Minister Grlić Radman attends OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris

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Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Thursday in Paris participated in a Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The minister emphasized the importance of promoting free and fair trade and investment to sustain economic growth amidst current geopolitical challenges. He underscored that Croatia, as an EU member state, considers it essential to ensure free trade based on international rules with equal business conditions. "An open market and resilient supply chains are necessary for economic recovery from recent shocks, such as the pandemic, geopolitical crises like the war in Ukraine, and other challenges," he emphasized. He then highlighted how the complexity of the geopolitical environment requires a predictable and secure context for trade based on international rules, for which strengthening and collaboration within the World Trade Organization (WTO) are crucial. "It is essential to restore the WTO to the center of the international trade system. This will enable the organization to address the main causes of the system's crisis and modernize the rules," the minister said.
Grlić Radman, together with Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Damir Habijan and Finance Minister Marko Primorac, met with OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann. Satisfaction was expressed with Croatia's progress in the accession process, and views were exchanged on the importance of strengthening multilateralism in the face of challenging geopolitical circumstances. It was emphasized that the accession process assists candidate countries in implementing necessary reforms to achieve stronger growth and a better standard of living for their citizens. "After membership in the eurozone, Schengen Area, and European Stability Mechanism, OECD membership is the final step in completing Croatia's international position," the minister emphasized.
Minister Grlić Radman also held a series of bilateral talks on the sidelines of the meeting, including with Vietnamese Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn, Romanian counterpart Luminița Odobescu, Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing Tim Ayres, and the UK's Minister of State for Regulatory Reform Dominic Johnson.
In addition to further positioning on the international stage, the benefits of OECD membership include positive effects on credit ratings, support in creating and implementing national reform programs and processes, opportunities to exchange best practices with the world's most developed countries, recognition that the country respects the highest global standards, principles of an open and transparent market economy, and a strong signal to international and domestic investors that national policies adhere to advanced OECD standards and best practices in various areas.
Croatia's accession process is proceeding intensively, having had accession discussions in 16 Committees and 13 subsidiary bodies since the technical phase began in November 2022, with discussions concluded by early April 2024. Parallel to the accession process, Croatia continues to actively collaborate with the OECD beyond its accession framework. This year, as well, within the Dubrovnik Forum framework, accompanying panels jointly organized by Croatia and the OECD will be held.

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