Hi everyone!

In March the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine is a central issue; in the wake of the following sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus, FICIL together with Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Financial Intelligence Unit, Finance Latvia, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others held an online informative event to explain to businesses the implications and practical side of sanctions, you can watch the full event online here.

FICIL held its first Board meeting with the recently elected Board of 2022, as well as Executive Board members came together for a Strategy planning session in person for the first time in over a year.

You can read more on what happened during the month and key points discussed in work groups below!

FICIL Board meeting with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš

On March 3, FICIL Board met with Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of Latvia and discussed the challenges of the Government in terms of combating shadow economy, public sector reforms and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The geopolitical changes have shifted the focus of the Latvian political landscape; therefore, a significant proportion of the discussion was spent on the steps and plans the Government should be implementing to keep Latvia a safe place for business activity.

Read more about the meeting here.

New FICIL Board meeting

On March 2,  the newly- elected FICIL Board came together for their first Board meeting to discuss the direction of FICIL for the next year. A new Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons were also elected- Zlata Elksniņa- Zaščirinska as the Head of the Board and Ints Krasts and Reinhold Schneider as Vice-Chairpersons. All of the Board agreed to work on keeping FICIL values as top priority and expressed their trust that the newly elected leads of the Board will do so.

Read more about the new Board here.

FICIL Board Strategy planning session

On March 25, FICIL Board met in person to discuss FICIL’s priorities for the upcoming years and revisit the FICIL strategy. Most FICIL members gave feedback on the need to narrow down focus topics for FICIL work groups. The Board agreed that energy security and implementing the EU’s Green Deal, dealing with the availability of labour force and skills will be key topics that the government will have to work on to improve. Moreover, the Board agreed that shadow economy is still an issue that requires a more coherent and inter-institution approach to resolve. Lastly, the Board emphasized that tools such as digitalization and effective public sector reform will be the key in achieving a better investment climate. A more detailed presentation of changes in the strategy will be presented to the FICIL membership in the next Members’ meeting.

FICIL work groups
  • On March 11 work group met internally to discuss the structure of the planned FICIL Position Papers in areas of digitalisation and share recommendations & observations from the previous meetings with public sector.
Green Economy Development
  • On March 3 work group held a pop-up group specifically to discuss Energy Law & Transport Energy Law projects.
  • On March 16 work group leader Dace Cīrule together with FICIL Fair Competition and Public Procurement work group leader Māris Butāns met with representatives from Competition Council to discuss fair competition and issues with waste management.
  • Work group met internally on March 17 to discuss greening of taxes and impact of the ongoing Russia’s invasion in Ukraine on the price and availability of raw materials (gas, oil, precious metals).
Labour Force & Requalification
  • Work group met with its members and other FICIL members to discuss a need for a new Labour Law and hear about new amendments to improve Labour Law on March 8.
Tax Policy & Administration
  • This season’s first work group meetings occurred on both March 8 and 22 where members discussed recommendations on key topics identified in work group survey (that was circulated at the end of the last year) and greening of taxes to foster green economy development.
  • FICIL together with work group leaders prepared and sent a letter to Ministry of Finance on March 3 asking for more information on its most recent policies and outlining FICIL’s recommendations from previous Position paper.
  • FICIL sent another letter to Ministry of Finance on March 8 to propose amendments to areas of laws related to tax breaks for individuals and businesses donating to Ukraine.
Food & Drink Industry
  • Work group met with representatives from Ministry of Health on March 1 to discuss EU’s proposals on Farm2Fork strategy, updates on the status of Best-ReMaP project and FICIL’s Position paper recommendations.
You can still sign up for FICIL work groups by filling in the form here or by e-mailing ficil@ficil.lv. Full list of FICIL’s work groups is available here.
Upcoming FICIL events
Work groups will continue to hold meetings in the month of April and are looking to meet with different public sector institutions and consolidate the structure of the planned Position papers.

  • Digitalisation work group is planning to meet with Ms. Ieva Ilvesa on April 1 to discuss data driven policymaking and centralised governance of digitalisation and possible creation of Centralised Information office (CIO). Work group is also planning to meet with Latvia State Radio and Television Center to discuss data governance and availability.
  • Green Economy Development work group will meet with representative of Central Finance and Contracting Agency on March 31 to discuss impact of sanctions on EU funded projects. Also, work group will meet Mr. Mārtiņš Zemītis from the EU Commission on April 7 to discuss EU’s Green Deal and better understand impact of achieving green aims on business activity.
  • Transport & Infrastructure work group will meet with the Board of Riga Airport to discuss its strategy and development plan on April 26.
  • Labour Force & Requalification work group on April 13 will meet with Ministers of Welfare and Education and Science to discuss quality of requalification policy and potential to centralise requalification policy governance.
To find out more, follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit our webpage www.ficil.lv

-Your FICIL Team