With the Support of Rietumu Bank, a Forum on the Attraction of Investments to Latvia Was Held in Riga
05-May-2015 / Charity & Sponsorship Riga was the venue for the economic forum “Prospects: Competitiveness of Latvia and Attraction of Direct Foreign Investments”.
The conference participants were Latvian ministers, top managers of the Bank of Latvia, local and foreign economists, CEOs of the biggest companies and banks. The general partner of the forum is Rietumu Bank.
This is already the tenth session in the “Prospects” series of forums, arranged in Riga by the American Chamber of Commerce, with the participation of the Norwegian and Swedish Chambers of Commerce. The task of these events, which traditionally gather together leading politicians, experts and entrepreneurs, is to discuss the most topical issues for the development of Latvia.
As the Member of the Board of Rietumu Bank Ilya Suharenko noted, “Such meetings on the highest level are an excellent platform for discussing pressing problems and prospects for the country’s development. Authoritative assessments provided here help in shaping an efficient economic policy. We are pleased that the majority of conclusions on the current business model of the state are positive. This being the case, we have to continue to move forward and develop the most effective strategy for this.”
The subject of this forum was the competitiveness of Latvia in the field of attracting investments on the international market, the involved problems and prospects. The speeches were held by the Minister of Economics Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the President of the Bank of Latvia Ilmars Rimsevics, the economist, spokesperson of the World Economic Forum Caroline Galvan and others.
The forum participants noted a positive tendency of the growing volumes of investments. In 2014, a total of 33 decisions were taken on big investments in Latvia, whereas in 2010 there were only 9 such decisions. In 2014 foreign investors created 1212 jobs in Latvia, and the volume of investments exceeded EUR 127 million.
The core factors influencing decision taking by investors were named to be stability and transparency of political and legislative areas, the internal market status, the potential for increasing productivity, as well as the cost of the labour force.
As a restraining factor, the Minister of Economics Dana Reizniece-Ozola named a lack of qualified labour force. Currently there is an excess of social sphere specialists in the country and a lack of professionals with an engineering education – in the future this proportion must be changed.
The President of the Bank of Latvia Ilmars Rimsevics directed attention to the positive tendency of GDP growth in Latvia: last year its volume was EUR 24.1 billion, as compared to EUR 20.15 billion in 2011.
The forum participants came to the conclusion that to increase the competitiveness of Latvia it is required to increase the number of professionals with an engineering education, develop manufacturing industries and continue to create a favourable environment for businesses, including by using European funds.
According to the World Economic Forum data, Latvia is now 42nd out of 144 in the competitiveness index. At the same time, in some performance figures, Latvia is approaching the leaders of the rating – Switzerland and Singapore.
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