The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was created in 1961 and is currently composed of 36 countries. The main goal of the Organization is to facilitate dialogue and the promotion of converging standards among its members, in order to improve public policies in areas of great importance to the lives of their citizens, including social welfare, development, labor, digital economy, tax, anti-corruption, education, health, governance, environment, among others.
Since the mid 1990s, Brazil has maintained relations with the OECD and has taken part in its committees and working groups. In 2007, Brazil was invited to join a select group of countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa) to start the ‘Enhanced Engagement’ process with the OECD. In 2012, Brazil was raised to the level of OECD Key Partner. In 2015, the Brazil-OECD Framework Agreement on Cooperation was signed, thus creating conditions to deepen and systematize bilateral relations.
In 2017, an agreement on the establishment of an OECD office in Brazil was signed.
In a letter signed by the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance in May 2017, Brazil formally expressed to the OECD Secretary-General its interest in initiating the accession process to be a full member of the Organization. Since then, intense diplomatic work has been carried out to obtain the support of all OECD members for the Brazilian candidacy.
Brazil’s entry into the OECD will be mutually beneficial, as it will help the reform process under way in the country and contribute to the relevance of the Organization worldwide. At the end of 2018, a Brazilian Delegate was assigned to the Economic Organizations in Paris to oversee and monitor the Brazil-OECD relationship.
In July 2019, the Council for Preparation and Monitoring of the Accession of Brazil to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Brazil – OECD Council) was established. The new council replaces the former Interministerial Working Group, created in 2005 to address the Brazil-OECD relationship. The Brazil-OECD Council is comprised of the Chief of Staff Office (coordination body), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic. The Brazil-OECD Council oversees the political and strategic coordination of the preparation for Brazil’s accession process to the Organization. It also coordinates the Brazilian engagement in the works of the Organization, in which several ministries, agencies, and government agencies participate. The creation of the new council, therefore, reflects the great interest of the Brazilian government in further deepening Brazilian cooperation and engagement in the OECD forums and bodies.
There is a significant and growing convergence between Brazilian domestic norms and practices and the OECD guidelines. Brazil has so far adhered to 82 out of the 254 OECD normative instruments and is requesting adherence to 65 more. Brazil is the non-member country with the largest adherence to OECD instruments: it takes part in the works of nearly 30 forums and bodies of the Organization, including committees and working groups covering topics such as trade, investment, agriculture, governance, education, customer protection and taxing.
The Brazilian presence in the OECD has already improved Brazilian public policies in areas such as agricultural production, subsidies, antitrust laws, tax policy, investments, anti-corruption actions and internet management.
The outcomes of the Brazilian engagement in the Organization will become increasingly significant as the country continues to take part in the OECD works, adhere to new instruments, and deepen the preparatory work for its future accession as a full member of the Organization.