In May, FICIL conducted a series of strategic discussions on priority topics – public sector reform, labour force, shadow economy, energy security. These discussions culminated in a FICIL strategy session on May 28, during which the FICIL Board, work group leaders and the office team gathered to review FICIL’s vision, mission and activities.

Upcoming members meeting

On June 4, FICIL will hold a members’ meeting to provide updates to the members, to welcome potential members, and to discuss financial instruments available to the investors and entrepreneurs in Latvia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), the Ministry of Economics and ALTUM will join the meeting to raise awareness about different funding opportunities.

FICIL has received two new membership applications from Rīgas Universālais Termināls and Tech MahindraWe encourage all our members to cast a vote on the admission of potential members until June 3rd (10am). Instructions on how to vote have been sent via email to all FICIL members.

Key highlights from FICIL on media in May

Chairperson of the FICIL Board, Zlata Elksniņa- Zaščirinska, reflected on the results of the Sentiment Index

FICIL’s Chairperson of the Board, Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska, was interviewed by “TVNET” about the results of the “Sentiment Index 2023: Administrative Burden edition” research and was asked to provide suggestions on how to improve the investment climate in Latvia. The full interview is accessible here!

To summarize, Zlata Elksniņa- Zaščirinska, pointed to the lack of a clear vision for the development of Latvia, which affects perception of the country by current and potential investors. Latvia should define two or three strategic priorities and focus on implementing them, building synergies and thereby improving the investment climate. As revealed during this year’s Sentiment Index event, Ministers are not aligned on the vision for the development of the country.

In addition, Ms. Elksniņa- Zaščirinska underlined that investors are looking for tangible positive changes, which would go beyond the definition of plans. FICIL continues to emphasise the need to reduce the administrative burden, tackle the shadow economy challenge, and enhance the digital infrastructure in the public sector.

llze Berga, Tax administration work group leader interviewed by “Nekā Personīga”

FICIL’s Tax Administration sub-group leader, Ilze Berga, was interviewed by “Nekā Personīga” about the proposed changes in the Latvia’s tax system. She recommended to simplify the tax system, thereby reducing the administrative burden. In addition, Ms. Berga emphasized that the proposed changes are being discussed without the overall analysis of their impact on Latvia’s tax administration. This raises questions among the investors. Read the interview here!

Dace Cīrule, Energy & Green Economy work group leader, assessed proposals of the political parties running for the European Parliament elections

Dace Cīrule, the leader of FICIL’s Energy and Green Economy work group, participated in a TV discussion “Kam jābūt Eiropas Parlamentā?” (“Who should be in the European Parliament?”) that focused on key issues relevant to the foreign investors: economy, security, and the EU Green Deal. During the discussion, Dace Cīrule underlined that there is a huge pushback towards implementing the EU Green Deal goals and that a clear vision on how to achieve the EU Green Deal goals in Latvia and the EU generally is needed.

Work group update

Shadow Economy Combatting work group met this month to discuss various strategies and measures to tackle the shadow economy and to reflect on the monthly meetings with the SRS General Director, Baiba Šmite-Roķe. The meetings were devoted to the discussion of the current situation of “small regime” taxpayers, as part of an ongoing tax reform update. In addition, the group met with the representatives of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FID) to discuss ways to tackle the shadow economy in Latvia. Based on raised issues, the Shadow Economy Combatting work group plans to write a position paper, which will include a review of last year’s recommendations.

Energy & Green Economy work group discussed and provided comments on the Climate Law. These comments have provided the basis for the definition of topics for this year’s position paper, which is expected to set priorities and reflect on previously drafted recommendations.

Green Transport Subgroup held a meeting on the 28th of May to address issues related to the development of the transport sector. A significant part of the work group meeting involved a review of the “Assessment of the Basic Guidelines for Transport Development 2021–2027”. This review aimed to evaluate the current strategies and plan future actions to promote further growth and sustainability of the transport sector.

This month, Data & Digital Transformation Work Group met with the Head of the Central Statistics Bureau (CSP). The meeting focused on CSP’s current and future activities, initiatives and explored potential collaboration opportunities between FICIL and CSP.

FICIL strategy session

On May 28, the FICIL Board, work group leaders and the office team met to review and discuss the FICIL strategy. The meeting was dedicated to a review of the vision and mission of FICIL, aiming to determine the short and long-term goals of the organisation. The Board reiterated its commitment to advise the Latvian government to improve the investment climate in Latvia and stressed that FICIL will continue representing and supporting investors that adopt ESG (environment, social, governance) principles.

The Strategy session also served as an opportunity to provide updates and exchange ideas between the FICIL Board and the work group leaders. Both parties expressed the desire to communicate more frequently to ensure alignment, build synergies and share useful information.

The FICIL office would like to thank the Board members and the work group leaders for a productive strategy session and the time dedicated to improving the investment climate of Latvia! Only together we will be able to make Latvia an attractive country for investment.

A closer look at our members

Gren announces new investment plans!

In May, our member – Gren announced its plans to invest 200 million EUR in Latvia by building a waste-to-energy plant in Acone, using most modern and safest technologies! The project will be fully privately funded, providing new jobs, strengthening energy independence and security. The company’s only request to the Latvian government is to facilitate permitting processes to ensure a timely implementation of the project!

A meeting with our member MGI!

The FICIL office team visited our member MGI – one of the most innovative companies in life sciences in the entire Europe! During the visit we discussed Latvia’s innovation ecosystem, technology development, ongoing challenges related to human capital, and potential solutions to attract more foreign investment to Latvia. We are very grateful to the general affairs manager at MGI, Rolando H. Delgado, for a productive meeting and an impressive excursion at the largest EU-based subsidiary of MGI Tech!

Future of Jobs conference

In view of technological advances and the human capital challenges in Latvia, the labour market remains in the focus of investors’ attention. Companies are regularly faced with the need to retrain existing employees and with the difficulties to attract highly skilled workers. This year, the Future of Jobs 2024 conference will be held in Riga for the fourth time, in cooperation with prominent local and international employment experts. It is an important platform for the private sector management teams, HR managers and other interested parties to come together and to learn about the latest trends, share experiences on current tools and solutions, and to reflect on future development of the Latvian labour market. To attend the conference on future job trends, please register here!

FICIL is looking for an office administrator! 

Our lovely Liene Katrīna Juhņēviča will be leaving FICIL! We wish her success and look forward to collaborate with her in a new capacity. Thus, FICIL is looking for an office administrator. More information about the vacancy can be found here!