bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 11.12.2017 | Name days: Valdis, Voldemārs, Valdemārs
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. About strong women in power

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(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.

Ref: 017.109.109.4782


Leave a reply

Riga’s Vice-Mayor denies Ainars Šlesers acted as his «task master»

Vice-Mayor of Riga and chairman of Riga Freeport Andris Ameriks denied during a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee on Monday, 11 December, that former politician Ainārs Šlesers acted as his «task master».

Foreign trade turnover in Latvia up 10.3% in October

In October 2017, Latvian foreign trade turnover amounted to EUR 2.31 billion, which at current prices was 10.3 % more than in October 2016, of which the exports value of goods was 9.7 % and imports value of goods was 10.9 % higher.

Businessmen: labour force deficit already exists; foreign students should be integrated in labour market

61.2% of businessmen in Latvia already experience problems with finding qualified workers. More than one-fifth of them expect difficulties in the near future. 79.7% of interviewed entrepreneurs said they support the idea of integrating foreign students in Latvia’s labour market, as concluded in data from a survey performed by Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), interviewing 225 businessmen.

Commissioner: EC offers support to member states that wish to join Eurozone

European Commission offers additional support to EU member states that wish to join Eurozone, says EC Vice-President for Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis.

Estonia to continue five school break schedule until 2021

Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has arrived at and published the dates of school breaks for three school years to come and has promised uphold its new system of five breaks instead of the historical schedule of four.

How much does violence against women cost Latvia?

The costs associated with partners’ violence against women in Latvia reach EUR 442 million a year, says Welfare Ministry’s Child and Family Policy Department’s senior expert Viktorija Boļšakova with reference to data from European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

De Facto: company responsible for Rail Baltica project involved in a fraud case

The company owned by the new head of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas Andris Linužs is involved in a criminal process regarding fraud and document forging when receiving state funding for procurement of wind turbines. The committee that picked Linužs for the important post was not aware of this fact, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

French salmonella outbreak prompts recall of Lactalis baby milk formula

Baby milk powder producer Lactalis in France has made an international recall of its produce marketed globally under the Milumel, Picot and Celi brands after a salmonella outbreak in France.

Mayor of Riga: New Hanza business quarter to improve city’s development

During his visit to New Hanza business and residence quarter, Chairman of Riga City Council Nils Ušakovs said that every project of this kind improves the quality of life in the city, create new space for apartments and offices, jobs and public-access buildings, as well as pull up the quality of life in surrounding territories.

«European Oscars» dominated by satire drama «The Square»

The awards of the European Film Academy have been given to laureates at a ceremony in Berlin on December 9, where the joint production of Sweden, Germany, France and Denmark «The Square» dominated with six awards.

7.3% less cigarettes exported from Latvia in nine months of 2017

In the first nine months of 2017, roughly 1.9 billion cigarettes were exported from Latvia to other countries, which is 7.3% less when compared with the same period of 2016, according to State Revenue Service’s data compiled on excise goods circulation.

Weather in Latvia to be windy; air temperature to reach +9° C

On Monday, 11 December, air temperature in Latvia will be at -3° C… +2° C. It is expected to be somewhat warmer along the coast, however. Some precipitation will be present, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Ukrainian police detains Georgian ex-President Saakashvili

Police in Ukraine has over the weekend detained the ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on the same week, when a crowd of his supporters released him from a police vehicle.

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.