members represent around 70% of the global market. This organization has redefined itself, leading to a more inclusive membership logic, engagement with new global players, and outreach to developing countries, all with a view to guaranteeing its continued relevance as a central actor in the task of global policy provision (The Jakarta Post, 2015).

Since the past years, Colombia has sought access to this organization. This country has overcome 
obstacles and become successful in many aspects in order to look forward improvement. Hence, the government is implementing appropriate and better policies in the political and economic sector. Colombia’s government is committed to further strengthening its economic performance due to the fact that it would be convenient to be a member of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (OCDE , 2013 ) In 2013, President Juan Manuel Santos and the OCDE Secretary General Angel Gurría formally launched Colombia’s accession process. “Colombia is looking ahead decisively and taking a step towards a stronger and better future,” said Gurría during the launch event (OECD , 2013 )

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, after meeting the OECD Council on November 7th, 2014:

"We are aware of the significant challenges that are ahead to become part of this organization, but we are willing and able to undertake them: We have to upgrade our environmental policy regulations and institutions. This is welcome in a country that has great natural resources and agriculture potential at the same time, as we are the most bio-diverse country in the world. Perhaps nowhere else the phrase sustainable development makes more sense than in Colombia. Also, we have to improve the governance of our public enterprises, the institutions and procedures for issuing our regulations in a more articulated way, the capacity of our supervisory bodies to ensure the implementation of regulation. There are some trade issues, where we are working to find solutions. On tax issues, we need to fight tax evasion, not just to finance the provision of services to our people, but also in order to create a more equitable society"  (OECD, 2014)
These are just some of the many adjustments Colombia is required to make so that it can be more equitable and sustainable, according to the OECD.

In terms of education adjustments in this country, over the past two decades the Colombian education system has undergone a fundamental transformation bringing education to every corner of the country. But still this country faces two critical challenges: to close the remaining participation gaps and raise the quality of its education. Therefore, Colombia must improve the quality and equity of its education system.

But after all, what are the benefits of becoming a member of this organization? By adopting OECD standards, countries become more attractive to foreign investors, they get advice on public policy, members have access to comparisons based on international standards, voice and vote in global discussions, exchange of experience and good practices, especially in preparing and implementing structural reforms. For example, thanks to the cooperation of other members of the organization, Colombia has been able to learn from them and move one step forward. Moreover, members of the OECD, have access to different analysis of economic and labor market reviews, a territorial review, reports and recommendations on public administration reform, and a free direct access to OECD databases and publications for users from public administration. Also, this members have a continuous advise on how to improve and reinforce their governance capacities to achieve long-term strategic results.

On the other hand, Colombia makes a big mistake in pursuing the goal of entering the OECD because as it should be for countries with a similar level of development. In order to avoid financial crisis. A clear example is Mexico and Corea that made the same mistake, Said the economist Jan Kregel, Investigator of Levy Economics.

It is worth noting that one of the purposes of the organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development is to seek for countries that fit to the high standards and recommendations they request. Colombia 's entry to the OECD is still in process as the economic level, taxation, labour, pension, environmental, agricultural, educational, legal and land use planning, among others, included in the National Development Plan are being evaluated by the committee of the OECD. Therefore it is a long process that takes time to reach a final decision.

Colombia has a long way to go before they reach a stable and competitive level of productivity, development and competitiveness among the other members of the OECD. Colombia is required to make some adjustments so this Country can be more equitable and sustainable. 


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia. (2016, 2016 2016). OECD'S ROLE, MISSION AND SIGNIFICANCE. Retrieved 04 12, 2016, from OECD's role, mission and significance | Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

OCDE . (2013 , 2013 2013 ). Colombia y la OCDE - OECD. Retrieved 04 12, 2016, from

OECD . (2015, 2015 2015 ). History Retrieved 04 12 , 2016, from History of the OECD:

OECD . (2013 , 10 25). OECD better policies for better life . Retrieved 04 12, 2016, from OECD formally launches Colombia's accession process :

OECD. (2014, 08 07). OECD . Retrieved 04 12 , 2016 , from President Juan Manuel Santos' talking points to OECD Council on 7 November 2014:

he TJakarta Post. (2015, 06 02). OECD, 'rich nations' club' turns into 'do-tank'. Retrieved 04 12, 2016, from The Jakarta Post:

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