The fight against corruption and the overhaul of state-owned companies are the key challenges that Lithuania will face on its path to membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Wednesday.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"The focus will be on anti-corruption efforts and the governance of state-owned enterprises," he told BNS.

Linkevičius said that he had congratulated neighboring Latvia, which on Wednesday received an invitation to join the OECD, often referred to as a club of advanced economies.

Lithuania, which expects to become an OECD member in 2018, lags behind its other EU neighbors in the accession process too.

Poland joined the organization in 1996 and Estonia was admitted in 2010.

Linkevičius acknowledged that Riga had done a better job than Vilnius in the past decade, which was very important given the OECD's waning enthusiasm for expansion due to the global economic and financial crisis.

"I believe that we could plan with confidence to gain membership in 2018. We should be glad that have we managed to jump into the departing train, which has a clear direction and schedule," he told BNS.

According to the minister, Lithuania has so far completed negotiations on one out of 21 chapters.

The Lithuanian government expects that OECD membership will improve Lithuania's investment climate and give it access to the organization's expertise.

Latvia is set to become the 35th member of the OECD. The most-discussed issue during its accession talks was Riga's measures against money laundering in the country's banking sector.

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