Dear FICIL members,

April has come with good news for our organization. Two new members – AS Citadele and SIA Ventspils Nafta Termināls have been accepted as FICIL members at the members meeting on 25 April and since then are full-fledged members of the FICIL family. During the members meeting we also discussed the upcoming High Council and updates on draft position papers.

Updates from the Board

The members of the FICIL board met on 7 April for the first time since their election in the annual general meeting. Zlata Elksniņa Zaščirinska (Chairwoman of the Board at the PwC) was re-elected in the position of a chairperson of the FICIL Board. Graham Russel (CEO for Baltic States, Finland and Russia at the CEMEX) and Guntars Krols (Partner at the Ernst&Young) were appointed as vice-chairs of the FICIL Board.

Updates from work groups

Transport work group

Transport work group came together on 11 April. The work group has finalized its position paper and submitted to the board for review. In this year’s position paper FICIL will cover the following issues – transparency of transit, transparency of railway tariffs, involvement of international experts in large scale infrastructure projects and development of integrated e-customs system.

After our request, FICIL has been invited to participate at the Logistics Council at the Ministry of Transport. First meeting of the Logistics Council took place on 27 April.

Energy and waste management work group

Energy and waste management work group met on 3, 10 and 21 of April. During the meetings, the work group members highlighted their key issues in the energy and waste management. Among them – attempt to create monopoly in waste management in Riga, beverage packaging deposit system, district heating regulatory framework, state aid for renewable energy, energy efficiency obligation scheme and evolving role of regulator. It must be noted that this year there will be one position paper including the both policy fields – energy and waste management. The Work group is finalizing its work on the position paper.

Education work group

The members of education work group came together on 6 April to discuss the progress of the position paper. The first draft of position paper is ready and now it’s has been passed to external experts for their scrutiny. The work group members are working hard to is prepare for the High Council panel discussion ‘The Universities we will see. The future Latvian universities leaders’ panel’.

After the work group meeting on 6 April, the members of the work group took part in the Business and Talent forum organised by Riga Business School in cooperation with AmCham Latvia and Norwegian Chamber of Commerce. This year’s forum was devoted to topic ‘Making Companies Interesting to Millennials’.

Tax policy and administration work group

The members of the Tax work group met on 20 April. During the meeting the members discussed FICIL comments regarding the tax reform proposed by the Ministry of Finance and reviewed the recommendations mentioned in the FICIL position papers from the previous years.

Insolvency work group

The members of Insolvency work group met on 6 of April During the meeting the members discussed a FICIL’s position ahead of the meeting with the Ministry of Justice and cooperation with Insolvency Administration Authority.

The Economic Institute of the Latvian Academy of Sciences organised the first European-Latvian Economic Forum ‘Made in Latvia’ on the 26 April. The forum focused on factors that makes Latvia attractive for local and foreign investments. During the event, the Chairwoman of the FICIL Board Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska gave the presentation on Latvia’s attractiveness for foreign investment.

High Council preparations

As the main theme for this year’s High Council we have chosen topic “Do!”. By choosing this topic we want to send following messages for the government: have a confidence in your recent actions, be brave for your new implementations, build trust, build your legacy. FICIL would like to acknowledge the positive examples and encourage the government to be brave and keep delivering on the reforms. You can have your say and shape our messages by sending us your ideas about positive actions that Latvian government has taken and actions that the government should continue.

In order to empower our recommendations mentioned in position papers, we will hold a public discussion in the first day of the event. The discussion will be dedicated to following topics: (1) higher education, (2) energy policy, (3) economic crimes.