Latvia Asks U.S. to Support OECD Candidacy as Clinton Visits

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for support in the Baltic country’s bid to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Membership “would give Latvia the opportunity to more successfully carry out the country’s economic interests in the world and improve its international reputation,” Dombrovskis’s office said today in an e-mailed statement, adding a request to join the OECD has been submitted.

The Paris-based OECD, which has 34 members, admitted Baltic neighbor Estonia in December 2010. Latvia’s economy, which shrank by about a quarter in 2008-2009, when the government passed spending cuts and increased taxes, expanded 6.9 percent in the first quarter.

Dombrovskis has taken “very difficult decisions” in “very difficult economic circumstances,” Clinton said today during a visit to the capital, Riga.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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