The shortest month of the year has quickly flown by. In February, FICIL focused on data collection for the Sentiment Index 2023, involving the biggest foreign companies in Latvia. As always, FICIL’s work groups have had a busy month. As we bid farewell to February, let’s look back at key events!

Sentiment Index 2023

For the 9th year in a row, FICIL is collaborating with Dr. Arnis Sauka to present the annual Sentiment Index report.

This time, the Sentiment Index focuses on two topics: first, the investment climate in Latvia and, second, the administrative burden. While examining the second topic, we discuss the obstacles that create inefficient public administration procedures, associated impacts for companies and possible solutions for reducing the administrative burden.

FICIL collects data via survey and interviews. This year, we have planned a record number of interviews with the company representatives, namely 66. The data collection will be complete in the beginning of March to prepare for the analysis. As the time nears closer, we will update you on the launch of the Sentiment Index 2023 report!

We would like to thank all participants of the Sentiment Index this year and our Executive Board members for their time, insightful ideas and feedback!

The Annual General Meeting is near!

FICIL’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is almost here – it will take place on 5th March 2024 at 3 PM! Dear members, please check your inboxes, as we have sent out an official call for the AGM with the link to register! If you have not registered yet, please do it as soon as possible. You can contact FICIL’s office at



FICIL in Action

FICIL meeting about the public procurement process

On 19th of February FICIL had a meeting with various Ministry representatives, also joined by the Prime Minister Bureau, to present issues and necessary improvements to the public procurement process in Latvia.

FICIL emphasised the need to adopt a centralised procurement process and create shared competency centres to improve knowledge and expertise sharing during the public procurement process. Moreover, FICIL presented recommendations to improve the EIS system and reduce other inefficiencies to foster a more accessible and understandable procurement process.

FICIL met with the new Director General of the State Revenue Service

On February 28th, FICIL met with the newly appointed Director General of the SRS, Baiba Šmite Roķe. FICIL was represented by Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Chairperson of the Board and work group leaders Evita Goša, Ilze Berga, and Vita Sakne.

The discussion focused on combatting shadow economy, tax administration, and taxpayer rating system, with FICIL bringing up recommendations from its position papers. FICIL put forth suggestions for refining the Taxpayer Rating System, advocating for increased transparency and proposed tailored approach to the taxpayer rating system. Both parties discussed strategies to incentivise businesses to operate legitimately and reduce the shadow economy in Latvia.

FICIL recommended SRS to take measures to ensure further digitalisation effort of the entity and to become more transparent, for example, by publishing more anonymised cases and guidelines so that taxpayers can learn and self-regulate.

The SRS expressed gratitude to FICIL for their valuable input into the Shadow Economy Reduction Plan until 2027. A mutual agreement to strengthen cooperation was reached.

FICIL and The State Audit Office met to discuss adult education, requalification, and the public sector modernisation

On February 29th, FICIL met with the State Audit Office. FICIL was represented by Chairperson of the Board, Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Public Sector Reform work group leader, Reinis Āzis, and Labour Force & Requalification work group leader, Irina Rozenšteina.

Participants discussed the adult education, requalification incentives and challenges in Latvia, focusing on the fragmentation of responsibility across multiple state institutions, in the context of adult education. FICIL underlined that the fragmentation  complicates coordination efforts between institutions and raises questions about the coherence and effectiveness of strategies aimed at labour requalification and upskilling.

The progress achieved in implementing the previous public administration reform was also discussed. FICIL’s position papers offers recommendations on the future of public administrations – increased accountability and introduction of specific and measurable KPI’s, comprehensive review and analysis of functions and set-up of public sector institutions, implementation of a performance-based budgeting.

Article by Reinis Āzis in the magazine “Ir nauda” 

The business magazine “Ir Nauda” published an opinion piece by Reinis Āzis, leader of FICIL’s public sector reform work group.

The article covered topics that FICIL has long advocated for, namely the public sector efficiency and the reduction of administrative burden. Reinis Āzis highlighted the need for a unified data infrastructure to move towards data-driven decision-making in the public administration; clear and measurable KPIs to stimulate greater accountability and ownership in the policymaking. Lastly, Reinis Āzis called for the introduction of performance-based budgeting.

FICIL Work group update

FICIL Energy and Green Economy work group met four times this month to discuss various topics linked to sustainability, climate and energy. On the 1st of February, the meeting centred around the amendments which would introduce sustainability criteria to the “Law on Governance of Capital Shares of Public Entity and Management of Capital Companies Thereof”. As a few work group members expressed interest to discuss the new proposed regulation on sustainability reporting, a pop-up work group was organised on the 8th of February. In the second half of the month, the work group reflected on the Updated National Climate and Energy Plan until 2030. Thus, FICIL met with the representatives of the Ministry of Climate and Energy.

On the 2nd of February, FICIL Data and Digital Development work group met with the Chairperson of Riga City Development Committee and representatives of Riga Digital Agency. The meeting aimed to highlight digitalization efforts in the public sector, linking Riga’s initiatives to broader national digital strategies.

FICIL Shadow Economy combatting work group held two meetings this month, namely on the 7th and 21st of February, centred on the tax reform and the State Revenue Service’s (SRS) taxpayer rating system. The work group prepared questions for the meeting with the new director of SRS, which took place on the 27th of February.

The FICIL Labour Force Issue & Requalification work group met twice in February, on the 13th and the 29th, focusing on the Human Capital Development plan. In addition, the leaders of the Labour Force & Requalification work group, alongside other FICIL representatives, met with the Ministry of Economy’s State Secretary of Human Capital Development and Macroeconomic Development. During the meeting with the State Secretary, the parties discussed the Human Capital Development strategy.

If you would like to participate in any of the work groups or find out more information, please contact the FICIL policy expert Roberts Alhimionoks (

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-Your FICIL Team