On 30th of May, FICIL held a members meeting at Origo One Business Center hosted by Linstow. The agenda was jam packed, with Dr. Artis Pabriks, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, opening the meeting. A discussion among Dr. Pabriks and investors followed a brief presentation by the minister on Latvia’s defence plans, the ongoing Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and comprehensive defence policy.

Furthermore, during the meeting, Chairman of the Board of DPD Latvija, Mr. Jānis Grants, presented the company to FICIL membership in bid to join FICIL. FICIL members keenly took in the presentation and voted in favour of DPD Latvija joining FICIL.

Guest speaker Minister of Defence, Dr. Artis Pabriks introduced FICIL members to Latvia’s defence priorities and planned future developments. Minister assured foreign investors that Latvia is a member of the strongest military alliance in the world – NATO. Therefore, citizens and investors should not worry, because due to NATO’s collective defence guarantees Latvia is as safe as any NATO member state. One of the priorities for Ministry of Defence is to encourage development in defence industry as this would positively contribute to both Latvia’s security and economy. Furthermore, Minister of Defence highlighted the need for other countries to do more to assist Ukraine with military support and argued that there is no place for compromise when it comes to questioning Ukraine’s sovereignty. FICIL Members were interested to hear about individual and business roles during military crisis and about the potential of Sweden and Finland joining NATO.

Later on during the members meeting, FICIL’s updated strategy and priorities were presented by the Chairperson of FICIL Executive Board Ms. Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska. Ms. Elksniņa-Zaščirinska reflected that FICIL looks to really narrow down the key priorities so that very concise and practical recommendations can be proposed to the Government. Moreover, Chairperson of FICIL Executive Board highlighted that – achieving energy security in line with EU’s Green Deal goals, reducing shadow economy, addressing issues surrounding availability of workforce and comprehensive public sector reform are the main FICIL priorities in light of the planned High Council meeting in September. Ms. Elksniņa-Zaščirinska also emphasised the need for the Government to remain committed to digital transformation, increase the capacity to analyse data and improve quality of legislation to address all the before-mentioned priorities.