bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 17.01.2018 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis

Latvian Traders Association President: no support for local traders

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+2 rating, 2 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Henriks Danusevics

Henriks Danusevics

Henriks Danusevics, the President of the Latvian Traders Association founded in 1912, is an optimistic lobbyist, however he told the business news portal BNN long-term stagnation expects the commercial sector, as foreigners own the leading supermarket chains and the government is carrying out a short-sighted tax policy.

Why did cash registers re-programming to 22% VAT cost as much as four million lats?

Re-programming of a single cash register costs up to 40 lats. We are in cash register service contracts we hope the State Revenue Service (SRS) will abandon this year, but they are tarrying. If we pay subscription or a particular service bills in a competitive environment, tariffs will become more reasonable.

Why did such low cost stores as Lidl not enter Latvia, if in 2005-2006 they had already bough building plots of land in Liepaja, Riga, Rezekne and Olaine, willing to build a logistics center.

Latvia is too small and they have other key markets where to develop. The pragmatic management of the German Lidl was right in concluding that it is more profitable for them to invest in Sweden, Ireland and Belgium. Consequently, they sold their properties to Estonians in 2007, thus stopping their operations in Latvia. No new market players can be expected.

To what extent will traders profit (margin) drop, given the tax rise, fuel, electricity price gains and the minimum wage increase to 200 lats?

The profit share of traders shrank in 2009 and 2010, but the existing profit is stable, as all costs saving measures have been carried out. Now the price fluctuations depend on the actions of producers and the government’s tax policy. Traders are no longer to boost prices due to people having more money or the competition weakening.

Your December 31 announcement on 2011 bringing stagnation to the commercial sector was quite shocking. Why did you say that?

We should realize the government is acting out those positive achievements of their tax policy. Actually, there are no reasons for not believing stagnation has already stricken the commercial sector. That is the common opinion of traders. I do not see why they should do better tomorrow. Dreams and the Minister of Economy Artis Kampars inspiring stories of boosting export is a complete bluff. Export markets success will not promote the average income level of households, neither will VAT rise facilitate business, instead reducing the purchasing power even more. We depend on primary commodities discounts and best offers a lot, because people try to save on everything. No one is carrying out comparative analysis of foodstuff, thus people do not get to know most often cheap products are of low quality. The government’s shortsighted raising of taxes is wrong, because it hinders the national economy development in a long term. The Traders Association believes tax burden should have been shifted from the workforce to the capital, without raising it.

On December 17, 2008, you compared our state to a train throwing out everything possible just to keep going, but the tax rise is like a stop crane that is already turned down. Do you still think like that?

Unfortunately, neither I, nor many other businessmen are informed where the state can head with a stop crane that is already turned down. We see no ways of getting out of the shadow zone expansion and the deadlock.

You are encouraging Latvian traders and producers to collaborate more.

Yes, we are. We have repeatedly proposed the Ministry of Agriculture, The Latvian Federation of Food Enterprises and the association Marketing Council that collaboration mechanisms should be developed between small/medium size producers and small/medium size traders, instead working only in their own interests. New programmes could support small producers in logistics and marketing campaigns. The Agriculture Joint Consultative Council is trying to maintain tense relationship between Latvian producers and traders by making use of it in their political and subjective interests, although the state should support local traders selling locally produced goods. Currently there is no support for local traders, we are repeating all the time the leading supermarket chains are owned by foreigners. It is only normal various chains offer different assortment, thus providing consumers with more choice. There are only two supermarket chains of national importance in Latvia – Maxima and Rimi/Supernetto, where cartel agreements are not possible as the Competition Council is watching them. Latvian food producers have always bullied traders, in case they are not satisfied with something. We, traders, have never had problems in pointing at the price surcharges formation.

Why wasn’t the Institute of Commerce educational program for small traders approved?

The only project we have submitted for small traders training has been refused. Funny, we cannot get why. We asked the ministry why huge individual applicants are supported, while a planned project for small traders is not. After the refusal, we no longer have money and human resources to develop a detailed training programme. Such an education programme would promote small traders competitiveness with supermarket chains management resources.

Will chain stores survive, if 100 thousand more people leave Latvia this year?

I do not know. That is the issue that the number of customers is constantly dropping. With working age population leaving, there is also growing pressure on salaries. When the crisis stroke traders had a chance to reconsider their costs and ways how to operate more efficiently. Less profitable stores were shut down, instead launching new ones capable of managing greater customer flow. Luckily, placement services do care for our evaluation of the unemployed training quality.

Will credit cards PIN codes introduction starting from January 1 reduce their theft and fraud causing losses to traders?

This is completely in the interests of banks. It boosts queues in supermarkets. It has become worse, because the banks are less responsible before traders. Nothing has changed regarding credit cards processing tariffs transparency and fairness. First of all, we want to find out whether our achieved Maestro and Visa tariff cuts in EU are in force also in tariff fixing in Latvia. Secondly, we believe there should be equality, because purchases not exceeding five lats cost us ten santims for the telephone connection, thus we should be righteous to set a minimum sum up to which we refuse accepting credit cards. Or banks service transactions up to five lats free of charge, at the expense of big purchases.

What to do with expired goods – give them to the homeless as in Great Britain or sell at a 70%-80% discount to the needy?

Coffee, tea and other foodstuff can also be consumed after they have expired. If some organization had wanted to obtain expired goods from traders for charity purposes, they could have proposed law amendments a long time ago. According to our calculations, the national programme of providing support to the needy in a form of food cost 30% more in the centralized procurement, compared to the costs if the food had been packed by local traders – for retail prices. That’s an absurd! Because cereal stocks in Sweden were purchased for this money in exchange for food packs. Moreover, traders would have ensured transporting to distant rural areas as well.

What would you say to a business astrologer, forecasting one chain store will leave the Latvian market in the autumn of 2011?

That’s pure fantasy. Of course, theoretically, a chain can change hands, but bankrupts are not expected. No huge chain store has gone bankrupt in the past fifteen years, they only change their positions, for example, Royal Ahold ranked as the 8th or the 9th after slipping several positions.


Leave a reply

Mass protests in Greece do not hold back new bailout reforms

The parliament of Greece has adopted a large set of reforms pushed for by international creditors in return for more bailout money, despite approximately 20 000 people protesting outside the parliament and brief clashes with riot police breaking out.

Foster families in Latvia to receive larger benefits

Municipal administrations have a duty to pay larger benefits for child care when children are put in foster families, Latvian Welfare Ministry reports.

Government plans to improve anti-doping measures in Latvia

During a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, a legislative draft developed by Healthcare Ministry on adding changes to the Sports Law for the improvement the country’s anti-doping measures was approved.

Only 12% of workers know their organization’s IT security policy

Businesses around the world still suffer from a catastrophically low level of awareness for IT matters, according to a study performed by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.

Parents let children on ice in spite of temporary restriction

On Sunday, 14 January, officers of Riga Municipal Police observed with video-recording equipment how two people were skating on the surface of Victory Park’s pond. Because it is banned for people to remain on ice of large bodies of water in Riga, officers were sent in.

Czech President to be determined in duel between Zeman and Drahoš

In the Czech presidential election, no candidate has garnered a half of the votes and its result will be determined in a run-off between the current eursceptic President and a pro-European academic.

Aldaris: non-alcoholic beer market in Latvia grew 9% in 2017

Aldaris concluded 2017 with a significant increase in their non-alcoholic beer category of products. Demand for non-alcoholic beer has increased across all of Latvia – market growth was 9% in 2017, as reported by the company’s representatives.

Politician reports meddling with e-health system; prime minister parries

Last Thursday, 11 January, e-health system ‘suffered malfunctions’, which suggests that it may have been hacked, Saeima’s Social and Employment Matters Committee head Aija Barča mentioned in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Pension fund cautious about 500-million-euro bridge project to Saaremaa

Commenting on the idea that Estonian pension funds could invest into the ambitious project of building a bridge from mainland Estonia to the country’s largest island, Swedish Swedbank has expressed caution.

Study: more than half of Latvians do not trust other people

52% of Latvian residents believe most people cannot be trusted. Only 5% of residents are ready to trust their fellow man. Less than one-fifth of Latvian residents trust decision-makers, according to results of a study performed by SKDS.

Economic expert: 2018 expected to be good for investors

«This year promises to be good for investors, because global economy is on a rise and profits of businesses have a tendency to grow,» says Luminor economic expert Gints Belēvičs.

Estonia counts more residents for 3rd consecutive year

Registering an increase in the Estonian population for the third consecutive year, Estonian statisticians have estimated that the population has increased by 3,070 people to 1,318,700 residents. They have also warned that this is preliminary data, which could still change considerably as unregistered immigration has not been included.

Russian school struck by teenager knife attack

In a knife attack on a school in Perm, Russia, eleven children and a teacher have suffered injuries.

NA: city council has to consider new partnership approach for Agenskalns market

Riga City Council members have to decide what is more important for Agenskalns market’s development: rate or quality. There are two options: force a closed market development with an auction of long-term lease or consider public private partnership option. Such a proposal was submitted to Riga City Council’s City Property Committee by the faction of the National Alliance.

Romania Prime Minister changed, second since June

Romanian head of government Mihai Tudose has lost the support of his own Social Democratic Party becoming the second Romanian Prime Minister to lose the seat in seven months.

Moderately rapid export rise recorded in Latvia in January-November period

Compared with the previous year’s period, a moderately rapid export growth was recorded in Latvia in the January-November period of 2017 when compared with other EU member states, according to data published by Eurostat.

Japanese R&I upgrades Latvia’s credit rating to A-

Japanese Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I) has announced its decision to upgrade Latvia’s rating from BBB+ to A- with a stable outlook, as reported by Latvian State Treasury.

KVV Liepājas metalurgs to be auctioned off

Insolvency administrator to the bankrupt KVV Liepājas metalurgs Guntars Koris has decided to sell property owned by the company at an auction, as confirmed by the administrator’s representative Dzintars Hmieļevskis.

Port turnover of Latvia’s neighbours up 9%; Latvia suffers 2% decline

«Total turnover of Russian ports has grown to 787 million tonnes, according to data from Russian Federal Agency for Marine and River Transport. Compared with 2016, stevedores of Latvia’s neighbouring countries serviced 7.2% more liquid cargoes, with their volume reaching 414 million tonnes. The total volume of bulk cargoes, on the other hand, has increased by 11.1%, and now reaches 373 million tonnes,» as reported by Dienas Bizness journalist Egons Mudulis.

Greek transport strike seeks to safeguard right to call strikes

A scope of Greek public transport services drew to a halt on the opening day of the week as public transport workers and air traffic controllers engaged in a strike to protest against what they see as attempts to limit they right to hold strikes.

Olaine prison to have a new training centre for correctional service personnel

On 15th and 16th January, Justice Ministry will organize a meeting for the Norwegian finance instrument’s 2014-2021 planning period. During this period, officials will discuss the progress of the Improved correctional services system. As part of this programme, it is planned to build a new training centre in Olaine prison for correctional service personnel, as reported by the ministry.

Estonia's new road tax payment criticised by road hauliers

As the new road tax has entered into force in Estonia in 2018, the country's Association of Estonian International Road Carriers has commented after the first two weeks of its implementation that a key problem is that the state has not granted truck drivers the possibility to pay the road tax at gas stations in addition to the existing way paying the tax online.

Marriott International hotel network enters Latvia’s market

Albert Hotel will be closed down for renovations on Monday, 15 January. It will be reopened in 2019 as AC Hotel Riga part of Marriorr Group. The new Marriott hotel in Latvia will be managed by Legendhotels, as BNN was told by the company.

NP: Reizniece-Ozola and Kučinskis are proud of tax reform, businessmen are not

Latvia’s tax system underwent serious reforms before the country entered 2018. Until now officials only mentioned the benefits – businessmen will no longer have to pay tax for profits if they reinvest money in business development, the majority of small wage recipients will become several dozen euros richer. However, businessmen are generally dissatisfied with the reform, Nekā personīga reports.

Ilves suggests creation of world cyber-security alliance beyond NATO

Former Estonian President, cyber-security activist Toomas Hendrik Ilves has noted that world's democratic countries, starting from NATO, should form a common cyber security organisation.

Most read

Most commented

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: