Head of OECD visits Lithuania on country's accession

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-06 03:23:53|Editor: yan
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VILNIUS, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria on Thursday visited Lithuania amid the country's official accession to the OECD.

During his visit to Lithuania, Gurria met with Lithuanian political leaders and used the occasion of the country's official accession to the organization to address Lithuania's economic achievements, issues and recommendations for further development.

"Good performing economy, that is growing at about 4 percent for the last 10 years, and now, with a little bit of slowdown in the world economy, it is still growing at about 3 percent," Gurria told in a press conference with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

Gurria said that following ten years of deficits Lithuania has a surplus budget, and praised Lithuania's adopted tax, pension, labor reforms and the new social model at a time "when there seems to be a kind of a reform fatigue in many countries in the world".

Though, the head of the OECD said that Lithuania still lags behind the OECD averages in terms of productivity, income, which is about two thirds of the average of the member countries. Ageing society and growing dependency ratio were named among the biggest issues for Lithuania's economic development.

"Therefore this is something which we have to be prepared in terms of labor rules, laws and also health laws, and flexibility of the economy, and also financial consequences of ageing," urged Gurria.

Gurria's visit to Lithuania coincided with the country's official accession to the OECD. On Thursday, the Instrument of ratification of the accession to the Convention on the OECD was deposited with the Government of France and Lithuania officially became the 36th member of the Organization.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite hopes OECD membership to bring tangible benefit to the country.

"When the world is on the brink of trade wars, the role of the OECD is paramount," Grybauskaite said in a statement released by the President's Office.

"The future of a stable and economically sound state lies only in free trade, transparency as well as in fair competition and income distribution," said the Lithuanian president.

Lithuania opened its OECD accession talks in April 2015 and the negotiating process was finalized in April this year.

Working with over 100 economies, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.