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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

 

About the OECD

Based in Paris, France, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an inter-governmental organisation that provides the setting for democratic and market oriented countries to study and develop economic and social policies with the aim of maximising economic growth. New Zealand joined the OECD in 1973.

OECD Member States: 34 Countries (from Wikipedia)

OECD Member States: 34 Countries (from Wikipedia)

Key to map

Full members

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States

In process of accession

(The accession procedure involves a series of examinations to assess a country's ability to meet OECD standards in a wide range of policy areas. This makes it difficult to bring on board more than a small number of new members at the same time.)

Key partners

(In 2007, OECD countries offered a programme of "enhanced engagement" to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. A central element of the programme is the promotion of direct and active participation of these countries in the work of substantive bodies of the Organisation).

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Objectives and activities

The principal aims of the OECD are to:

Through membership of the OECD 34 countries discuss and compare policy approaches to economic issues as wide-ranging as population aging, pollution, sustainable development, health, governance, development assistance, trade and agriculture.  At the heart of OECD’s effectiveness are mutual examination by governments, multilateral surveillance and a peer review process through which the performance of individual countries is monitored by their peers, all carried out at committee-level. 

Discussions at OECD committee-level sometimes evolve into negotiations where OECD countries agree on rules of the game for international co-operation.  They can culminate in formal agreements by countries, produce standards and models, or result in guidelines, for example on corporate governance or environmental practices.  Increasingly, a priority for the OECD is to relate its work to the needs of developing countries in order to identify ways in which to enhance their prospects for achieving economic growth.

Since the OECD turned 50 in 2011, its focus has been on helping governments in four main areas:

Further Information on the OECD's functions and objectives can be obtained through the OECD website.

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New Zealand and the OECD

Session on Trade and Jobs, 23 May 2012 - (Left/Right) Pier Carlo Padoan, Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, OECD; Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway of Canada; Ken Ash, Director of Trade and Agriculture, OECD; Ron Kirk, Trade Representative of the United States; Tim Groser, Minister of Trade of New Zealand; Pascal Lamy, Director-General WTO. OECD, Paris, France.
Session on Trade and Jobs, 23 May 2012 - (Left/Right) Pier Carlo Padoan, Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, OECD; Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway of Canada; Ken Ash, Director of Trade and Agriculture, OECD; Ron Kirk, Trade Representative of the United States; Tim Groser, Minister of Trade of New Zealand; Pascal Lamy, Director-General WTO. OECD, Paris, France.

The OECD provides a valuable forum through which New Zealand can make its voice heard on key economic and social issues such as economic best practice, trade liberalisation and sustainable development.   A range of New Zealand Government agencies actively engage with the OECD across a wide set of issues – for example, economic analysis; trade and structural reform; disaster risk assessment and risk financing; taxation; employment and social policy; education and the environment; science and technology; foreign bribery; and development assistance.

Through the OECD, New Zealand shares its own experience and analysis with the Secretariat and other countries.  Government agencies also seek to influence the direction of the OECD’s work programme and analysis. The OECD is also a valuable source of intellectual capital and analytical work on which New Zealand can draw to supplement and confirm our own policy development process.

OECD membership enables New Zealand public servants to build extensive cooperative networks with their counterparts in other OECD member countries - networks on which they can draw to improve the quality of their work in the interests of the New Zealand public. Many government departments have regular direct contact with the OECD.  We also have a New Zealand Delegation to the OECD, which is part of the New Zealand Embassy in Paris.

As an organisation which is more than regional, but less than global, the OECD usefully fills a niche in the architecture of international economic organisations. The OECD Economic Outlook - published twice a year - provides an assessment of economic trends, prospects and policies in member countries. The organisation's regular country reviews, which involve peer review by other OECD members, are a unique source of insight into our comparative performance across a broad range of government policy areas - they tell us how others see us. A good example is the periodic reviews of New Zealand's economy and overseas development assistance.  The OECD’s work with accession countries (Russia) and increasingly with “key partners” (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa) also provides new sources of analysis on some issues in those countries.

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The Minister of Trade, Hon Tim Groser represented New Zealand at the OECD’s annual Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM), 23-24 May 2012.  In addition to the MCM, he was a key note speaker in a panel session at the OECD Forum which officially launched the outcomes of the International Collaborative Initiative on Trade and Employment (ICITE) project on Trade and Jobs; and had separate meetings with senior OECD officials to discuss their work on Global Value Chains and Trade in Value-Added.The Minister also represented New Zealand at the 2011 Ministerial Council Meeting which marked the OECD’s 50th Anniversary.

MFAT has the overall lead with regards to New Zealand’s role and responsibility as an OECD member.  Different government agencies have the lead in engaging with different OECD Committees.  MFAT leads New Zealand’s engagement with the OECD’s Trade Committee (including the Working Party of the Trade Committee and the Joint Working Party on Trade and Environment), and the Development Assistance Committee.

Recent events

(Relevant New Zealand agency is MFAT unless indicated otherwise).

OECD MCM 2012 Opening Session: All on Board-Policies for Inclusive Growth and Jobs, 23 May 2012 - OECD, Paris, France.
OECD MCM 2012 Opening Session: All on Board-Policies for Inclusive Growth and Jobs, 23 May 2012 - OECD, Paris, France.

New Zealand and the OECD | 40 Years of Collaboration

This year marks the 40th anniversary of NZ’s membership at the OECD. 

The attached brochure [PDF 6mb] highlights key activities that have taken place over the past four decades.  

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The Financial Action Task Force

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for coordinating the development of New Zealand's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policy. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of which New Zealand is a member, is an inter-governmental body which sets international standards for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. Although FATF and the OECD are separate organisations, the FATF secretariat is located at the OECD.  The FATF monitors the building of anti-money laundering systems in its member countries and cooperates with other international bodies involved in the fight against money laundering.

Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

These guidelines set out voluntary principles and were last updated in 2011. These are designed to help multinational firms operate in harmony with the policies and societal expectations of their national governments and align their activities with international best practice. The guidelines' coverage is broad, touching on issues such as information disclosure, employment, industrial relations, the environment, combating disclosure, consumer interests, science and technology, competition and taxation. The guidelines were developed by 39 governments (including New Zealand) and are increasingly being used to guide the development of ethical codes in business.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment is New Zealand's National Contact Point regarding these guidelines. As the National Contact Point the Ministry has three broad objectives:

For further information about the Guidelines, please contact the Competition, Trade and Investment Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, phone +64 4 472 0030, email: oecd-ncp@med.govt.nz
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Page last updated: Tuesday, 02 July 2013 11:58 NZST