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Lithuania Seeks OECD Invitation to Start Accession Talks in May

Lithuania is competing for one of the invitations to start accession talks that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is expected to issue in May, President Dalia Grybauskaite said.

“Joining the OECD would make Lithuania more attractive to foreign investors, improve our debt ratings and reduce borrowing costs,” Grybauskaite said today after a meeting in Oslo with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, the president’s office in Vilnius said in an e-mailed statement.

The Paris-based group of the world’s wealthiest nations, which is dedicated to promoting global economic development, currently includes 34 member states. It last issued invitations to start accession talks in 2007 to Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia. All but Russia completed talks and joined the organization in 2010.

Lithuania, with one of Europe’s fastest growing economies, already meets the technical criteria for membership and now needs political backing from the annual meeting of the OECD Ministerial Council in May, according to Grybauskaite.

Colombia and Latvia are the other countries with the best chances of getting an invitation to start OECD accession talks this year, Jovita Neliupsiene, the Lithuanian president’s foreign policy adviser, said by phone in Vilnius.

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