Work Groups

Drawing on their experience of running a business in Latvia, FICIL members identify areas for improvement and issues generic to the particular industry or the entire business community. Based on these and pending members acceptance it is decided to establish Work Groups to develop recommendations and solutions to improve of the investment climate in the country. FICIL members, including the participating chambers of commerce, delegate their representatives to contribute. While working on solutions, the groups follow the work of public bodies, invite and welcome discussions with the decision makers. FICIL encourages follow-up of Work Group activities; group members represent the position in various discussion forums, such as the Cabinet of Ministers, the Parliament, media etc.

1Food and Drink Industry

Leader: Nele Normak

It is planned that the work group will cover topicalities regarding sugar tax, initiatives in product labelling, review planed policy initiatives regarding sweeteners, look at topicalities regarding food waste issue and EU proposed rules in plastic reduction.

2Digitalisation work group

Leader: Baiba Apine (PwC)

The Digitalisation work group is reviewing current IT policies and legislative acts that regulate digitalisation field. Coming out from that analysis, the work group are preparing recommendations in the fields where improvements are needed. Responsibility of IT policy, improvements of G2B interaction, further development of e-Identification solutions and clear digital agenda for Latvia for the next 5 years are on the agenda of the work group.

3Construction work group

Leader: Ilze Kramiņa (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)

The FICIL Construction work group has been a very active participant of the Latvian legal environment, contributing to the improvement of the construction regulations and investment environment in all governmental levels. The work group has proposed reviewing the construction legislation with respect to the liability of the construction process participants and looking for other ways to improve the regulation.

4Education work group

Leader: Claudio Rivera (Riga Business School)

The work group deals with issues related to education, especially higher education. The work group has been actively advocating for improvements of the governance of Latvian universities to ensure quality of higher education. Other work group priorities are related with fragmentation of recourses in higher education, matching labour market demand and supply of education system. The work group has been vocal addressing principles of individualisation, cooperation, and internationalization of higher education.

5Energy and Waste Management work group

Leader: vacant

The work group deals with issues related to energy sector and waste management policy. Clarify the terms for potential implementation of the deposit system in Latvia and turning waste into resource by promoting material and energy recovery are the priorities in the waste management field. In the field of energy sector policy work group recommends to adopt integrated national energy and climate change plan and promote cost efficiency in the Renewable Energy Policy,  demand de-carbonization also from non-ETS sectors and  consistency and predictability regarding Mandatory Procurement Component reforms.

6Healthcare issues work group

Leader: Daine Dzirkale (GlaxoSmithCline)

Given that the healthcare system is an important topic for every entrepreneur, FICIL has established the Healthcare issues work group. The Healthcarre issues work group is looking at Healthcare Financing Law adopted in the end of last year.

7Economic and Financial crime issues work group

Leaders: Ulvis Jankavs (SEB)

The work group is working on recommendation for Latvian government to improve legal acts so that they go in line with principles of justice, rule of law and transparency. One of the work group’s important tasks among the others is to address the injustice of fraudulent abuse of insolvency system.

8Investment protection and Court efficiency work group

Leader: Māris Vainovskis (Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns)

The work group looks into the existing business legislation and the rule of law which are among most significant factors for investment decisions. The work group is dealing with proposals to improve the quality of business and investment framework to make Latvia more attractive place for investment. Apart from quality of business legislation, court system effeciency and improvements in the Comercial Law makes large part of the work group’s agenda. As for this year, the work group also has been following amendments to the Competition Law.

9Intellectual Property Protection work group

Leader: Ingrīda Kariņa-Bērziņa (Cobalt)

Intellectual property protection work group reviews legislation related to intellectual property rights and gives its recommendation to the Latvian government for improvement of legal acts.

10Labour Force Issues work group

Leader: Andris Lazdiņš (AmCham), Irina Kostina (AmCham)

The work group has been working on policy and legal issues related to the quality of Latvia’s professional education, its compliance with the Latvia’s labour market needs, quality of skilled labour and smart immigration policy. FICIL belives that workforce should be made more accesible, improvement of the infrastructure is required in order to attract investments and a labour force and improvments of reulatory framework should be made.

11Tax Policy and Administration work group

Leaders: Aija Kļavinska (Deloitte), Baiba Strupiša (Irish Latvian Chamber of Commerce)

Tax work group is working on issues related to tax administration and policy. The work group is closely following developments in Latvia’s tax system and tax administration, and actively coming up with proposals for the State Reveneu Service on how to improve the business environment and investment climate through changes and improvements in tax system and/or administration. Predictable tax policy for business, tax administration and fight against shadow economy  are top priorities for the work group.

12Transport Issues work group

Leaders: William Le Clere (French Foreign Trade Advisors)

The work group deals with issues related to transportation policy and logistics issues. The work group has been vocal in raising topics related with transparency of logistics policy and railway tariffs.