bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 26.09.2016 | Name days: Kurts, Knuts, Gundars
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. Cherchez la femme

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULong queues of trucks have formed on the border with Russia. This has not been seen since the so-called fat years in Latvia. There is some more good news, and women are the reason for that.

As the French say whenever strange things happen – cherchez la femme. This phrase is applicable for the situation with trucks that has recently formed on the Latvian-Russian border. Considering the years of the crisis and what that brought and sanctions against Russia, many have forgotten what it is like to wait for many hours to be processed at border checkpoints.

As explained at the State Revenue Service, the formation of long queues is tied to the increase in seasonal economic activity and increase in volumes of quickly expiring cargoes, specifically – flowers. This is the product that was being transported to Russia in large amounts for the upcoming International Women’s Day, which is widely celebrated in Russia. People who remember the Soviet Era remember that flower cultivation and their sale on 8 March were good business for many Latvians. It seems that not much has changed since then. The only difference is that now Latvia is used as a transit corridor to carry flowers from other EU countries to Russia.

This situation may also be tied to efforts to increase control of Russian border control authorities on the Belarus-Russian border. According to unofficial information from Latvian State Revenue Service, carriers from EU countries and other people are allowed to cross the Russian-Belarus border at a restricted pace. This is why the international transport flow has been re-routed through Latvia. This is having a serious impact on the processing capacity of border checkpoints. As a result, long queues of vehicles have formed at the border.

According to information from Terekhovo border control point, the number of trucks waiting to be processed was 540 on 1 March. A similar situation was noted on previous days: no less than 360 trucks were noted on 26 February and onward. The time it takes to be approved to enter Russia ranges from 37 to 73 hours.

The size of the queue, the time it takes to be processed and the processing speed of the border control point are all unprecedented for this time of year.

SRS has not seen anything quite like this before. There had been no queues in 2015 and 2014. The time it took trucks to be processed and approved was very short – an average of 300 trucks was approved for entry to the Russian Federation every 24 hours. This number came up to even 450 in 2013. Waiting time did not exceed 1-2 hours.

The absolute record in terms of length of the queue of trucks – more than 2,000 – with waiting time of up to 5 days was noted in the ‘fat’ 2006.

Blacklist

This week turned unprecedented for the State Revenue Service as well. As planned, SRS Director Inara Petersone submitted to Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola a list of SRS and Finance Police officials suspected of dishonest practices. In addition, Petersone also submitted proposals on options for getting rid of dishonest workers. There is currently no information available in regards to any names or specific departments of SRS affected by the blacklist. Also, Petersone does not deny that the list may be expanded.

One head has been removed so far. Head of the Customs Office and deputy director general Talis Kravalis has been dismissed. There is currently no information to suggest he was on the blacklist. The official reason for his dismissal was that Kravalis permit to access official secrets had expired and no request had been filed by him to extend the permit.

As noted by Dana Reizniece-Ozola, an enormous shadow of corruption currently looms over SRS. This leads to residents losing faith in the service and motivation to pay taxes.

The great and terrible GDP

Some good news did come this week. Latvia’s Gross Domestic Product’s growth rate was 2.7% in 2015, as confirmed by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. In actual prices, GDP grew by nearly EUR 24.4 billion.

Economy Ministry expects GDP growth to reach 3.2% in 2016. The ministry reports that growth of the national economy will be decided largely by domestic demand, which secures growth of salaries and reduction of unemployment.

Nordea Bank’s analysts are more cautious about the growth potential of Latvia’s national economy. The bank has reduced GDP growth outlook from 3% to 2.7% for 2016. According to them, private consumption and investment growth will contribute to GDP growth this year.

The mood on external markets is not exactly too optimistic, which is largely due to geopolitical conflicts, unclear perspectives in the EU and slow economic development in China.

Ref: 017.109.109.7852


Leave a reply

Struggle of Estonian presidential election to be continued

Another round of the current Estonian presidential election has produced no result, as a special electoral college on September 24 failed to give clear backing to either of the candidates.

Loss of classified documents to be commented once Strelchenok returns from sick leave

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau will provide an explanation about the disappearance of classified documents once Yaroslav Strelchenok, the current head of KNAB, returns from sick leave, as BNN was informed by KNAB.

VNT awarded for its contribution to development of cycling culture in Latvia

For the second consecutive year, Ventspils nafta terminals has received a prize in the Cyclist-friendly contest organized by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry and the European Commission.

Latvenergo considers entering the gas market

Latvijas Gaze continues limiting the interests of other gas traders by not allowing them to access Incukalns gas storage facility. Previously the monopolist denied doing that. The excuse mentioned then was that there was no room in the storage facility. The gas monopolist continued making life harder for others even after major amendments to the law were added.

EC considers EU-Canada trade deal done and non-negotiable

The European Commission has stated that there will be no new talks on the disputed EU-Canada free trade deal CETA, even though many Europeans are against it.

Expert: bogs and narrow roads make Latvia easily-defensible

Latvia and Baltic States in general are perfect for military defence, believes Potomac Foundation president Philip Karber. He is a teacher at Georgetown University and a hired military consultant for Latvian Defence Ministry.

U.S. blames Russia for barbaric attacks in Syria

In relation to the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo during ceasefire, the U.S. ambassador to the UN has accused Russia of barbaric actions.

Week in Lithuania. Street plaque in Yiddish, Hebrew languages unveiled in Vilnius

A street sign in Yiddish and Hebrew languages was unveiled on Žydų gatvė in the heart of the historic Jewish quarter in Vilnius on Tuesday, September 20.

Economic Diary of Latvia. About strong women in power

This week, members of the Saeima unexpectedly declined amendments that provided for the merging of finance and customs police of the State Revenue Service. After hearing out deputies, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola decided not to give up.

Ten million euros to be allocated to assist with elder people employment

Central Finance and Contracting Agency has sent a proposal to the State Employment Agency to apply for European Social Fund financing to realize measures to maintain and improve elder people employment.

Latvia and China sign cooperation memorandum to develop aviation industry

Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis and Administrator of Civil Aviation Agency of China Feng Zhenglin signed a cooperation memorandum on Friday, 23 September. This cooperation memorandum is meant to assist with the development of the aviation industry.

Number of counterfeit products confiscated by EU authorities continued to grow in 2015

According to the latest data published on Friday, 23 September, by the European Commission, EU customs authorities confiscated five million euros worth of more counterfeit products in 2015 than they did the year before.

Businessmen urge professionals to apply for SRS director general’s post

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry invites professionals who fit requirements put up by the State Chancellery to take part in the personnel selection process for the post of director general of the State Revenue Service.

Dogo producer submits additions to court to launch case for slander

Tukuma Straume, manufacturer of Dogo dog food, has submitted documents to Riga City Vidzeme District Court to launch legal action against 17 private and legal persons for spreading untrue, partial and distorted information about the aforementioned product.

Meet «average candidate» for near Lithuanian parliamentary election

It‘s a race that has coalesced many of Lithuania’s heavy-hitters, political wannabes and simply better-life seekers for the same goal – clinching the coveted seat at Parliament.

Estonian presidential nominees feel need for stronger link with Russian community

Days before the decisive vote on the next Estonian President, most candidates have stressed the need for increased communication with the country's Russian-speaking population to establish a stronger link.

119 domestic pigs are put down in Gulbene due to ASF

African swine fever has been recorded in Gulbene municipality’s Ranka parish. Because of it, authorities had to put down 119 domestic pigs.

Burgh Group and Vitol to acquire shares of Richards Bay Coal Terminal

A consortium comprising Burgh Group Holdings and Vitol has agreed to acquire Optimum Coal Terminal Pty Ltd from the Tegeta Group for an undisclosed sum, subject to the relevant regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent.

Quarter of Latvia’s small and medium-sized companies struggle with financial difficulties

Only half of more than 60,000 companies in Latvia have a stable financial situation. 26% of small and medium-sized companies are currently struggling financially. In the next twelve months, they are expected to experience major financial difficulties, according to data from the Credit Information Bureau.

YouTube to encourage users to «snitch» on inappropriate content

Popular video sharing site YouTube has this week announced a scheme to offer rewards to users reporting on videos and comments, which they think are inappropriate to YouTube content guidelines.

Belgian police take 13 immigrants to France by accident

Two Belgian policemen have been handcuffed and questioned in northern France by their French counterparts after being caught with 13 illegal migrants banned from staying in Belgium.

Transit industry: this is the golden moment to decide the future of Latvia’s national economy

Although Latvian Association of Ports CEO Karlis Leiskalns praises the work of Riga Freeport, where he works as well, advisor to Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sandra Sondore and president of Baltic Association – Transit and Logistics Inga Antane emphasize the importance of all three of Latvia’s biggest ports for the growth of Latvia’s national Economy.

Coalition parties will not form a shared candidate list for elections in Riga

Parties of the ruling coalition – Unity, National Alliance and Union of Greens and Farmers – decided on Thursday, 22 September, to cooperate before and after municipal elections in Riga. They will not, however, form shared candidate lists.

Eesti Energia considers building another plant, if oil price rises

Estonian energy company Eesti Energia (Enefit) has this week spoken of plans to build another oil shale refinery plant in case the price of crude oil surpasses USD 60 (EUR 53) per barrel.

Poroshenko: Russia lies even more than Soviet leaders

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine has directed sharp criticism toward Russian foreign policies in Europe during his September 21 speech at the UN General Assembly.