The Chairperson of the FICIL Board, Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, participated in the World Latvian Economic and Innovations Forum 2023, where various representatives from the public and private sector discussed how to accelerate economic growth of Latvia.

During the panel discussion “Big picture Latvia: opportunities for economic growth”, Ms. Elksniņa-Zaščirinska emphasised that we need to focus on actions rather than plans, as we are at the beginning of the economic transformation our success will heavily depend on how we carry out the set ambitions in following actions. Mentioning Sentiment Index research that FICIL carries out each year, Ms. Elksniņa-Zaščirinska outlined that while more than 2/3 of foreign investors have plans to continue investing in Latvia, they have also highlighted three areas of improvement – work force availability and skills, fair competition, public sector efficiency.

Other panellists included the Minister for Finance, Mr. Arvils Ašeradens and Chairman of Luminor Bank, Mr. Nils Melngailis. Mr. Ašeradens highlighted the importance of high-quality human capital development, energy sector development, as well as the necessary reforms of the public sector. Mr. Melngailis discussed in more detail what is needed to attract more investors to the Riga and Latvia, creating it as an economic centre for the Baltic states. Riga is very competitive in terms of cost and staffing opportunities, main lesson is for companies to be ambitious and have regional strategies to succeed.

While discussing labour force issues in Latvia, panellists talked about the lack of skills and competence needed in the current labour market, looking at the transition of professions and what is needed to facilitate economic growth. Migration process was also discussed, in more detail looking at how to attract foreign workforce to Latvia, as this can play a big role in attracting investment and developing the business environment in a positive way.

More information on the Forum is available here.