The OECD, a road to development

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The entry of Argentina into the OECD is one of the major goals of the government of Mauricio Macri. In its strategy to return to the world, one of the central points is the implementation of a path that allows Argentina to integrate this select group of nations.

With this axis, last Wednesday the Argentine-United States Strategic Forum was held in Malba, under the auspices of PAEG, the oil company resulting from the merger of Pan American Energy with Axion, Grupo Clarín and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The event was attended by the Chief of Staff, Marcos Peña; the president of the Supreme Court, Ricardo Lorenzetti; the governor Juan Manuel Urtubey and the head of the PJ block in the Senate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, among other analysts.

Marcos Bulgheroni, co-chair of the CSIS Argentina-United States Strategic Forum and CEO of PAEG, and Jorge Rendo, president of the Clarín group, opened the meeting. The first part was also presented by Ariel Sigal, an official of the Ministry of Finance, and Silvina Vatnick, Senior Associate of CSIS.

“The economic history of the member countries of the OECD shows that they achieved economic development and reduce inequality,” Bulgheroni said. The businessman recalled that the members of this club “represent 75% of the world investment and 60% of the GDP”.

Bulgheroni advocated for Argentina to integrate this club and participate in the design “of the rules that best suit our economic and social reality”, since “otherwise, sooner or later, these rules will be imposed on us without that we can influence in its process of confection “.

“As Grupo Clarín we support these ideas,” said Rendo. “Although as a means of communication we live from the conjuncture, and the news and today is our basic input, we do not stop thinking about the long term. We propose that the different issues we touch -security, energy, education- were impossible to carry out if it was not within the framework of a republic, with the three powers functioning effectively and efficiently, “he said. “That did not happen exactly in 2014 and 2015,” he added. “There are two things we never stop doing: invest in Argentina and pose the challenges of the future. That is why our presence in this meeting. The diffusion about which Argentina should be in the OECD is of paramount importance, “said Rendo.

The following panel was attended by Ariel Sigal, chief of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Finance, who explained that joining the OECD marked a hinge for many countries. For example, for South Korea, which achieved “extraordinary growth” from the incorporation into the body. Sigal said that Argentina was taking certain steps to achieve incorporation. “An advance was the sanction of the law of tax reform,” he explained. “When Argentina started the process to ask to join the OECD, there were only 6 countries that supported us, now they are 35”.

In turn, Vatnick, CSIS Senior Associate and Managing Partner of Global Outcomes LLC, showed data of GDP growth per capita and average income in the countries that access the OECD. It reinforced the advantages of “importing institutionality”, since transparency rules are managed in different indicators.

After these exhibitions a new panel was opened, also coordinated by Vatnik, in which several Ibero-American specialists spoke about the process and the advantages of joining the OECD in Spain, Chile and Colombia.

Analysts stressed that the OECD “was a partner” that helped them in their economic policies and an ally to cope with international crises.

“Access to the OECD will allow better policies and promote the teaching of best practices,” said José González Páramo, BBVA’s Executive Director, in a video recorded from Spain.

Raúl Sáez-Chile’s first ambassador to the OECD-stressed that belonging to that organization improves the possibilities of financing. “There are pension funds in the United States that only invest in securities of countries that belong to the OECD,” he explained. He also mentioned that “one of the advantages of being part of the organization is that our officials can exchange experiences with officials from 34 other countries.”

He also stressed that to achieve access to the OECD requires a consensus with the three branches of the State and that at the same time include citizenship and entrepreneurship. “The OECD has to be sure that there will be no going back,” he said.

In the case of Colombia, Catalina Crane, responsible for relations between her country and the OECD, said that they have been working for several years, but the country has not yet been admitted. Crane said that in 2010, the technical approach to assessing the public bodies regarding the OECD standards began, especially on issues related to establishing transparent regulatory policies and to promote the professionalization of state enterprises. “The easiest reforms to implement were the ones that were already underway. And the most difficult, those that had to go through Congress. “