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Germany approves of Latvia's accession to OECD

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 24.08.2012.Print version
Germany believes that Latvia is ready to become a member state of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and will support Latvia's accession to OECD, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in an interview with LETA today.

Guido Westerwelle and Valdis Dombrovskis. Riga, 24.08.2012. Photo: flickr.com

Westerwelle lauded Latvia's achievements in overcoming the crisis and pointed out that they indicate Latvia's readiness to join OECD.

 

"Relations between Latvia and Germany are excellent. We admire the success story of Latvia and we are grateful and full of respect for the way the Latvian people and Latvian leaders brought the country out of the financial crisis of 2008. And therefore we think Latvia is ready to become a member of the OECD. Germany will support Latvia’s accession request," said the minister.

 

Today, Westerwelle also met with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) and confirmed that Germany will support Latvia's wish to join OECD and the eurozone, as well as during the talks on the European Union's next financial perspective.

 

V.Dombrovskis emphasized that membership in the OECD will help Latvia to defend its economic interests more successfully because improvement of business environment and investor attraction to economic development is one of the most important priorities of the government. "Additional positive contribution to relations between Germany and Latvia can be achieved by focusing on economic cooperation and investment attraction," said the Prime Minister.


"Germany supports the approximation of the Member States to the OECD, and we will also support Latvia's candidacy that has done so much to overcome the crisis and can share this experience," said G.Westerwelle. The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany confirmed that German entrepreneurs' interest in cooperation with Latvia is growing again, and it is promoted by Latvia's determination to join the euro area in 2014. The two officials welcomed the forthcoming visit of the German entrepreneurs' delegation to Latvia scheduled for the beginning of September, aimed at searching for new opportunities for cooperation with Latvian entrepreneurs.


V.Dombrovskis stressed that Latvia sees a number of significant advantages for membership in the euro area, as evidenced by the Estonian experience. The Prime Minister said that it is important to increase the public support for this objective because problems of certain euro-area countries have undermined the prestige of the euro. "However, the membership in the euro area should be assessed according to practical rather than emotional arguments, and the analysis shows that there are more benefits," said the Prime Minister.


Discussing the situation in the euro area, G. Westerwelle stated that Germany's priority is to maintain full composition of the euro area; however, it is important to ensure that countries decisively deal with their problems. The Latvian example and the latest news from Portugal and Ireland is the indication that it is possible to achieve a positive outcome with determination," said G. Westerwelle.


During the discussion, the Prime Minister also informed the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany about Latvia's interests in relation to the next EU financial framework for 2014-2020 – to provide adequate cohesion funding in order Latvia could approach the level of the most developed regions of Europe, as well as to ensure equitable distribution of direct payments. G.Westerwelle confirmed that Germany will take into account Latvia's interests and pointed out that the agreement on the next EU multiannual financial framework could be reached before the end of this year.


As reported, Latvia wants to join OECD during the organization's next expansion, possibly in May 2013.






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