Latviski English По-русски
Ceturtdiena 27.10.2016 | Name days: Lilita, Irita, Ita

Economic Diary of Latvia. About strong women in power

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThis 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.

SRS put a lot of effort to prepare the two institutions for their merging and make sure the new institutions would be able to start working on 1 January 2017. It would have resulted in fewer managers and more investigators. SRS has two investigative institutions – Finance Police and Customs Police. Both perform investigations to uncover and prevent crimes in the customs field.

Finance Ministry was the initiator of this merging plan. The ministry explained the need for this measure with the possibility of increasing the level of efficiency in the work of the tax service, reducing risks of corruption, increasing the level of public trust and optimizing the internal structure of the tax service.

And once everything was set to go, Saeima deputies suddenly decide to decline amendments to the Law on State Revenue Service. Having decided to take a pause to think, Reizniece-Ozola announced her intention to continue with the original plan and find other means to ensure the merging of Finance Police and Customs Police. Also, the minister believes the Saeima’s decision indicates that people who do not wish there to be changes in the tax service have major influence.

Investments both direct and indirect

This week was rich with all kinds of paradoxes and surprises. For example, it became known that investments of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Latvia have reached approximately EUR 600 million.

This money has been invested into 70 projects. 43% of investments went into the finance sector, 37% – to the energy sector, 19% – to the industrial sector and service. Latvia’s largest projects financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development include the reconstruction of TEC-2, Graanul Invest biomass power plant, loans for banks and investments into Citadele Bank.

The volume of direct foreign investments in Latvia, on the other hand, continued to decline in the first half-year, as announced by Economy Ministry and Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.

The flow of direct foreign investments in Latvia is three times lower than it was before the crisis. This trend is also noticed in all three Baltic States. Latvia receives the majority of investments from Sweden, Cyprus, Netherlands, Germany, Estonia and Lithuania. Over the course of the past six months, 10 investors decided to invest funds into Latvia (31 in 2015). Latvia was visited by a total of 44 potential investors in the first half year of 2016 (168 in 2015). The total volume of direct foreign investments reached EUR 11.52 million in the first six months of 2016 compared to EUR 37.08 million last year.

The forest will shelter and feed

Opposite to claims that Latvia is irrationally using its forests, it turns out that the total forested area in Latvia has doubled since the pre-war period. It continues to increase year after year, according to information from Green House association.

According to the head of the association Kristaps Cepsis, Latvia’s total forested area was 1,747 million ha in 1935. By 2015, it had reached 3,356 million ha.

Harvest of Latvia’s wood resources is very stable. An average of 12 million m3 of wood is cut down every year. The annual increase is no less than 25 million m3. This means Latvian woodworking companies are supplied with the necessary resources. At the same time, Latvia remains one of the leaders in Europe in terms of forested area size.

According to the head researcher of Silava institute Aris Jansons, forests take up 52% of Latvia’s territory. Finland is the most forested country in Europe. Forests take up 66% of the country’s territory.

With 1.7 ha of forest area per capita, Latvia is on the 4th place among EU member states. Latvia’s forests are also some of the most accessible in Latvia. They are open for residents who wish to harvest berries and mushrooms, as well as engage in active leisure activities.

Demands grow

The majority of residents in Latvia believe it is impossible to become rich using legal means, according to results of a public study performed by SKDS. This opinion has been dominant among Latvian residents since 1999.

According to Latvian residents, to have a normal life, they say they need to have income of EUR 1,216 a month. In 2008, residents mentioned wanting a smaller amount to afford a normal life – EUR 1,146.

In 2000, residents mentioned an amount of EUR 494 to be able to afford a normal life. Since 2000, this amount has been growing steadily every year. By 2007, it had reached EUR 963 and by 2008 it had reached EUR 1,146. Then it began to decline again, and by 2012 it had dropped to EUR 844 only to increase again later.

To satisfy their desires, however, residents mentioned income of EUR 3,316, according to data from SKDS. In 2000, when SKDS first launched its regular studies, the amount residents mentioned a much more humble amount – EUR 1,164.


Leave a reply

Fine applied to two Knauf Group plasterboard suppliers

On 30 September, Latvia’s Competition Council made the decision to punish Knauf and Knauf Group’s Norgips sp.z.o.o. from Poland for using a loyalty system that considerably restricted competition, thereby breaching the prohibition on abuse of market dominance.

Pharmacies in Sweden restrict sale of paracetamol

Restrictions should be put in place in the sale of paracetamol setting forth a ban to sell more than one pack of the drug to minors, decided Swedish pharmacies on October 26.

Ambassador: we are beneficial to the Chinese, but we can be even better

On 5 November, Latvia will not only be the host for the 16+1 format, but also the destination for the first official visit by the Chinese prime minister, said Latvia’s ambassador in China Maris Selga.

UK pledges to send drones and tanks to Estonia

British defence minister has this week outlined the country’s plans of its involvement in NATO’s push to increase the defence capabilities of Estonia.

Not all Roma happy about Lithuanian firm making tours to largest Roma village in Baltics

Lithuanian Roma representatives have been critical about a tour agency organising sightseeing tours to the village of Kirtimai promoted as «an extreme challenge» having a former drug addict as a guide.

Fifteen Syrian refuges arrive in Latvia from Greece

On Tuesday, 25 October, fifteen people, including nine children, arrived in Latvia from Greece as part of the European Union resettlement programme.

African swine fever reaches Dundaga

Latvian Food and Veterinary Service has received laboratory test results that confirm the presence of African swine fever in two dead wild boards found in Dundaga.

Latvia receives historically highest score in latest Doing Business rating

In the latest Doing Business 2017 study of the World Bank, Latvia is put on the 14th spot among 190 participating countries. This is historically the highest accomplishment for Latvia and an improvement over last year’s result. In terms of business-friendly environment, Latvia is on the 6th place among EU member states.

Raimonds Graube steps down as commander of Latvian Armed Forces

Raimonds Graube, commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces. He said he decided to do so in order to «allow the military chain of command to develop».

Vatican prohibits keeping cremation ashes at home

Leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican has this week announced in its cremation guidelines that the ashes of cremated Catholics may not be scattered or stored at home.

Arrests in Serbia target people involved in spying on PM of Montenegro

The Serbian government has stated on October 24 that a group of persons involved in spying on the Montenegrin head of government have been arrested. «There is irrefutable evidence that some people, and that's not those who were arrested, monitored the movement of the Montenegrin prime minister on a daily basis, every second, telling other people who were supposed to act on it,» Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić stated.

BATL: industry doubts economic justification of electrifying Latvia’s railway network

The project for the electrification of Latvia’s railway network is currently under review by Finance Ministry, Edgars Putra – the ministry’s parliamentary secretary – told Krustpunktā programme of Latvijas Radio on Tuesday, 25 October.

In pictures: France evicts migrants from notorious Jungle tent village

In northern France, near Calais, authorities have commenced transporting migrants away from Jungle, the tent village, where several thousand migrants have been living for years.

Payments of benefits to be stopped for refugees who left Latvia

On Tuesday, 25 October, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the legal draft detailing amendments to the Asylum Law, which were developed to enhance Latvia’s asylum provision system.

Government urged to declassify Citadele Bank’s sale

Saeima’s Public Expenditure and Audit Committee has sent a letter to the Cabinet of Ministers, requesting the latter to lift restricted access status on all information related to the sale of Citadele Bank.

Number of black stork chicks declined significantly this year

The small amount of precipitation has negatively impacted the feeding and nesting of black storks in Latvia, as concluded by the Nature Conservation Agency, which had performed annual monitoring of endangered black storks in cooperation with Latvian State Forests this year.

Estonia not willing to ban fur animal keeping and skinning

Reacting to a call from animal rights activists, Estonian environment and rural affairs ministries have found that there is no reason to prohibit fur farming in the country.

IMF on Estonia: Increase in wages could harm exporter competitiveness

Estonia should take care of rising imbalance of wake increase and lagging productivity to ensure Estonian exporters can be profitable in foreign markets, the International Monetary Fund evaluated.

Study: Gender gap in alcohol consumption smaller as young women drink more

By comparing the drinking habits of four million people born between 1891 and 2001, it has been found in a study that the generations living today have reduced the likelihood of men consuming more alcohol in unhealthy amounts than women.

Criminal process launched in relation to K.Barona Street repairs

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has launched a criminal process in relation to possible forging on documents in the procurement process associated with the reconstruction of K.Barona Street in Riga.

Sirens to be tested across all of Latvia

On Tuesday, 25 October, the State Fire and Rescue Service will conduct a three-minute test of emergency sirens. The test is scheduled for 15:00. It will help determine the function of the system and identify any technical problems.

Belgium bocks CETA, but EU and Canada remain hopeful over signing

The European Union and Canada have stated they still hope to sign their bilateral free trade deal, after the Belgian federal government clarified that it cannot ensure the backing of three regional bodies for the agreement.

This week to be rich with precipitation and cold in Latvia

The anti-cyclone that dictated weather in Latvia over most of October is gradually moving east. It will be replaced by a small and active cyclone. With that, meteorologists expect often precipitation in Latvia this week.

Experts: Russian warships on their way to Baltic Sea

Movements of warships in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea, as well as internet comments show that two Russian nuclear-equipped corvettes are currently on their way to the Baltic Sea, even though official reports suggest the opposite, as concluded by experts of Atlantic Council think tank.

Police launches disciplinary cases in relation to supply of inappropriate vehicles

Multiple disciplinary cases have been launched in relation to the supply of vehicles non-compliant with requirements of State Police. In addition, Internal Security Office has been asked to assess the responsibility of officials responsible for the procurement.

Newest comments