Sec.Gen. Gurria will hold meetings with top Israeli officials as part of the process of Israel joining the OECD.

(Communicated by the MFA Spokesman’s Bureau)

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria will pay an official visit to Israel on 19-20 January 2010. The purpose of the visit is to hold meetings with the top political and economic echelon of Israel, prior to the upcoming decision on Israel’s joining the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).  Two major reports, authored by the organization, will be presented as part of the co-option process – one on Israeli macro-economic data (the EDRC report), and the other on the employment and welfare situation in Israel (the ELSA report).

In the course of the visit, the Secretary General will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, Speaker of the Knesset MK Reuven Rivlin, Head of the Opposition MK Tzipi Livni, Manufacturers’ Association President Shraga Brosh, and Histadruth Chairman Ariel Ya’akoby. He will also appear before the ministers of the Socio-Economic Cabinet, and before the public forum that will be held at the Bible Lands Museum on January 20. This event will be open to the press, non-profit organizations, and the general public. SG Gurria and FM Liberman will also sign an agreement regulating the immunities and rights granted to missions of both parties.

The visit will give the political leadership and the public in Israel a chance to hear from the OECD Secretary General about the co-option process, which is in an advanced stage, and about the final step before Israel’s acceptance as a full member of the OECD. 

Background

In May 2007, the Council of the OECD, which numbers 30 member states, decided to initiate a process of co-opting to the organization Israel, Chile, Russia, Estonia and Slovenia. The Government of Israel adopted a resolution authorizing the Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry to lead the country to full membership in the organization. The organization submitted a road map to Israel at the beginning of 2008 in which it was asked to undergo a large number of check-ups and hearings by its professional committees. This process should be completed in the first quarter of 2010. At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is completing preparations to establish an embassy to the OECD which will be located within the Israeli embassy in Paris.

Joining the OECD, which has among its membership the major players in the global economy, will open up possibilities for Israel of ongoing dialogue with representatives of these economies; upgrade Israel’s public administration; improve Israel’s corporate management; expand trade opportunities, and improve Israel’s credit rating.