February has been short but fruitful. While FICIL Board is headhunting for a new Executive Director as well as preparing for the upcoming High Council in May 28-29, FICIL work groups are actively developing recommendations for improving the overall investment climate in Latvia that will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. Take a look at some of the highlights from February.

FICIL Elects a New Executive Board

On 21 February, FICIL held its Annual General Meeting where a new Executive Board was elected. Two newcomers to the FICIL Board in 2020 are Valts Kārkliņš, Large Business Customer Director at BITE Latvia, and Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Country Managing Partner and Chairperson of the Board at PwC Latvia, who has previously served both as a Board member and Chairperson of FICIL. However, Vice President and Executive Director at Circle K Latvia Gunta Jēkabsone, Board member and Commercial Director at Schwenk Latvia Māris Gruzniņš, and Head of Corporate Banking at Luminor Latvia Ilze Zoltnere, were re-elected to the Board for another term. Find out more here.

Update on FATF’s Decision

The announcement following FATF plenary session on 16-21 February in Paris on Latvia escaping the ‘Grey List’ was long awaited. FICIL is very pleased with the work of the Government of Latvia and relevant state institutions in fighting financial and economic crime and improving Latvia’s regulatory framework for AML/CTF/CPF. Let’s continue building on the progress achieved!


Raise the Bar!

This year, the High Council key theme is “Raise the Bar!” This serves as an encouragement and a reminder both to ourselves as well as the Government to make bold decisions to reach the common goal – raise Latvia to the next level in the global economic arena by continuing the work on improving the stability, effectiveness and development of the business environment.

Since the last High Council meeting, we have taken great strides to realise many of the goals discussed. The Cabinet of Ministers have supported the Conceptual Report prepared by the Minister of Education, Mrs. Ilga Šuplinska on changing the internal governance model of higher education institutions in Latvia. FICIL Vice-Chair of the Board Ints Krasts, Education work group leader Claudio Rivera and Head of Policy Linda Helmane participated in the Cabinet of Ministers meeting on February 18th to express the support of FICIL.

FICIL held a meeting with the Head of FCMC, Mrs. Santa Purgaile, to discuss concrete issues and problems that investors have encountered in recent years due to the changes in the financial sector.

FICIL Investment Protection and Court Efficiency work group leader Mr. Māris Vainovskis participated in media day of Supreme Court of Latvia to convey the investors’ views on clear, justifiable, coherent dispute resolution processes in the court system and the necessity of court specialisation.

FICIL established an ad hoc group on the draft Accounting Law to provide recommendations for developing a modern law that corresponds with developments of the business environment and digitalisation.

FICIL Digitalisation work group is summarising recommendations on establishing a digital economy which requires joint efforts by businesses and the Government to have a clear vision of Latvia as a digital society, design appropriate policies, establish the role of a state CIO and draft a law on E-governance.
On the top of the FICIL Energy and Waste Management work group’s agenda are timely and rationale development of the deposit system, effective implementation of the National Energy and Climate Plan, the European Green Deal, OIK and modernisation of recycling of waste and polygons.
FICIL Labour Force issues work group is gathering experiences of employees’ sick leaves and researching the regulations on SLC issuance in other Baltic states. The group is cooperating with the Ministry of Health to address this issue, as well as focusing on labour force shortage, productivity and migration.

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-Your FICIL Team