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Peru Exchanges Experiences with Countries on the Road to Joining the Club of Developed Countries

May 7, 2015


International Conference: Towards OECD International Standards: Experiences for Peru

Hacia los estándares internacionales de la OCDE: Experiencias para el Perú.
Hacia los estándares internacionales de la OCDE: Experiencias para el Perú.
Hacia los estándares internacionales de la OCDE: Experiencias para el Perú.

David Herrmoza / World Bank

Over the past 15 years, Peru’s economic growth has exceeded the average for Latin America and the Caribbean. Solid, sustained foreign investment has supported this growth. The country has also promoted social policies to ensure increased social inclusion.

Thanks to its current situation, the Andean country has taken a qualitative leap in terms of economic and social policymaking: with the recent establishment of the Country Program of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Peru has embarked on the process to achieve OECD standards. The World Bank Group is supporting the Peruvian government in this endeavor.

As part of the Road to Lima initiative, the World Bank, the OECD and Peru’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) organized an international forum in the Peruvian capital, which brought together Peruvian government representatives and key actors of the country’s private sector. Experts from OECD member countries (Canada, Chile, Slovakia, Spain, Mexico and Switzerland) also participated, along with representatives of countries applying for OECD membership (Colombia and Costa Rica). Anabel Gonzalez, the director of Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness at the World Bank, also spoke at the event.

¨This process should ensure that Peru continues to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable citizens, as well as to guarantee that policies and public institutions coincide in promoting the highest international standards,” said Alberto Rodríguez, World Bank director for Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Recently, Peru and the OECD signed a Country Program agreement, a proposal that addresses technical, legal and conceptual aspects of the relationship between the two parties. Although the membership process may take years, the country is well on its way to achieving this aim.

 “At the PCM (Office of the President of the Ministerial Cabinet), we believe that collaboration with OECD member countries involves working together, engaging in dialogue and taking advantage of experiences to improve the Peruvian public sector across the board. For Peru, collaboration with these countries is a development tool,” said Pedro Cateriano, president of the Ministerial Cabinet.

The consensus among experts attending the event was that Peru can benefit from the experiences of other countries to design reforms and strengthen public policies and the institutions responsible for policymaking and implementation.

As OECD Global Relations Director Marcos Bonturi emphasized, the relationship between the two parties is reciprocal rather than unilateral.

¨We also want to learn from Peru’s experience. OECD member countries are very interested in learning about some of the reforms Peruvian officials have implemented,” said Bonturi.

World Bank

More data for analysis, better policies

During the event, international experts had the opportunity to discuss what it means for middle-income countries to achieve OECD standards.

“To approach the standards of living of the most developed countries requires creating a solid, broad-based national consensus. For Peru, the experiences of countries that are more advanced in terms of public policy design provide a wonderful opportunity to improve and modernize the government and strengthen legal security and confidence in the country, which in turn will help drive investment and economic growth and contribute to fighting poverty,” said the World Bank’s Anabel González.

During the conference, participants stressed the need for national consensus given that, as a government process, efforts to join the OECD involve numerous actors of society.

“A country that shows interest in the OECD must demonstrate to member countries that its desire to achieve OECD standards will not change, regardless of the government in power,” said Raúl Sáez, who served as representative of Chile to the OECD when that country joined the organization.

Stefan Kiss, Slovakia’s minister of Public Finance, had this to say on the subject:

¨There will be recommendations to establish reforms in the different areas where the OECD has experience, especially given the information it manages, which enables comparisons to improve public policies,” said Kiss. This is crucial, he said, because data are not only associated with GDP but also allow for the establishment of policies that benefit common citizens, who will be able to enjoy a better environment, education or health services.

In the region, Colombia can serve as an example for Peru. Just over two years ago, that country launched its process to join the OECD.

¨Colombia has strong institutional support, which enabled prioritizing OECD membership. That attitude was key for achieving the current situation,” said Juan Sebastián Robledo, advisor on OECD affairs at Colombia’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.

At the closing ceremony, Peru’s Finance Minister, Alonso Segura, said that “the OECD Country Program focuses on multi-sectorial efforts designed to achieve better standards in terms of governance, productivity, promotion of human capital, transparency and integrity of public service. Our main work objective with the OECD is to implement government reform to make public policies more transparent and to create instruments that promote Peru’s progress from a middle-income country to a developed economy.”