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Latvian government to attract EUR 29.5 million to restore Latgale’s degraded territories

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Tuesday, 18 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the action plan for Latgale region’s economic growth 2018-2021, which provides for attracting of EUR 29.5 million to help restore the region’s degraded territories.

The goal of this action plan is ensuring reduced regional difference and increasing Latgale region’s economic activity, as well as creating new jobs and bettering welfare for local residents. As explained by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry, considering the still topical differences with the region’s development rate, including the problem of high unemployment, the plan focuses on activities aimed at ensuring development for the region’s economy.

To ensure development of Latgale region, the ministry intends to divert another EUR 29.5 million from European Regional Development Fund to help revitalize the region’s degraded territories. It is also planned to expand support mechanisms in special economic zones in Latgale, providing tax benefits for paid wages in new jobs. It is also planned to raise Latgale’s business centre’s capacity, as well as form a pilot project in Daugavpils for adoption of business support mechanisms.

According to action plan for Latgale region’s growth, it is planned to realize project ideas worth EUR 52.24 million in the third project selection stage in order to create 861 new jobs, attract non-finance investments worth EUR 60.67 million, as well as reduce the size of degraded territories by 124.97 ha.

However, according to the ministry, considering the state of Latgale’s socio-economic situation and the highest unemployment level in Latvia, it is necessary to consider allocating additional funding in order to reach 1% impact on unemployment reduction. In order to achieve this index, it is necessary to create 1,345 new jobs, which means the total required funding for the third project selection stage will be EUR 81.75 million. With that, it is planned to request another EUR 29.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund. The ministry notes that at least EUR 33.55 million will be required on top of that.

According to information from the ministry, eleven projects were submitted to Latgale region as of 1 January. Contracts for realization have been signed for five of them, reserving a total of EUR 41.36 million. As part of the submitted and approved projects, it is planned to create 921 new jobs in the private sector, attract non-finance investments worth at least EUR 57.87 million and revitalize degraded territories in a total area of 131 ha.

Activities meant to expand the capacity of Latgale’s business centre provide for hiring a business specialist, organize visits of NGOs to foreign countries to represent the municipality and businesses and participate in forums, develop an investment catalogue for the region, as well as other activities.

The action plan for Latgale’s economic growth 2018-2021 is a continuation of the previous action plans, which were developed to react to Latgale’s lasting negative socio-economic problems, such as high unemployment and low GDP per capita.


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