OECD Corporate Management Committee gave Latvia a positive evaluation in regards to the country’s progress in the field of corporate management of state companies and its readiness to apply OECD standards in this field.
As a result, Latvia has received positive evaluations from 21 committees of OECD that assessed Latvia’s compliance with standards and practices employed by OECD. This marks the conclusion of technical talks regarding the country’s possible joining OECD.
In order for Latvia to become the 35th member of the organization, an official decision by the Council of OECD is necessary. It is planned that discussions will take place in May.
The next step after the issue of an official decision by the OECD Council will be the signing of the agreement on Latvia’s joining of OECD.
As noted by Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics, the process has demonstrated that membership in OECD is not the goal itself – it is an instrument that will help the country to improve its activities in most economic and social areas.
Another piece of good news came from SEB Bank this week: results of the bank’s outlook showed that the state of households in Baltic States continues to improve.
Furthermore, the improving economic situation also contributes to residents’ outlook on life, encouraging them to take on loans. Demand for loan services has increased, but it has yet to reach its pre-crisis level.
Average wages have grown 7.4% in Latvia, 6.9% in Estonia and 6% in Lithuania.
Purchasing power of Latvian residents had reached its pre-crisis level last year.
The volume of deposits made over the course of the year has increased 7.9% in Lithuania, 7.4% in Estonia and 6.3% in Latvia.
Following the decision to lift EU sanctions against Belarus, Latvia has begun taking active actions in establishing multi-lateral cooperation with its neighbor.
This week, Latvian ambassador in Belarus Martins Virsis announced at a meeting with the Chairman of Grodno Oblast Executive Committee Vladimir Kravtsov that Latvia is prepared to assist the entry of Belarusian goods to the European market. The ambassador also noted that Latvia is interested in expanding the turnover of goods with Belarus. He also added that certification often becomes an obstacle for exploring new markets. Latvia’s Chamber for Commerce and Industry is prepared to assist companies in Belarus in this area. An examination centre has been formed under the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Specialists of this centre offer to share their experience in exploring the European market. According to Virsis, it is necessary to develop joint projects in business and develop connections among entrepreneurs. Grodninvest special economic area can become a good platform for that. The logistical potential of Grodno is also worth of interest. There is also the potential for the development of tourism. Martins Virsis notes that Belarus can be an interesting location for Latvian tourist companies, because the country has a rich history and curious historic objects.
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Another piece of news worth mentioning is the accomplishment of Latvian companies at the European Fintech Awards in Amsterdam.
413 European financial-technologies companies were nominated this year. For the first time, two companies from Latvia – UX Design Agency and 4Finance – were chosen for the TOP-3 list in the Innovative banking solutions category.
The world is currently experiencing a technological revolution, and the financial sector is no exception. The proportion of electronic transactions continues to increase in the global economy. Last month, the largest European banks – HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank, DNB, Banco Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays had announced their intentions to close more than 1,000 offices.
Experts predict that Sweden will become the first country with a non-cash economy by 2030. With that, the European Fintech Awards was founded in Europe specifically to search for perspective and innovative technological companies.