Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Image of the entrance of the Conference Centre at OECD Headquarters in Paris
Main entrance of the Conference Centre at OECD Headquarters in Paris in 2012. © OECD/Victor Tonelli

The 34 OECD member states are brought together by a common interest in economic, financial, educational, science, social, environmental and development policy. Against the background of globalisation, governments discuss these issues, exchange experiences, explore ideas for improvement and together seek solutions to problems. Better coordination between states and coherence in national and international economic policy are at the heart of the commitment of the OECD and its members.

What is the OECD?

  • Established in 1961
  • Headquartered in Paris
  • 34 member countries
  • Annual budget of EUR 320 million
  • Secretariat staff 2,500
  • 250 publications per year

Official OECD website

OECD member countries

  • 72% of the world's Gross National Income (GNI)
  • 61% of world trade
  • 18% of the world population
  • 95% of global public development assistance
  • 46% of global CO2 emissions

What does the OECD do?

The mission of the OECD is to help its member countries to:

  • Support sustainable economic growth
  • Boost employment
  • Raise living standards
  • Maintain financial stability
  • Assist other countries' economic development
  • Contribute to growth in world trade

OECD activity fields

How does the OECD work?

The governments of member countries meet regularly in committees to :

  • Compare experiences ("peer reviews")
  • Seek solutions to common problems
  • Identify good practices
  • Develop international standards
  • Coordinate their national and international policies

The OECD and its secretariat collect data, analyse and forecast economic and social trends and developments.

What benefits does the OECD offer Switzerland?

  • International platform for advocating Switzerland's interests
  • Opportunity to be involved in defining international standards
  • Peer learning
  • Arguments for structural reforms which are necessary but politically difficult
  • Areas of particular interest: investment, competition, tax, development, health and innovation

The future of the OECD

  • Status quo: risks losing influence and economic clout to new actors
  • Aim: globalisation hub
  • Five candidate countries for accession: Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia
  • Enhanced engagement with the "global players" of tomorrow: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Africa

Enhanced engagement procedure