“The priorities of the Ministry of Economy in 2018 are higher wages for workers and support for the Latvian industry. In the year of the Latvia’s centennial anniversary, all citizens of Latvia must feel the rise both of the country and of their personal welfare. The government must continue targeted work on a range of measures that continue economic growth in Latvia and make it even faster. Our aim is to achieve that each third Latvian employee receives a monthly salary above EUR 1000”, the Minister of Economics Arvils Ašeradens emphasised in his discussion of priority action lines of the Ministry of Economics with the Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis this year.
“Similarly, this year we have included promotion of housing availability for families with children and highly qualified professionals, particularly in regions, in the list of priority works. Improvement of the mandatory procurement system for electricity will be a priority this year, reinforcing the surveillance of the field, ensuring transparency of the industry and excluding potential fraud opportunities. This year, we intend to take several steps, which will contribute to the transition of the Latvian economy to the modern economy model, facilitating the digitisation of financial technology and public services and the cooperation of startups with universities and corporations”, the Minister emphasised.
In the field of PRODUCTIVITY and BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, this year work is ongoing on the development of the business environment, measures to promote productivity in enterprises, a range of solutions for the promotion of competitive energy prices and the creation of a more efficient construction process ensuring the effective functioning of the digital Construction Information System.
In the field of INVESTMENTS, we will work on the development of a competitive investment attraction support package and the creation of an excellent ICT education programme at international level.
In order to promote INNOVATION, we will continue to implement EU Funds programmes for strengthening of the innovation capacity, work on the development of an ecosystem for startups and innovation in energy through a national research programme.
In order to increase EXPORT volumes, we will continue to support participation of businesses in important international exhibitions, implement EU Funds programmes for entering external market and help entrepreneurs to enter distant markets such as China, the United States, the Arab Emirates.
For the development of HUMAN CAPITAL, we will implement a package of measures for provision of workforce that include the promotion of adult education, smart immigration solutions and labour mobility issues, such as the national guarantee facility, which will help highly qualified professionals to buy housing closer to their workplace.
In 2017, the Ministry of Economics has completed all the measures contained in the government action plan, implementing a number of major reforms and improvements in the regulatory framework to foster economic activity.
In the field of improving productivity and business environment, the main steps taken are the introduction of a 0% corporate tax rate for reinvested profits, improving the competitiveness of electricity and natural gas prices and optimising costs, as well as the “Consult First” initiative long-awaited by entrepreneurs.
In the field of investments, we are gratified by the increase in investment volumes achieved last year – more than 35% of the total investments into Baltic countries were attracted to Latvia. In this area last year, the Ministry created a separate structural unit – the Foreign Investment Attraction Unit, introduced a new approach to attracting foreign investments and developed an Action Plan for attracting global business centres.
In the field of innovation, last year attention was focused on the development of the ecosystem for startups, including an ecosystem for startups for international marketing in Finland, Israel and the Silicon Valley, United States.
A new aid instrument was introduced to rise exports – export credit guarantees and other EU Funds programmes for the promotion of export capabilities of businesses.
The Housing Guarantee Programme for the development of human capital continued, enabling 7317 families with 10,585 children to purchase housing with a state guarantee for a total amount of 50.2 million euros (in 2017, 3127 guarantees for families with 4490 children for a total of 22.6 million euros were granted), EU Funds programmes for the training of employees were implemented and a new support programme for attracting highly qualified foreign labour to startups was started.
Public Relations Division
Ministry of Economics