The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) decided to invite Lithuania to open negotiations on its membership in this organization, according to the office of Lithuania's president on Thursday.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite had a phone conversation with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, during which she was informed of the unanimous decision of the OECD council to invite Lithuania to negotiations.
"OECD membership will enhance Lithuania's attractiveness to foreign investors, promote closer cooperation with the most advanced countries in the world and will contribute to bolstering economic growth and welfare of our country," Grybauskaite said in a statement.
Algirdas Butkevicius, prime minister of Lithuania, said the news is a huge step for Lithuania.
"Talks and negotiations and Lithuania's economic progress provided positive results," Butkevicius said in a statement.
The OECD says the next stage in Lithuania's accession process will be the establishment of individual roadmaps.
"Accession talks will take place individually between the candidate countries and the OECD involving the committees with responsibility for the substantive aspects of the Organization's work," OECD said.
Lithuanian officials told Xinhua in an earlier interview the most optimistic time for Lithuania to become a fully-fledged OECD member is 2017.
Lithuania first set a goal to become a member of the OECD in 2000 with an official application submitted in 2002. Fluent preparation for Lithuania's accession to the OECD was announced one of the main priorities for the current government in 2016.
OECD currently has 34 member countries. The organization was established in 1961 as the successor to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which administered the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II.