Latviski English По-русски
Monday 11.12.2017 | Name days: Valdis, Voldemārs, Valdemārs

Economic Diary. Latvia now has “red jackets”

(No Ratings Yet)

Аuthor: REUTERS/SCANPIXThe Red Jackets export aid movement has become active in Latvia. This organization plans to popularize product and service providers that have notable and recognizable brands. The idea for the name of this movement was given by ex-president of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

Export’s image to be improved

Once, during an international conference, Vaira Vike-Freiberga had changed her style and put on a red suit, which stood out in the background of grey suits of other presidents. This made everyone take notice of her.

GatewayBaltic, Zimolu ligzda Matka and DDB marketing firms and the Latvian Chamber for Trade and Commerce. There is already a list of Top 10 exporters.

Results of the Rising Star contests will become known at the end of April. Ten best companies will receive a special “Red Jackets Inspiration book”and a package of consultancy services. 25 red jackets will be awarded to the best exporters that take care of their brands.

Meanwhile, GatewayBaltic and the Stockholm School of Economics have presented a survey that compiles brand assessment of 1 150 manufacturers and 400 service providers. The conclusion: the recognition of Latvian products on foreign markets is not good at all. According to Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts, Latvian producers are not in any shape to compete with, say, China in terms of production volume. Latvia’s motto – offer high quality for a competitive price. A well planned marketing strategy is vital here. This includes the increase of recognition of a company’s brand.

Fast credits to be slowed down

The Economy Ministry has finally specified the proposals for the regulation of the fast credit industry – something that is growing rapidly in Latvia and the EU and is being poorly regulated. Companies of non-banking crediting sector issued a total of 247 million LVL as credits in 2012. This includes 115 million LVL as fast credits. Firms in this sector have taken up self-regulating measures. Nevertheless, the Economy Minister believes this is not enough.

In particular, it is planned to introduce an annual interest rate cap – 100%. It is also planned to ban advertisements of fast credit services that claim this is a good way to solve financial problems. Services of this kind are not to be provided in the evening and night hours (20:00 to 08:00). This will minimize spontaneous borrowing. Finally, in case of payment delays for half a year will have penalties count 1% per month, then – 6% per year. An entire package of other measures planned to expand the authority of the Consumers’ Rights Protection Centre.

All the best for entrepreneurs

Another initiative of the Economy Ministry stands to improve Latvia’s business environment at the expense of introducing e-services. According to the ministry’s plan, which was approved by the government this week, electronic tax books are planned to be introduced in the fiscal areas: this will make it easier for the State Revenue Service (SRS) to gain access to information about PIT benefits of workers of some companies. The plan also states the necessity of improving the EDS declaration system. These measures are called to improve the accounting process.

The ministry plans to improve life for companies that trade across borders. It is planned to allow such companies to submit electronic customs declarations. The real estate registration procedure is planned to be made simple by means of the electronic registration system in the Land Book.

Last year marked the creation of an opportunity for any Latvian resident to found a business on the portal. In order to make this service more in demand, the ministry plans to improve the functionality of the e-signature service. Particularly, it is planned to activate this feature for all holders of ID cards. Furthermore, the ministry recommends introducing a lowered duty for registering firms on the aforementioned Internet resource.

Innovations to be commended

Finally, one more improvement that accounts the tax base for innovative developments of private companies. A special parliamentary sub-commission discussed the adoption of tax motivation measures this week. Soon this bill will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval.

In order to create a leading economy, the readiness of the private sector to invest money in R&D is vital. Companies of the private sector, on the other hand, require some motivation to risk their money. A recent survey of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that many entrepreneurs are prepared to invest in R&D if there are some tax benefits from it.

Something is being done already: a package of amendments has been prepared. It provides for the write-off of expenses on R&D with an increasing coefficient of 3. This means that by investing 10 thousand LVL, a company is able to reduced the corporate tax base by 30 thousand LVL. It is likely that this will not be the only measure.


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Vilnius mayor apologises for poor performance of road services

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius has admitted that the road services of the Lithuanian capital city were not efficient enough in their response to the weather conditions, apologising to Vilnius residents for the inconveniences they encountered due to traffic interruptions.

BNN summary of the week: kebab industry’s fears, insiders in anti-corruption bureau, and Latvia’s crumbling roads

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Fight; Fear; Opinion; Confusion; Truth.

Farmers Saeima: if Latvia does not ease rules for guest workers, there won’t be any workers

During a meeting of the Food Industry Council, the biggest discussions were raised about the matter regarding the lack of labour force in agriculture and food processing companies. On top of that, farmers are confused over Economy Ministry’s proposed solution, saying that it is too far from reality.

Ex-deputy chief of anti-corruption bureau: I have no doubt the prime minister and president dance to Lembergs’ tune

«For ten year now Aivars Lembergs has been under the ban to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council. And for the same period of time Lembergs and state officials have been ignoring this ban. Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards, who is responsible for supervising municipalities and is very well-informed of the truce power centre, which, unfortunately, is not Latvian citizens as it is stated in the country’s Constitution, goes to visit Lembergs, not Ventspils. He does that to demonstrate his fealty to the ruler as he would if we lived in the Middle Ages,» says politician from New Conservative Party, councillor of Riga city Council and former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juta Strīķe.

Average consumer price level up 2.7% in Latvia

During 2017, the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.7 % when compared with last year. Prices of goods grew by 2.7 % and prices of services by 2.9 %.

Updated: MEPs move against allowing phosphates in kebab meat said to endanger massive industry

As the European Parliament plans to vote on vetoing European Commission's proposal to allow phosphates, used to keep seasoned kebab meat moist and aromatic, the industry considers it a threat event to the existence of meat in the popular fast food.

Prime Minister: new step is made to stimulate Latvian-Japanese cooperation

A new step has been made towards stimulating cooperation between Latvia and Japan in political and economic field. Latvia is not large enough for our businesses to focus solely on the domestic market. Our country has a rapidly-growing economy with a free market ready to make major steps towards transnational cooperation, said Prime Minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis during his visit in Tokyo.

Theatre critic: there is historic importance in people’s trust of television

«Pop-culture’s influence over society should be viewed from two different perspectives. First of all, it is important to consider how society affects popular culture – what we see or hear at least partially reflects the modern society. Secondly, if created products turn out very influential, they inspire people and shift their thought processes or behaviour one way or another. This is because new and exciting products that have never existed until now, products that are considered marginal,» said theatre critic and Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Latvia Zane Radzobe.

MEP: Soviet Union’s activities in occupied countries are not discussed openly

Even to this day Soviet Union’s activities in occupied countries are not discussed openly and loudly, said member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere at the presentation of the English translation of the book ‘Damage Caused to the Baltics by the Soviet Union’ in Brussels.

Expert: data importance will only increase in the digital transformation era

«Technologies are the driving force behind the development of all sectors in the 21st century. They affect our everyday lives and Latvia’s future development. We cannot afford to stop now. We have to continue developing innovations and creativity on all levels,» said Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis during the annual conference organized by Information and Communication Technologies Association.

Estonia in OSCE urges Russia to meet international standards in Ukraine

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sven Mikser, draw attention to support of Ukrainian territorial integrity and the protection of human rights, as he addressed fellow foreign ministers at the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna this week.

Emotional debates break out in Saeima in regards to automatic access to state secrets

During the last meeting, very emotional debates in regards to automatic issue of access to official secrets were held. Proposals were voiced both in support of this and against. The proposal was declined in the end.

UK: EU citizens inside country «will be able to go on living as before»

In the talks on the UK leaving the European Union, London and Brussels have managed to agree on such key issues as the future of EU citizens within the UK and the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which will allow diplomats to move on to talks on the future relations between the bloc and the country after their divorce.

Polish head of government Szydlo resigns

The Prime Minister of Poland, Beata Szydlo, has stepped down, hours after surviving a no-confidence vote pushed for in the Sejm by the opposition.

Weather becomes colder and colder in Latvia

In the next seven days weather in Latvia will be volatile; cyclone activity will remain. On Friday, 8 December, air temperature will remain relatively high – in most of Latvia it will be around +1° C… +5° C, as reported by the State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s real estate market hints of troubles ahead

Although the new flat sales, including luxury sector, in Lithuanian capital Vilnius continue to hover at the peak of recent years, real estate market outside the capital and Kaunas, the second-largest Lithuanian city, is cooling off, which may be an omen as to what expect soon.

Vaškevičs asked Latvian authorities to investigate death threats against him

Bribery accused former deputy director of the State Revenue Service Vladimirs Vaškevičs, who has fled to Austria, says he had asked Latvia’s Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate an anonymous internet death threat.

People of Palestine urged for upraising after U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Palestine's Islamist group Hamas called on its population to quit peace efforts and launch a new uprising against Israel reacting to Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital.

Survey: residents have weak knowledge on teaching in national minority schools

Residents have very imprecise information about the teaching process in national minority schools, as concluded in results of a survey performed by SKDS.

Latvia demonstrates one of the most rapid economic growth rates in EU

In the third quarter of 2017, Latvia had experienced one of the most rapid GDP growth rates among European Union member states, according to information from Eurostat.

Saeima rejects proposal on lowering entry bar for parliamentary elections

Reviewing amendments to the Saeima Elections Law, deputies declined Gunārs Kūtris’ proposal to lower the entry barrier for next year’s parliamentary elections from 5% to 3%.

Prime Minister: Latvia wishes to work in Japan’s global financial technologies market

Latvia has a unique synergy between traditional finance sector and fintech companies. People there constantly come up with new solutions to make Latvia the first choice for fintech company headquarters, said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis at the opening of World FinTech Day Latvia business seminar in Tokyo on 7 December.

Large companies predict turnover rise for 2018

Most large companies in Baltic States predict their turnover to rise next year. Such an opinion was voiced by 67% of large businesses in Latvia, 70% in Estonia and 59% in Lithuania, according to SEB Bank’s financial directors survey.

Estonian Defence Ministry to combine its IT and cyber policy departments

The Estonian Defence Ministry will combine its cyber policy and information technology departments into a single department.

Cimdars: there are concerns about qualifications of people working at election sites

If wages of people working at election sites is not increased, serious concerns about people’s qualifications will appear, said chairman of the Central Election Commission Arnis Cimdars in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Newest comments