Starting this week, a team of 10 bicycle couriers will deliver Riga-based entrepreneurs information materials – a test and calendar of events. Thousands of small businessmen will receive them before the end of October. After that, information will be delivered to other cities as well.
The aforementioned test includes 24 questions on six topics. Every one of them covers specifics aspects regarding euro transition: preliminary order of euro supply, timely showing of EUR and LVL price tags, sorting out of accountancy system, employee training and others. The more negative answers there are, the lower a company’s Eurocalm index is.
In order to have the future transition to euro be performed without unnecessary hassle, there is also a calendar of planned events. It states that accountants should be sent for training no later than October 2013. Price recalculation should not be postponed as well.
Transport Ministry proposes to introduce a new tax – fares for the use of state roads. According to the institution’s estimates it will bring the budget nearly LVL 11 million in 2015 alone.
According to officials, the use of the main state roads will be charged to two large transport categories starting July 1, 2014: vehicles with a total mass ranging 3.5 – 12 tons. Transport Ministry plans to introduce a daily fare (light modern trucks – EUR 8, heavy trucks – LVL 11), week fare (EUR 20 and EUR 36), monthly fare (EUR 40 and EUR 70) and an annual fare (EUR 400 and EUR 711). These numbers are only preliminary at the moment: actual fares will depend on a vehicle’s number of axles and how environment friendly it is.
Not everyone will be obligated to pay the fare – only those who use the main highway. If a company performs deliveries only within Riga’s limits, it will not have to pay the fare. The same applies to companies that use secondary roads. If a driver has to use one of the A category highways, it will be enough to pay the fare for the day.
An island of stability
Baltic States seem as though an island of stability as a wave of bankruptcy dashes across countries of Central and Eastern Europe, according to a survey performed by Creditreform. However, Latvia falls behind its neighbours in terms of some economic indexes.
According to this company’s information, Latvia experienced a total of 867 cases of companies going bankrupt last year (6.6% more than 2011). Lithuania experienced an increase of 4%. In Estonia, however, the proportion of companies going bankrupt reduced 5.6% in 2012.
In total, the situation in the Baltic States has notably improved over the course of the past several years.
Other countries of Central and Eastern Europe are not doing so good, unfortunately. Exports reduction, drop in domestic consumption, declining construction indexes and complications with attracting credit resources have undermined the positions of many companies in the region.
The number of corporate bankruptcies had increased 87.6% in Bulgaria last year, followed by Croatia (43.5%), Czech Republic (31.3%), Hungary (17.9%) and Poland (15.6%).
Latvia’s economic indexes can be considered normal. The necessary natural selection is running its course. During the crisis of 2008-2010, many large real estate and construction companies went bankrupt. Current bankruptcy trends mostly affect small companies that have failed to stand out.