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The Economist: euro introduction in Latvia would be inconvenient for British euro sceptics

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s wish to join Eurozone is a matter of concern for British euro sceptics, according to journalist of The Economist Edward Lucas, who knows a great deal about Latvia’s economy and politics.

He believes Latvia is an interesting location for business. However, there are still some things that frighten foreign entrepreneurs. One such thing is the lack of qualified workers.

In his interview to Panorāma programme of LTV, Mr Lucas said Latvia is a good location for investing money with the lowest possible risk. He emphasized that this is an important factor in today’s economic fluctuations. He said Latvia has a lot to prove its economic stability: dedication to introduce euro, its notable story of economic success, growing profits and growing interest of foreign investors. He added that Latvia is a very attractive country.

If there is one thing that could discourage investors, it is the danger of rapid growth having a rapid fall; one Latvia had recently experienced. Mr Lucas said Latvia needs to prove it can maintain its economic stability. There is a serious lack of qualified workers in the country, because many had left Latvia to find work in foreign countries. Latvia has good sea and air traffic. But its railway connectivity with western Europe is not so good. There are also concerns about Russia and its current trade war with Lithuania. Who knows if Latvia and Estonia are next, Mr Lucas said.

When asked if such a small market as that of Latvia could possibly attract investors even after Latvia’s joining of Eurozone, Mr Lucas said domestic GDP is not the most important factor, because Latvia’s story is not about achieving a market of 2 but 300 million people. “If you have a coffee shop in Riga, you of course sell it to tourists. But if some large international companies would create a service centre in Riga, you would work with customers around the world. With that, the fact that Latvia is a rather small country in terms of population and territory is not important,” – he said.

He also added that, as a euro optimist, he is happy that Latvia has decided to join Eurozone. With its example, Latvia will show that membership in this union is not a catastrophe. This is a very troublesome news for British euro sceptics, he said. Mr Lucas mentioned in his interview how he tried explaining to British sceptics how important Europe’s common market is and how much more beneficial it is for countries to be part of it.

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