reference Information - "QazTrade" Trade Policy Development Center" JSC

Reference Information

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in 1948 (coordinating the Marshall Plan).

Its headquarters are located in Paris (France). The Secretary-General from 2006 to the present day is José Angel Gurria Treviño (born in Mexico).

OECD Objectives

Implement coordinated policies aimed at sustainable economic growth and improved living standards for member countries.

OECD structure

The OECD is made up of 38 countries, as well as the European Commission as an individual participant (since 1960).

OECD countries account for 60% of world GDP.

The OECD has a policy of increasing participation. Latvia joined the OECD from post-Soviet countries in 2016.

Lithuania and Colombia joined the OECD in 2018.

In 2020 Colombia joined the OECD.

On 15 May 2020, the OECD Council officially invited Costa Rica to become the 38th member of the organization.

The main governing body is the OECD Council. It is composed of 1 representative from each country and 1 representative from the OECD.

One representative of the European Commission. The Council is chaired by the Secretary-General, Angel Gurria.

The OECD Council meets on a regular basis at the level of Permanent Representatives to OECD. At such meetings, general directions for the organization’s activities are developed. Also once a year, usually in late May or early June, the Council meets at ministerial level to discuss key issues as well as identify priorities for OECD work in the coming year. Decisions are taken by consensus. The meetings are chaired by the Secretary General. The implementation of decisions taken by the Council is ensured by the Secretariat.

The Secretariat is the permanent machinery of the OECD that ensures the work of its structural bodies. The Secretariat collects and processes information, develops documents and recommendations, produces policy briefs and publications on economic and social issues.

The OECD Secretariat comprises 19 units (secretariats, departments, directorates in various fields such as finance, economics, science and technology, agriculture, education, environment, etc.). Units of the OECD Secretariat provide committees with analytical information and develop proposals. Each unit of the Secretariat is assigned one to six committees, as well as their working groups and subgroups according to their competence.

The Directorates play the role of international information and analysis centres. One of the functions of the Directorates is to organize annual ministerial meetings, committee meetings with representatives of national governments (twice a year), as well as periodic meetings of experts from research institutes, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations of OECD member and partner countries. Another function of the Directorates is to develop and implement analytical projects. These projects typically consist of cross-country analysis, monitoring, statistical data collection to study and forecast current problems, including economic, education, socio-economic development, science and innovation. Proposals for implementation and the results of projects form the basis for the development of decisions that include policy recommendations, which are adopted during the meetings. There are divisions, research centres, working groups and expert groups within the Directorates to address narrower issues.

Information on cooperation of the Republic of Kazakhstan with OECD

1.      Eurasian Competitiveness Programme

Kazakhstan’s engagement with the OECD began in 2008 under the Eurasian Competitiveness Programme (ECP), which includes 13 countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.

The ECP is implemented in order to attract investments, increase competitiveness and develop private entrepreneurship in Eurasia. The programme is aimed at assisting the countries of the region in developing policies to improve the business climate based on OECD standards and instruments.

In 2011, Kazakhstan was invited by OECD to participate in the Steering Committee of the OECD Eurasian Competitiveness Programme (ECP) Central Asia Initiative, provided that the country becomes a donor to the Programme. Thus, in order to finance the activities of the ECP in 2011, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan and OECD on financing the Program budget for 2011-2012 in the amount of €800 thousand.

In the period from 2013 to 2016, Kazakhstan co-chaired the Central Asian initiative of the OECD Eurasian Competitiveness Programme jointly with the European Union.

Six projects were implemented under the ECP:

1. “Diversification of Kazakhstan’s resources for foreign direct investment and strengthening sectoral competitiveness” (2009-2013);

2. “Increasing Regional Competitiveness” (MNE, 2011-2016);

3. “Increasing competitiveness of Kazakhstan through public sector reform” (MNE, Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs, 2012-2014);

4. 4. “Increasing competitiveness of Kazakhstan through implementation of innovation policy” (2014-2016);

5. Project “Strategy for Improving the Sector Competitiveness of Kazakhstan. Support in implementation of recommendations proposed in the Guidelines for Public Policy” (2014-2016);

6. Sector Competitiveness of Kazakhstan: Increasing Competitiveness and Attracting FDI in the Subsoil Use Sector, Taking into Account the Development of the Market of Junior Companies in the Republic of Kazakhstan” project (2014-2018).

In connection with the signing of the Country Cooperation Programme in 2015, all projects with the OECD are implemented under the Country Programme. 

In order to maintain regional dialogue, conduct expert reviews by colleagues from other countries, identify priority reforms and support the development and implementation of public reforms, the Eurasia Week in OECD is held annually.

In 2017, the OECD Eurasia Week was held in Almaty from 23 to 25 October, with over 400 participants from 13 countries of the Eurasian region. The purpose of this three-day event was to create conditions for further strengthening of relations between the Eurasian states and OECD member countries and to draw the attention of the world community to the strengthening of cooperation in a number of areas directly related to the competitiveness of the region.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan B. Sagintaev, Deputy Prime Ministers of Georgia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Ministers from Eurasia and OECD countries, Ambassadors of OECD and Eurasia countries, representatives of partner organizations and business community took part in the Eurasia Week events.

A total of 16 meetings and round tables were held during OECD Eurasia Week 2017, the main of which are the Opening Ceremony, Ministerial Meeting, Meeting of the Governing Committees, Interactive Discussion on Central Asia and Eastern Europe, Business Forum and Session on OECD Country Programme for Kazakhstan.

A total of 6 thematic reviews of 8 countries were presented at the end of the Eurasia Week in such areas as SME competitiveness, investment attraction, optimization of export policies, improving access to finance and others.

Representatives of 40 Kazakhstan and over 30 foreign companies took part in the Business Forum.

A key event within the framework of OECD Eurasia Week 2017 was a session on the OECD Country Programme for Kazakhstan, at which five sector ministers took the floor and discussed the main results of the Programme, as well as the reform process in Kazakhstan, taking into account the recommendations of the Country Programme.

In general, the OECD Secretariat noted the high level of organization of the event, as well as the constructive dialogue and exchange of experience between the countries as a result of OECD Eurasia Week 2017.

2. Progress in implementing the country programme of cooperation with OECD

         In January 2015, in Davos, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the Secretary General of OECD signed the Country Cooperation Programme, which provides for Kazakhstan’s accession to 29 main OECD legal instruments, as well as 13 reviews in various areas of the country’s development to assess compliance with OECD standards and principles.

Within the framework of the Country Programme for the period 2015-2016. The Republic of Kazakhstan has carried out 13 reviews during the period 2015-2016.

The first phase of the Country Programme

Under the first phase of the Country Programme, final reports on 13 reviews were received from OECD public authorities.

Second phase of the Country Programme 2017-2018

Following the successful implementation of the Country Programme of Cooperation between Kazakhstan and OECD in 2017, the extension of the Country Programme until the end of 2018 was approved.

As part of the second phase of the Country Programme, 15 new reviews were approved, of which 8 projects are being implemented by the Ministry of National Economy, 1 by the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development, 2 by the Ministry of Finance, 1 by the Ministry of Agriculture, 1 by the Ministry of Trade and Integration, 1 by the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources.

Legal instruments

As part of the Country Programme, accession to the 29 OECD legal instruments is being implemented.

To date, Kazakhstan has joined 20 legal instruments, 7 have been initiated to join, and 2 are planned to send a letter.

Accession to the legal instruments and successful implementation of their provisions is one of the criteria for raising the status of participation in committees, along with expert reviews and active participation in OECD working bodies. 

Therefore, OECD exercises quality control over their implementation, which in turn affects the decision of the Council to upgrade the status of participation in OECD committees.

For reference:

Legal Instruments is the OECD legal framework that includes some 450 instruments (decisions, recommendations, codes, agreements, conventions, declarations and international agreements).

The OECD legal instruments can be divided into two categories:

1. Interstate agreements, as well as decisions of the OECD Council that are legally binding on member countries.

2. 2. Declarations, conventions, agreements, recommendations that do not impose regulatory obligations on countries are of a recommendatory nature to implement best national regulatory practices in a given area.

3. Participation of Kazakhstan in OECD committees and working bodies

The highest political governance bodies of the OECD are committees composed of representatives of the organisation’s member countries and countries with observer status.

OECD is structured around 250 committees, working groups and expert groups. Each specialized committee is composed of representatives of 35 member countries. They meet to develop new ideas and assess progress made in narrower areas such as trade, public sector management, development assistance, financial markets, etc.

Non-OECD countries may be invited to participate in committees and other major OECD bodies. The status of such countries is that of partners. Each Committee is required to develop an International Relations Strategy to identify the countries to be invited. Three-stage participation is envisaged: invitee, participant and associate,

Over the period of cooperation with OECD, Kazakhstan actively participates in 35 working bodies of the Organisation. In 16 committees and working bodies Kazakhstan has the status of «Invitee», in 10 -«Participant», in 7 – «Partner», and in 2 – «Associate».

Status Meaning

Invitee may be invited at the discretion of the OECD body to attend selected meetings of subsidiary bodies, provided that they are included in the Participation Plan. They contribute to the committee’s mandate and work programme by attending meetings and participating in discussions. There are no membership fees.

Participant is invited to all meetings of the subsidiary body for an unlimited period, unless otherwise stated. This invitation is subject to review every two years by the host body. Membership fee: €11,200 per year for participation in the work of the Committee, €3,700 per year for participation in the Working Group if not participating in the relevant committee.

Associate takes part in the work of the Committee on equal terms (rights and obligations), as do OECD members. However, they may not take part in the discussion regarding the admission of a new member to OECD. Membership fee: €21,000 or €53,000 per year.