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Wednesday 22.11.2017 | Name days: Aldis, Alfons, Aldris
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Grindeks Chairman: government's support to businesses equals zero

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Grindeks Board Chairman Kirovs Limpans

Latvia ranks the 60th in the latest economic freedom rating. What does it mean in real life? Top managers of leading Latvian companies are not that optimistic. Latvian govenrment is not promoting business sustainability and fails to ensure a safe platform to stable development. Even major companies are not sure about what future holds, they told the news portal BNN.

“To say clearly why we are as low as the 60th, we need in-depth analysis of economic processes. But I am not surprised at all. It is even normal,” said Kirovs Lipmans, Grindeks Board Chairman.

“If our medicines, made according to all European standards, still fail to enter the European market, it suggests nothing but the fact that the Latvian govenrment is not helping businesses at all,” Lipmans said.

According to him, the situation is more or less the same also in Latvia. “Foreigners are selling their production here, while we are not. What I am saying is that the government’s support equals zero,” the businessman said, adding that it is all the same even after 20 years of independence.

Lipmanis is disappointed about the state not being proud of its products. “Businesses are not developing any more. Production was destroyed already in the first govenrment with Godmanis in the lead.”

He approves of President Andris Berzins meeting with the Chinese ambassador, calling it just the first step.

If Latvia created a sensible politic force and economic strategy, it could make use of its advantageous geographical situation and serve as an excelled road to both the west and the east, according to Ivars Strautins, Board Chairman at the dairy AS Rigas Piensaimieks.

He told BNN that Latvia needs to develop the national economy, basing it on long-term strategic programme. “If we live just for today, companies will not be able to grow, because businessesmen will not be certain about the future,” he said.

Strautins also believes that the unstable tax policy undermines businesses in situations when they are about to conclude international long-term contracts. “These matters need to be well-thought over indeed,” he added.

In terms of the competition in the Baltics, the Strautins points out that the crisis has stricken not only Latvia, but also its neigbours and Europe. He still expects serious turmoils. “The impact of the crisis could be reduced by stabilizing our positions in international projects, but this calls for long-sighted thinking,” he said.

According to him, downfalls can be forecast and even planned. The most important thing is profit. “We are not speaking here about the eurozone. Profit must be made in whatever currencies – euros, dollars or yuan if necessary,” he said, adding that profit can help healing the soaring budget deficit.

Ilja Gerchikov, Dzintars Board Chairman, pointed out to BNN that the term “economic freedom” can be used freely in Latvia. “There is freedom enough indeed. One can do whatever he pleases,” he added.

“The key issue lies in the fact that there is no friendly business environment. Would-be projects face various obstacles. There is limited credit freedom. We want to know each and every offshore. There are no such rules in Estonia. No wonder they are doing better,” Gerchikov said.

The businessman believes that the situation will improve and Latvia will rank higher in future.


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  1. Igor says:

    It’s really a pity that such large-scale companies are neglected. they should be something the state boasts about. but it seems that Latvia is proud only about its achievements in tackling the crisis, not its businesses that actually played a major role in it.

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