Most people in the Baltic States would like a larger VAT reduction on food products, according to the results of the survey of Nozare.lv portal and Gfk Custom Research Baltic.
76% of Latvian respondents agree with this statement, as well as 69% of Lithuanian and 61% of Estonian respondent.
As the authors of this survey state that resident groups that spend most of their money on food support this idea more often. These groups include – workers, pensioners and people with small income.
6% of Latvians, 5% of Lithuanians and only 2% of Estonians are against lowering the current VAT on food products.
It is said in the research that nearly half of Latvian residents believe that the reduction of VAT will contribute to price reduction on food products. Women believe this most often. Men, on the other hand, agree that VAT has to be reduced, but they do not believe that it would somehow influence the reduction of food prices.
Respondents were also asked if food and beverages are part of Latvia’s important export sector. 34% of Lithuanians, 23% of Latvians and 15% of Estonians agree with this statement. 7%, 5% and 4% of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian respondents do not agree with this statement.
As DNB Bank economic expert Pēteris Strautiņš noted during the presentation of this survey, food export as a whole has big potential.
«Food and agricultural products have been one of the most rapid export categories in the last couple of years, with money flow increasing at least 12 times. Food processing also went through a rapid growth in Latvia. This process will continue because with the increase of prices the production of dairy, grains and meat production also increases in Latvia. There is also plenty of unoccupied land to ensure great prospects for the industry,»- Strautiņš said.
Chief of the Latvian Federation of Food Enterprises Ināra Šure, on the other hand, admits that food export increase will be «lazier» in the coming years.
«Export was a question of survival for companies a few years ago, when purchasing power was on a very low level during the crisis. Currently, some producers are still experiencing breakthroughs in the export sector, but future export increase will be lazier, because this particular sector requires serious investments and detailed market research,»- Šure admits.
The survey was carried out online from June 14 to June 20. 1016 Latvian internet users took part in the survey, as well as 784 Estonian and 1021 Lithuanian internet users.