bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. «Russia, goodbye!»

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe main event of the week is undoubtedly the agreement signed between Baltic States and Poland regarding the construction of a European gas pipeline from Poland to Lithuania, which is meant to reduce reliance on supplies of gas from Russia. Construction is planned to be completed by December 2019.

The European Commission reported the signing of this deal on its website, adding that the deal will put an end to long-standing isolation of Baltic States. The total cost of the project is estimated at EUR 558 million. In 2014, the project received funding from the European Compliance Mechanism worth EUR 305 million. Latvia’s share in this project is estimated at EUR 14 million.

The total length of the planned gas pipeline will be 554 km. The pipeline’s power output will be 2.4 billion m3 of gas annually and 1 billion m3 of gas for reserve supplies. It is planned to continue developing the network of transport pipelines in Baltic States, as mentioned in the announcement of the European Commission.

Latvia and Estonia largely depend on Russia when it comes to gas supply. Juncker said energy isolation of Baltic States and their long-standing reliance on a single supplier has ended.

According to information from Gazprom, the company had supplied 2.5 billion m3 of gas to Lithuania, 1 billion m3 of gas to Latvia and 0.4 billion m3 of gas to Estonia in 2014.

Currently, Latvijas Gāze supplies Latvian consumers with gas imported from Russia. The desire to end energy dependence forces the government to look for alternatives to Russian gas. American allies encourage doing just that. During a meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on 20 August 2015, American senators mentioned the need to work on diversifying energy supply sources as part of regional security measures. But all alternative solutions will inevitably lead to increased prices for consumers.

Latvian Economy Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola had previously mentioned: importing gas from Klaipeda terminal would make the fuel more expensive than what is currently supplied by Latvijas Gāze. According to her, security components, fluctuating costs, transport costs and other potential expenses are part of the price for gas procured from Klaipeda terminal. As a result, gas from the Lithuanian terminal would increase price of gas for Latvian consumers by 5-6%.

Positive zero

While politicians are busy resolving matters related to energy independence, Latvian businessmen have found a way to adapt to the unstable situation in the world. This is the conclusion made by experts that will take part in Business Strategy for 2016 conference.

According to the head of firmas.lv Juris Rozkalns, a look at available data from different companies shows that there is currently a positive zero in terms of turnover and profitability in Latvia’s business environment in comparison with 2013. Nevertheless, results can be considered positive.

According to experts, there are multiple reasons for that: the sanction war between Russia and Europe, armed clashes in Ukraine and Syria, mass-murders committed by ISIS, the flow of refugees, Greece’s financial crisis, populism in European politics and UK’s possible exit from the EU.

But in spite of the horrors of war and general instability in the world, some Latvian companies have successfully overcome problems created by the Russian embargo and the drop in the population’s purchasing power. They have managed to adapt to the new business conditions and diversify exports, said Chief of Latvian office of Pohjola bank Elmars Priksans.

Where’s the crisis?

What is interesting is that the state of the real-estate market demonstrates that things are not as bad in Baltic States as some politicians would like everyone to believe.

According to Colliers International, the total volume of investments in corporate real-estate in Baltic States exceeded EUR 574 million in the first half of 2015.

Estonia is in the lead in terms of investments in corporate real estate (EUR 235 million), followed by Lithuania (EUR 226 million) and Latvia (EUR 114 million). In Latvia and Lithuania, most investments of the first half of 2015 included different retail trade objects (more than a half of all deals). In Estonia, on the other hand, the biggest investment activity was noted in office segment (38% of all investments).

There were changes in terms of the origin of investors in the first half of 2015. Aside from traditional investors from Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia, new investors from Western Europe appeared and formed new groups of investors in all three Baltic States. Experts of Colliers predict the total volume of investments will exceed the record set in 2007 and will reach EUR 1 billion in 2015.

Ref: 017.109.109.8982


Leave a reply

Level of prices of agricultural products in Latvia grew 11.6% in 2017

The total price index of agricultural output in 2017 had increased by 11.6 %, which was mainly due to the rise in prices of livestock products of 25.8 %. The price index of crop products grew by 2.2 %.

51% of residents would not purchase goods production of which would pollute the environment

Environment-friendly lifestyle in Latvia, like elsewhere in the world, is becoming more popular every day. So-called green thinking also affects Latvian residents’ habits. 53% of Latvian residents prefer goods and services that help protect the environment, according to results of a study performed by AS Latvijas Zaļais punkts.

World Press Freedom index ranks Estonia highest among Baltic states

The French-based organisation Reporters Without Borders has published its 2018 World Press Freedom index, where Estonia has been ranked 12th and Latvia has been moved up by four positions to the 24th place.

Abu Meri: parliamentary investigative committee could help combat corruption in Riga City Council

«Nils Ušakovs’ policy in Riga is not only non-democratic but also allows for systematic corruption, which has become a tradition. If a week goes by with no scandal, it seems too long. Because of that, I consider forming a parliamentary investigative committee to study corruption in Riga City Council,» said Unity’s Saeima faction leader Hosams Abu Meri in an interview to BNN.

200 thousand Estonian e-mail passwords found leaked online

The global database of the illegally leaked passwords of tons of e-mail addresses contains passwords used by some 215 000 Estonian internet users.

Latvian EC Commissioner invites businesses to prepare for all Brexit scenarios

Businesses and supervisors should prepare for all possible Brexit scenarios, said Deputy Chairman of the European Commission on Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Market Union Valdis Dombrovskis participating in the ongoing finance forum City Week in the UK.

Latvia prepared to pay 4.8 million euros for participation in Expo 2020 in Dubai

Latvian government is prepared for participation in the international Expo 2020 in Dubai. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis said after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers this Tuesday that it is planned to allocate EUR 4.8 million for this venture.

Spanish resort city to prohibit renting apartments to tourists

Palma, the Spanish resort city in the Mediterranean island of Majorca, has adopted a restriction that apartment will be not allowed to rent their apartments to travellers, becoming the first place in Spain to introduce such a ban.

Supreme Court of Justice views Kristovskis’ claim against Ventspils City Council

On 25 April, the Administrative Cases Department of the Supreme Court of Justice will be viewing two claims submitted by Ventspils City Council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis against the city council. «The fact that the case will be viewed verbally and that the defendants include Ventspils City Council, EPRDM and Association of Local Governments is considered unique and unprecedented in Latvia’s court practice,» says Kristovskis.

Messaging app Whatsapp not to be available to under-16s in EU

The smartphone messaging app Whatsapp plans to raise the minimum age limit to its European Union users from 13 to 16 years, as it is adjusting its rules of use to the upcoming EU data privacy regulations.

Saeima speaker in Tallinn: EU and NATO cooperation in defence should be enhanced

Close cooperation between European Union and NATO in defence is now more important than ever. This is especially true for cyber security and hybrid-thread prevention, said Latvian Saeima’s speaker Ināra Mūrniece during a meeting of EU member states parliaments in Tallinn on Tuesday, 24 April.

Ministry avoids going against supporting parties; Ventspils City Council’s violations reported to court

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has no influence at all, and sometimes it seems it has no desire to exercise its rights and perform its duties. This situation most likely appeared because the institution is led by a minister who represents a specific political party.

Warfare in Ukraine escalates, soldiers wounded

In the Donbas War that continues for the fifth year in the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russian hybrid forces have this week conducted a total of 44 attacks, wounding five soldiers, the Ukrainian military reports.

Demand for mortgage loans grew 53% in March

Increased demand for mortgage loans with state guarantees was observed in Latvia in March. Nearly every other loan application filed last month was intended for housing purchase using Altum guarantee. The largest amount of interest came from families with children, as reported by Citadele Bank.

Most businesses in Latvia still not ready for data protection regulation

The majority of businesses in Latvia are still not ready for EU General Data Protection Regulation, which is due to come to force on 25 May, says KPMG lawyer and certified data protection specialist Sanita Pētersone.

Finnish prisoners found radicalising towards Islamic and far-right extremism

In prisons in Southern Finland, a study of radicalisation of inmates has been conducted and has identified dozens of inmates, who are moving into either radical Islam or into far-right violent extremism.

Ušakovs invites colleagues from Russia to attend centenary festivities in Riga

Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs has invited mayors from 56 cities to attend festivities organized for Latvia’s centenary. This includes mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg, as confirmed by Ušakovs’ press-secretary Laila Ivāna.

Estonian President sees no return from e-governance

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, the Baltic country's experience in providing public e-services to the population.

Norway interested in developing cooperation with Latvia in tourism industry

«Latvia welcomes successful regional and economic cooperation with Norway. Our countries have common values and goals – developing Baltic and Nordic countries as a wealthy and secure European region,» said Latvia’s Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens during his meeting with Norwegian State Secretary for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Roy Angelvik.

Finland not to continue its basic income scheme

The basic income scheme in Finland that has been tested in the Nordic country since 2017, will not be continued as the Finnish government has decided to look into other schemes for reforming the Finnish social security system

MEP: New Unity may be in the government with other parties that have similar goals

After Saeima elections, New Unity will cooperate with parties prepared to work with the association to accomplish specific goals, says leader of New Unity and member of the European Parliament Krišjānis Kariņš.

Canada experiences tragic attack on pedestrians in Toronto

In the Canadian city of Toronto, a driver has been driving onto pedestrians taking the lives of 10 people and injuring 15 more.

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year

Latvian residents spend an average of EUR 81 on cosmetics every year, which is one of the lowest indexes in Europe. Compared to other Baltic States, Latvian residents spend less money on cosmetics, according to data compiled by Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association.

Armenian Prime Minister Sargsyan resigns unexpectedly

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, has unexpectedly stepped down from office after ten days of protests in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

Baltic Express: Europe has already invented the bicycle; we just have to adopt it

13 March marked a historic event for Ventspils railway hub – for the first time in the history of Latvia’s railway a private cargo carrier – Baltic Express – delivered wagons to Ventspils 1st station and private infrastructure’s railway terminal. Why is this event so important and what is the future for Latvia’s cargo railway system? – Baltic Express chairman Māris Bremze told ventspilnieks.lv.