On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I want to congratulate Colombia and Latvia for being selected to receive roadmaps for membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I also want to thank Angel Gurria, the Secretary-General of the OECD, for his efforts to grow and strengthen the OECD. Both of these countries have made tremendous progress in developing modern market economies, as well as consolidating their democracies.
The OECD brings together 34 democracies with market economies from all over the world in the effort to identify and promote policies that will create economic growth and improve the lives of our citizens. With their unique histories and perspectives, both Colombia and Latvia would contribute greatly to this essential multilateral forum. Accession discussions between the OECD and Colombia and Latvia will begin this year and we hope to soon welcome them as member states in the OECD.