June 4 - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) invitation for Colombia to launch accession talks with the multilateral organization represents a positive step that could help propel economic reform efforts and pro-growth policies, according to Fitch Ratings. We see the invitation, in part, as recognition of Colombia's largely successful macroeconomic policies, which have helped sustain growth momentum, while attracting investment and keeping inflation rates low. Although growth has moderated in recent quarters, GDP grew by 4% in 2012. Inflation remains among the lowest in the region at 2% in April. The consistency and credibility of the country's policy mix has supported Colombia's credit profile. We revised Colombia's Rating Outlook to Positive in March, affirming the 'BBB-' foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR). This reflects increased resilience resulting from strengthening external accounts and favorable government debt dynamics. Entry into the OECD represents an opportunity for Colombia to make further progress in reducing structural weaknesses relative to investment-grade peers in terms of institutional strength, competitiveness, income distribution and living standards. Progress in these areas would also allow Colombia to take advantage of the increasing openness of its economy and broader cooperation with trade and investment partners around the world. The OECD includes 34 member countries with market economies that seek ways to promote policies supporting economic growth. Formal negotiations for accession between the OECD and Colombia will begin later this year. In addition to Colombia, Latvia also received an invitation to begin the accession process.