BRASILIA, Sep 29 (Businesshala) – After waiting years for rich countries to join the OECD club, Brazil sees an opening with a new membership plan that could be up for discussion at a meeting of ministers next week, Two people familiar with the matter told Businesshala.
The 36-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a forum for democracies with sound market economies. Chile, Mexico and Colombia are the only countries in Latin America that have managed to join.
Brazil’s accession process, which began in 2017, has stalled partly because of US opposition to expanding the OECD to Eastern European countries, even as former President Donald Trump voiced support for Brazil’s membership.
A Brazilian government official told Businesshala that now the organisation’s new secretary general, Australian politician Mathias Corman, has proposed the inclusion of six candidates for admission to a simultaneous admissions process.
With three Latin American candidates – Brazil, Argentina and Peru – and three Eastern European candidates – Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia – the idea is to reduce resistance to joining a particular country, the source said on condition of anonymity. .
France has been reluctant to welcome Brazil to the OECD because of President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies on the environment, suggesting that Brazil should first show progress in fighting deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
The source said Corman is in private consultation with member states to garner support for his proposal. Another person with knowledge of the matter confirmed the offer. The two requested anonymity to discuss the confidential conversation.
“The European Union has always supported this formula, but without the United States setting its position, many countries prefer to wait,” the Brazilian official said.
Brazil has expressed hope that joining the OECD will boost investor confidence as it grapples with high inflation and unemployment and the impact of the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside the United States.
When asked for comment, Brazil’s economy ministry said there was no clear definition on the issue. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguasu, Additional reporting by Marcella Ayers, Writing by Anthony Bodley; Editing by Bernadette Baum)