bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 28.04.2017 | Name days: Terēze, Gundega
LatviaLatvia

Economic Diary of Latvia. Mecca of medical tourism

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUClarity in relation to the fate of Latvia’s State Revenue Service finally surfaced this week. The current head of the State Environmental Service Ilga Kolegova has agreed to become a candidate to lead the country’s tax service.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola is also prepared to present Kolegova as a candidate for approval in the government. The final decision on this matter will be made after Kolegova’s meeting with representatives of the ruling coalition and business organizations.

The finance minister plans to meet with Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis to offer him Kolegova as a candidate for approval.

«Our views for the future of SRS are aligned. Kolegova proved herself as a capable leader. SRS should become an institution that is friendly towards entrepreneurs, and Kolegova understands this. I hope entrepreneurs will support her candidacy,» – said the finance minister.

Kolegova has confirmed that she has read through all the public information available about SRS. She has also spoken with many entrepreneurs and has learned their opinion about SRS. If she is chosen as the head of SRS, Kolegova intends to actively apply good practices of foreign tax services.

Reizniece-Ozola emphasized that Kolegova will face two main objectives to increase tax revenue – effective crime prevention and formation of a service that will be friendly towards entrepreneurs.

Kolegova will also have to continue the initiated changes in SRS’ internal structure – unification of the customs police administration and finance police administration, enhancement of independence of the internal security service. Efforts to get rid of dishonest SRS workers has only just begun, said the minister.

Latvian Employers’ Confederation and Latvian Union of Free Trade Unions met with Kolegova this week.

Behind a unified cadastre

More good news came this week – the government accepted amendments developed by Justice Ministry in regards to retaining the base of cadastral value in 2016 and 2017.

These amendments have a technical meaning, because the matter has been resolved at its core by amendments to the State Cadastre Law.

Legislation previously stated that under cadastral value of under EUR 56,000, the tax rate is 0.2% of the value (0.4% with cadastral value ranging from EUR 56,000 to EUR 106,000 and 0.6% with cadastral value of more than EUR 106,000). Starting from 2017 the value of apartments in new projects (32,000 apartments, 5% of the housing fund) will grow two times.  The tax rate will change for those buildings. This is why it is also necessary to search for solutions to limit tax growth.

The legislative draft was developed following the initiative of Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnacs in order to review the tax policy for real estate before actualizing the base of cadastral value to avoid unbalanced growth.

During previous discussions, Mayor of Adazi Maris Sprindzuks called to take into account the state of municipalities in Riga region, where the real estate tax is six time higher in comparison with other municipalities. If the tax is increased and rates remain the same, municipalities will have to apply discounts so that people can pay the tax.

It may be a mere coincidence, but almost immediately after the government made this decision Director General of the State Land Service Elita Baklane-Ansberga submitted her resignation. She explained her decision with personal circumstances. She believes now is the perfect moment to leave the service.

It is expected that 18 August will be her last day of work in SLS.

Mecca of medical tourism

The topic of medical tourism in Latvia became actualized this week following the announcement of the President of Latvian Association for Medical Exports Olafs Slutins. According to him, the most popular medical services foreigners use in Latvia are diagnosis and dentistry. This is because these two medical services can be easily combined with tourism. Foreigners are also interested in what Latvia has to offer in the fields of phlebology, treatment of infertility, ophthalmology, plastic surgery and dermatology.

Meanwhile, foreign press actively reports news that it is also possible to cure cancer in Latvia. Recently, Latvian Rigvir holding received a grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme to help with commercialization of Rigvir drug on the European market. As explained by Karlis Urbans, Rigvir’s financial director, millions of patients around the world need this drug. Unfortunately, Rigvir is currently registered in three countries. Patients wishing to gain access to Rigvir can undergo virotherapy by means of medical tourism.  The grant provided by the European Commission should make it more accessible to all people.

According to data of the Latvian Agency for Investments and Development for 2014: 43% of medical tourists in Latvia are citizens of Russia, Ukraine and CIS countries. 57% are citizens of European, Scandinavian and other countries.

Ref: 017.109.109.5801


Leave a reply

Study: number of Baltic tourists’ trips to USA increases

In the summer season, Baltic tourists prefer to travel by air to Asia and UAE. The most popular destinations reachable by land include Italy, Spain and Germany, according to information compiled by travel agency Estravel and car rent company Budget.

Lithuanian PM: Lithuania will hush Latvia in pursuit of Chinese investments

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis must have scratched Latvia‘s ego. «In the competition for Chinese investments, Lithuania should overcome Latvia,» the head of Lithuanian Government declared after meeting Zhang Dejiang, China‘s Parliament Speaker.

Estonia allows drivers to use studded tyres in part of May

As the northern-most Baltic nation experiences cold weather, unlike normally in late April, the Estonian roads’ authority has permitted drivers to leave their studded winter tyres on until May 7.

MEP: to prevent Baltics from dying out, we need much higher growth goals

«The growth goals of Baltic States are currently too low if we want to not only avoid dying out, but also recovering the people that have left because of economic reasons,» said Lithuanian MEP Antans Guoga.

Estonian TransferWise to open office in Singapore

Estonian-managed money transfer company TransferWise has announced its plans to open a regional head office for Asia in Singapore.

Rinkevics: we have to demonstrate unity of EU member states in Brexit talks

«We have to demonstrate the unity of 27 EU member states in Brexit talks,» says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

American company shares traded the most; Apple shares popular the most in Baltics

Shares of Apple, Amazon and Facebook were traded the most in Q1 2017, as announced by international online trading and investment company Saxo Bank. Deals with Apple shares were the most popular among Saxo Bank’s Baltic investors.

Draghi: Economic recovery in eurozone becomes more solid

Increasingly solid is the economic recovery of the euro area as it faces less risks, evaluated head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. The eurozone’s governing financial institution has maintained its main interest rate on hold at zero for another month.

Crowd of protesters break into Macedonian parliament

The Assembly of Macedonia has been stormed by a violent crowd, protesting against the election of an ethnic Albanian politician as the speaker.

April in Latvia to conclude with rain; beginning of May expected to be warm

April in Latvia will conclude with rainy and cold weather, whereas the first days of May are expected to be different, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Number of POS terminals in Latvia increased 16% in 2016

According to data of Association of Latvian Commercial Banks, compared to 2015, the number of POS terminals in Latvia increased 16% in 2016, reaching 41,613 terminals in total. On average, 494 new POS terminals are released in the country.

Citadele and Visa to create a brand new credit card in Baltics

Citadele Bank has signed a contract for long-term cooperation with global payment technology company Visa. The contract provides for close cooperation in the development of new and innovative payment cards and other payment products in all three Baltic States in the next six years.

Finance Ministry promises tax burden decline will be felt by all residents

The tax policy reform will make Latvia more competitive in comparison with other Baltic States. In addition, reforms in the country will introduce the largest PIT benefits for dependents among other Baltic States, Finance Ministry promises.

Latvia signs contract on procurement of howitzers from Austria

A mutual contract on the purchase of M109A5Oe-type self-propelled howitzer system, fire support and training platform has been signed by Latvian Defence Ministry and Austrian Defence and Sport Ministry.

Committee to evaluate education quality in Riga and reduction of classes in gymnasiums

Riga City Council intends to hold a meeting of the Education, Culture and Sports Committee. The agenda of this meeting includes Unity faction deputy Baiba Brigmane’s request to include the matter regarding Education and Science Ministry’s study performed in Riga’s secondary schools. The meeting will take place at 11:00 on Thursday, 27 April.

NATO cyber defence drill in Estonia gets bigger

Tallinn’s NATO cyber defence centre is currently holding its annual training exercise, cooperating with NATO members, partner countries and tech firms.

Lithuania: EU tends to finance electronic transports and railway, not roads

Lithuanian Road Administration believes European Union’s tends not to finance road infrastructure development and instead focus more on use of electric transports and railway infrastructure development. This is why the administration works on research of other sources of funding, says the administration’s director Egidijus Skrodenis.

KNAB commences criminal process in relation to bribe request

Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has commenced a criminal process in relation to possible corruptive behaviour of a state official, requesting a bribe.

Baryshnikov to be given Latvian citizenship for contribution to Latvia’s culture

On Thursday, 27 April, Latvia’s Saeima supported the legislative draft regarding the provision of Latvian citizenship to world-famous artist Mikhail Baryshnikov for his contribution to Latvia’s culture, as BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

Lithuania asks Klaipeda gas terminal to be added to EU’s list of projects of common interest

Lithuania has asked Klaipeda LNG terminal to be added to EU’s list of projects of common interest. If European Commission decides to approve this request, Lithuania can hope for financial support of at least EUR 100 million. This funding would help reduce gas prices for consumers in Lithuania and other Baltic States.

Work safety at a construction field: problem, myth or unnecessary extra

The matter of work safety in construction remains a topical and complex matter. One of the examples is the construction process of Kekava primary school, in relation to which residents have voiced serious concerns for the safety of the people at work there. Construction firm Abora, meanwhile, says there is nothing to those rumours, and that those are merely «foolish words» coming from dissatisfied workers.

Number of Twitter users continues to grow

The count of Twitter users in the first quarter of 2017 has continued to increase considerably, while the revenue of the American firm have gone down since March 2016.

Turkey blames 9,000 police for alleged links with possible coup instigator

Over 9,000 officers have recently been suspended in Turkey over alleged links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, citing grounds of national security as the reason.

Karins: Latvian state should take over Conexus Baltic Grid

Latvian state should buy the controlling package of shares in gas transmission and storage operator Conexus Baltic Grid, says Latvian MEP Krisjanis Karins.

Vegetable producers: the industry has a future, but it is burdened by taxes

Compared with Europe’s southern territories, vegetable and fruit production in Latvia has a future, says manager of Mūsmāju dārzeņi association Edite Strazdina.