Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Updated: 2006-11-13 15:24

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 30 market democracies work together to address the economic, social and governance challenges of globalisation as well as to exploit its opportunities.

The OECD provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. It is a forum where peer pressure can act as a powerful incentive to improve policy and which produces internationally-agreed instruments, decisions and recommendations in areas where multilateral agreement is necessary for individual countries to make progress in a globalised economy. Non-members are invited to subscribe to these agreements and treaties.

Exchanges between OECD governments flow from information and analysis provided by a secretariat in Paris. The secretariat collects data, monitors trends, and analyses and forecasts economic developments. It also researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more.

The OECD helps governments to foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth, financial stability, trade and investment, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and development co-operation. It is helping to ensure that the environmental implications of economic and social development are taken into account. Other aims include creating jobs for everyone, social equity and achieving clean and effective governance.

The OECD is at the forefront of efforts to understand, and to help governments to respond to, new developments and concerns. These include trade and structural adjustment, online security, and the challenges related to reducing poverty in the developing world.

For more than 40 years, the OECD has been one of the world's largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistical, economic and social data. OECD databases span areas as diverse as national accounts, economic indicators, trade, employment, migration, education, energy, health and the environment. Much of the research and analysis is published.

Over the past decade, the OECD has tackled a range of economic, social and environmental issues while further deepening its engagement with business, trade unions and other representatives of civil society. Negotiations at the OECD on taxation and transfer pricing, for example, have paved the way for bilateral tax treaties around the world.

The OECD is a group of like-minded countries. Essentially, membership is limited only by a country's commitment to a market economy and a pluralistic democracy. It is rich, in that its 30 members produce almost 60% of the world's goods and services, but it is by no means exclusive. Non-members are invited to subscribe to OECD agreements and treaties, and the Organisation shares expertise and exchanges views on topics of mutual concern with more than 70 countries worldwide, from Brazil, China and Russia to least developed countries in Africa.

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