Dear FICIL Members,
Many thanks to everyone for active participation in the FICIL Annual General Meeting – we send warm greetings to all the new Board members and look forward to a fruitful work in the future!

March has been a busy month for most of our working groups getting to the bottom of the issues that will be flagged up to the Government during the annual High Council meeting on 25 and 26 May. Please see specific updates from work groups and other relevant information below.

Preparations for the High Council (HC) meeting – 25 and 26 May 2017

The preparations for the upcoming HC meeting are well under way. The key theme for the HC meeting this year will be “DO!”. Since there are several important reforms that have been undertaken by the Government since the last HC meeting in 2016, FICIL would like to recognise these efforts, acknowledge the positive examples and encourage the Government to be brave and keep delivering on the reforms.

FICIL office will be sending out the invitations to all the delegates for the 20th High Council meeting shortly. We would be grateful if at this stage you could help by letting us know who from your company will be participating in the HC event. The draft agenda with more detail will follow shortly.

Next FICIL Member meeting – 25 April 16:00

We are planning to hold the next FICIL Member meeting on 25 April at 16:00. Venue: SSE Riga, 4A Strelnieku street, room No. 303., 3rd floor. The main item of the agenda will be preparations for the High Council meeting – we will take stock of where we stand, will hear updates from the work groups about the main topics they will be highlighting this year in their position papers and discuss other organisational matters.Please register for the meeting here.

FICIL Annual General Meeting and updates from the FICIL Board

FICIL AGM was held on 22 March. FICIL Board presented the report on their activities in 2016, including, presentation of the FICIL Strategy for 2025 and the concept and key theme of the upcoming High Council meeting. During the AGM membership elected five members to the Executive Board: Alf Erik Lundgrenn (Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, Chairman), Graham Russell (CEMEX, Chairman), Ints Krasts (SEB, Board Member, Vice-president), Julia Sundberg (Fortum, Head of Heating and Cooling), Zlata Elksniņa-Zaščirinska (PwC, Chair of the Board and Country Managing Partner). You can find out more about new Board members on our website. Three Board members – Baiba Zūzena (MTG), Guntars Krols (E&Y) and Dr. Norbert Siebels (Klasmann-Deilmann) – will continue to hold their Board membership positions based on the mandate given in the previous election in 2016.

During the first meeting of the Executive Board (7 of April) new chairperson of the Board and two vice-chairpersons will be elected.

Updates from FICIL work groups

All the active FICIL work groups are currently busy working on the first drafts of their position papers. This involves heavy work from each and every work group member contributing and commenting on the first drafts but most of all from the leaders of the work groups in putting together the draft positions. Please note that there is still an opportunity for you to shape the substance of the position paper and recommendations by your active participation in the work group.

Energy and waste management work group

It is becoming a tradition that the Energy and waste work group meets every Monday afternoon in the E&Y office. In March, three work group meetings took place – on 13, 20 and 27 March. The members of the work group have submitted their proposals which are compiled by the leader of the work group. The work group is close to finalize the position paper.

Tax policy and administration work group

Members of the Tax issues work group met on 14 March; key issues on the agenda were the planned changes in the tax system in Latvia. Members of the work group are following closely all the discussions related to the reform, including, participating in meetings with the Ministry of Finance and expressing FICIL’s position and concerns and discussing the changes with other stakeholders and business organisations.

Transport issues work group

Transport work group met on 7 March to discuss the meeting with the Transport Ministry earlier this year. During the meeting work group members outlined issues worth highlighting in the position paper. The next work group meeting is scheduled on 11 April at 15:00. Venue: KPMG, Vesetas 7. Please register for the meeting here:

Labour force issues work group

Members of the FICIL Labour (legal) work group met on 6 March to present in detail to the FICIL membership the draft amendments to the Labour Law. Many of the amendments are originating in FICIL’s Position Paper 2015 and 2016. The work group will follow closely the further legislative process and next steps regarding the amendments.

To raise the FICIL’s concerns on challenges to attract third country labour force to Latvian job market, FICIL representatives attended the Parliament’s respective committee on 28 March. During the meeting with the MP’s the Labour group leader flagged FICIL’s concerns to the members of the Parliament.

Construction work group

The Construction work group held a meeting on 30 March. During the meeting work group members raised few issues in the Construction legislation, including the new legislative amendments proposed by the Ministry of Economy on responsibility and newly adopted changes to the Law on Residential Properties.

Insolvency law issues work group

Leaders of the FICIL Insolvency w/g met with representatives of Latvian Association of Commercial Banks to discuss the progress in strengthening the supervision of Insolvency administrators. It was agreed to strengthen the cooperation in order to achieve a faster progress towards a real change in the system.

Representatives of the FICIL work group met the new Director of the Insolvency Administration and discussed the top priorities of focus of the Administration and cooperation with FICIL. The next work group meeting is scheduled on 6 April at 16:00. Venue: FICIL Office, Strelnieku street 1-3. Please register for the meeting here:

Education work group

The next Education work group meeting will take place on 6 April 2017 at 13:30. Venue: Riga Business School, Skolas street 11, Riga. Please register for the meeting here:

Key point of the agenda – discussion about the key items for the 2017 Position Paper on Education.

Hope you find this update useful. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Your FICIL team