First of all, FICIL wishes everyone restful Easter holidays! Reflecting on our work in March – FICIL held an Annual General Meeting, completed Sentiment Index report interviews, elected a new chairperson and vice-chairpersons of the Board. In addition, representatives from FICIL met with government officials throughout the month. Currently, we are preparing for the publication of the Sentiment Index report and for the event.

We thank all the foreign investors that took part in this year’s Sentiment Index research – we interviewed a record number of 66 business leaders!


FICIL holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM)

On 5th March, FICIL members convened at the Annual General Meeting, held at Luminor Bank. The meeting kicked off with a panel discussion featuring Pēteris Strautiņš, Economist at Luminor Bank, Morten Hansen, Head of Economics Department at SSE Riga, and Fredis Bikovs, Managing Director at Riga Investments and Tourism Agency. The discussion focused on the overall economic situation and investment climate of Latvia. The panellists reflected on Latvia’s comparative advantages, economic competitiveness, innovation potential, and the role of artificial intelligence in addressing the labour market and demographic challenges. The questions from the audience touched on the Human capital strategy, EU Green Deal, and future priorities of Latvia.


FICIL elects 4 new Executive Board members

This year, FICIL’s members elected four new Executive Board members. Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, Country Managing Partner at PwC Latvia, and Reinhold Schneider, Chairman of the Board at Schwenk Latvia, were re-elected for another term. The two newcomers joining the Board for a two-year term include Jānis Grants, Chairman of the Board of DPD Latvia, and Liene Dubava, representing American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.

Besides them, four Board members continue their work as part of the FICIL Executive Board – Ilze Zoltnere, Head of Corporate Department for Luminor Bank, Juris Antužs, CEO and country manager at Enefit Green, Māris Vainovskis, Senior Partner at Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns, and Iain Kennedy, CEO of BALTA Insurance Company.

On 27th March, the new Board held their first meeting and elected the Chairperson and two Vice-Chairpersons. The Board unanimously voted to re-elect Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska as Chairperson of the Board. Reinhold Schneider and Ilze Zoltnere were elected as Vice-Chairpersons of the Board.


FICIL in Action

FICIL met with the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis

On 15th March, FICIL met with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission. FICIL was represented by three Board Members – Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska (PwC), Jānis Grants (DPD Latvia) and Liene Dubava (AmCham), and FICIL’s Executive Director, Tatjana Guzņajeva. The discussion centred around critical issues faced by foreign investors, such as investment security, human capital and labour shortages, administrative burden, and the transition towards the green economy.

During the meeting, FICIL highlighted the challenge of sustaining Latvia’s investment attractiveness due to geopolitical tensions, stressing the importance of government support in retaining existing investors and attracting new ones. FICIL named the administrative burden in Latvia as one of the key issues for the foreign investors, underlining that administrative burden is relatively high and it raises costs of business. The parties discussed the transition toward the green economy, as it is a priority for the European Commission. FICIL expressed concerns about Latvia’s slow progress in this transition, emphasising the necessity of improving climate and energy regulations, and reviewing the strategy of the Ministry of Climate and Energy. Lastly, the shortage of human capitalemerged as another pressing issue, with both parties agreeing on the need for initiatives in upskilling and lifelong learning. FICIL is committed to support the Ministry of Economics in its efforts to tackle the human capital challenges.


FICIL’s Green Economy and Energy work group leader participates in a discussion on the long-term development of the energy sector and policy in Latvia

FICIL’s Green Economy and Energy work group leader, Dace Cīrule, was invited to take part in a discussion with the President of Latvia, H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, on critical topics in the energy sector. It was highlighted by the President that the energy sector holds significant potential for Latvia, not only in attracting foreign investment, but also in stimulating export. Dace Cīrule underlined the need for a coherent energy policy and for a change of public perception towards “green” issues to drive the implementation of energy policies.


FICIL participates in an expert discussion on Latvia’s economy, organised by the Bank of Latvia

On 13th March, the Bank of Latvia held an expert discussion, titled “How to ensure a sustainable growth of Latvia’s national economy?”. FICIL’s Board Member, Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, participated in the expert panel and represented FICIL.

The discussion focused on the investments in Latvia’s human capital. Upskilling and requalification, effective management of human resources, and a policy aimed at attracting skilled workforce have been highlighted as the three main drivers of Latvia’s economy. The panellists pointed out that uncertainty and workforce availability are some of the reasons why Latvia has one of the lowest foreign investment attraction rates, compared to other European countries.

FICIL’s representative, Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, underscored the need of a coherent human capital strategy with a clear vision on how to boost upskilling and foster an innovation ecosystem, and the importance of digitalization and efficiency in the public sector for ensuring high productivity. Lastly, Zlata voiced a concern of the foreign investors regarding the shadow economy and called for a predictable tax policy.


FICIL raises concerns over the management of adult education and requalification policies

FICIL called for a centralised governance to eliminate overlap of functions between different institutions responsible for Latvia’s adult education and requalification policies.

FICIL has underscored the necessity of establishing a robust and effective governance of the requalification policy. In FICIL’s opinion, delegating a single entity is the first step towards effective policy implementation. Such measures are crucial for narrowing the widening gap between the skills demanded on the labour market and those available, ensuring Latvia’s appeal as an attractive investment destination, where the workforce skills align with the current market needs. The intended changes within the State Education and Development Agency (VIAA) and the State Employment Agency (NVA) to avoid functional overlap and to enhance effectiveness of requalification and adult education are unclear.

Currently, it appears that the responsible ministries and involved institutions (VIAA, NVA) are focused on implementing a superficial reform rather addressing the inefficiencies in state administration processes and optimising the work. This approach is unacceptable, disregarding both the State Audit Office’s critiques and the detrimental impact on adult education and retraining processes, and neglecting the state administration’s duty to prioritize public interest over individual institution self-interest.


FICIL continues to meet with Ministry representatives to foster a more efficient public procurement process

On 14th and 20th March FICIL work group leaders Māris Butāns and Dace Cīrule met with representatives from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Procurement Monitoring Bureau to discuss steps forward to further strengthen centralised procurement and recommendations that FICIL has developed to both improve the quality, ease of access and ensure fair competition in public procurement process. FICIL plans to continue meeting with the public sector to propose solutions to reduce administrative burden and foster a more modern public procurement process.

FICIL Work group update

The Shadow Economy Combatting work group met twice this month – on 6th and 20th of March. Both work group meetings continued the discussion on the ongoing tax reform and ways to combat shadow economy.

The Energy and Green Economy work group met twice in March. On 14th March, the work group discussed the guidelines for municipalities in territory planning and energy planning, preparing for the upcoming meeting with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. On 28th March, the work group members met to discuss key topics related to the developments of energy sector.

On 4th March, the Investment protection work group, specifically the Public procurement sub-group, met to discuss recommendations on how to improve the public procurement process, including reducing the administrative burden in the procurement process.

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 (

FICIL’s planned activities for next month

On 26th April, FICIL will organise a Sentiment Index event, bringing together various foreign investors and public sector officials. The invitations to members will be sent out next week. Those who will not be able to join us in person, will be able to watch the event livestream. The weblink to livestream will be shared on social media.