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Ceturtdiena 24.08.2017 | Name days: Boļeslavs, Bērtulis
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Experts: Latvia has to decide what it wants to achieve

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia has to decide how it wants to stand out from the rest and what it wants to achieve. Such was the conclusion of the Foreign Investors Council in the ‘National leadership in relation to corporate leadership’ discussion.

Founder of Sylar Capital and Executive Director of Lead the Future Marianna Abiba-Peči says similar to an enterprise, a country should think what makes it unique.

Latvia is a small country, but that has no real meaning, because small countries can be very successful in attracting investment, said the expert. She also mentioned Luxembourg, Switzerland and Malta in this regard. She believes there are advantages to working in a small country. This is largely because ‘everyone knows everyone’.

She notes that Latvia’s history plays a role as well. History demonstrates traumatic and complicated relations with Russia. At the same time, however, history demonstrates the country’s ability to be flexible, dynamic and cooperate with different cultures. Experience also shows people can cooperate by taking each other’s side. These are the advantages that can be used for state development, said the expert.

The second notable trait Latvia has is that the country serves as a gate between the West and Russia. Latvia’s history, experience and knowledge about Russia may serve investors who would want to use Latvia and its specialists as a source of knowledge about the Russian market.

Abiba-Peči encouraged entrepreneurs and state officials to think about Latvia’s advantages and how it can compete in the world using its more successful traits. The expert said that the first search results to pop up in internet search engines when typing in ‘Latvia’ and ‘news’ are economic news. These news results often discuss how foreign investors urge officials to combat shadow economy, different social news and other non-specific events. But investors do not see any specifics in such news; nothing that makes Latvia stand out, said the expert.

Executive Director of PwC auditor and consultancy firm in Central and Easter European region Mike Kuben said Latvia should determine its own state strategy and where it wants to go. He mentioned that he has not seen anything that would demonstrate that Latvia has any kind of strategy for innovations. Latvia should consider increasing investments in research and development, he said.

The head of PwC Central and Eastern European branch also mentioned other areas Latvia should work on. These include investments in infrastructure, reduction of bureaucracy, improvement of transparency and attraction of eternal investments. Latvia also has a large external debt.

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