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Wednesday 21.02.2018 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne

Bakery Lāči owner: pre-crisis period never to return in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, Normunds Skauģis

Normunds Skauģis

The current economic policy is simply «putting out the fire», instead of creating grounds for economic improvement and development. It should be clear that Latvia will never return to the pre-crisis period, the bakery Lāči owner Normunds Skauģis told the business news portal BNN.

What are the most important recent events of your industry?

Flour and other raw materials as milk and butter price climb, supermarkets pressure on producers, as well as law amendments, affecting costs and cash flow.

Do you lack qualified work force?

Yes, I do, especially, in production.

How should the government combat the shadow economy?

A plan of joint activities should be developed, defining the state institutions dealing with the shadow economy combat, as well as specific steps to be carried out by each of the involved state structures. A special programme to motivate employees involved in the programmes should be designed as well, based on achieving the goals.

What kind of amendments would you like to see in the legislation of Latvia?

From the perspective of production, it is important that we are able to forecast our operations for the following 3-5 years ahead, thus we need predictable and long-term legislation environment. This is what we currently lack – with law amendments 2-3 times a year.

Do you support Latvia joining the eurozone? What would the state gain from that?

Yes, I do support that. Latvian markets and economy are small given the global markets, even the European ones, thus joining the single currency would promote export and the feeling of stability among the residents. Cheaper financial resources would be available after the euro introduction as well. Latvia would become more attractive in the eyes of investors.

How do you evaluate the government’s implemented policy to improve the economic situation?

To my mind, the current policy is only «putting out the fire», instead of creating grounds for economic improvement and development.

When could Latvia return to the pre-crisis period?

Latvia will never return to that. Along with economic development, we will face completely different economic situation with a differing structure. I believe the development will be slow and gradual, with a 2-3% GDP growth a year.

How do you evaluate Latvia’s competitiveness in the global markets and what should be done to boost it?

We need attractive environment for investments – tax policy and business environment. Similarly, we also need experts exactly in those economic professions that are recognized as priorities, for example, pharmacy, chemistry, information technologies and other production sectors.

The state should support innovations and businessmen initiative to acquire new directions and products.

Has the current state administration consolidation been correct and sufficient? If not, what should be done differently?

As it has already been said in public space, state administration definitely needs structural reforms, which could be achieved by liquidating doubling functions, reducing bureaucracy and switching from paper documents to the use of IT technologies among the state institutions. Part of the state functions should be transferred to private enterprises and unnecessary public real estate should be sold profitably.


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