By Petras Vaida      March 15, 2016

President Dalia Grybauskaite met with Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The President and the head of the world’s influential economic club discussed the OECD accession process, Lithuania’s economic progress and areas which need reform, informed BC presidential press service.

According to the President, OECD membership is one of Lithuania’s key foreign policy priorities, obliging us to pursue very responsible financial policies, improve the management of state enterprises and assets, implement strict anti-corruption requirements, and promote an innovative economy and a comprehensive growth of the country.

“OECD members are only developed, economically strong and stable countries. Requirements for becoming a member of this organization are strict, but they make us brace up. Once Lithuania implements these requirements, they will benefit all the people in the country,” the President said.

Lithuania’s efforts in ensuring energy security and the diversity of gas and electricity supply sources as well as the economic situation of the country have received a positive assessment. The economic growth of Lithuania is expected to be one of the highest in the EU – about 3 percent of GDP. Lithuania’s indicators are improving on Global Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Economic Freedom, and Corruption Perceptions Indices.

However, Lithuania still has to brace up in many areas. It is necessary to implement the reform of state-owned enterprises, amend the Forest Law and reduce the number of forestry enterprises, improve the healthcare system and the protection of consumer rights, keep on working to ensure an even better collection of taxes, promote market liberalization, digital economy, innovation and research, strengthen the education system, and ratify the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

Lithuania’s economy is stable and will grow in the future, the secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in Vilnius on Monday.

However, Angel Gurria did not say when Lithuania might join the organization.

“Lithuania’s economy works well and it will work better in the future. It is open and, therefore, dependent on external factors. Basically, all of us are still experiencing the consequences of the financial crisis. How does this affect Lithuania? Lithuania is part of the world’s largest trade bloc,” he told BNS after meeting with President Dalia Grybauskaite.

According to Gurria, the key factors that have an impact on Lithuania are economic trends in the EU, Russia and the world as a whole.

“We do not have a date (when Lithuania could become an OECD member), because we believe that this is too important to be fast. The essence of the process is that it is about quality,” he said.

Lithuania applied for membership of the OECD back in 2002 and in June 2015 was officially invited to open accession talks. The country expects to join the organization in 2018 at the latest.

Currently, Lithuania is an active participant in 21 OECD committees. Our country applied for membership in this organization in 2002 and was invited to start the OECD accession process in June 2015. Lithuania aims to become an OECD member in 2018. At present, the OECD brings together 34 countries in the world.